Does Cold Weather Riding Build Character?

[tweetmeme only_single=false source=”artofgroupride”] What a difference 2 weeks makes. Woke up to a beautiful but freezing morning, winter got here quickly. Gotta be honest, cold weather riding (this cold, anyway “feels like 26”) is a deterrent for me on a weekday ride before work. I know 32 degrees isn’t actually that cold but it’s the coldest day of the winter so far, so it tends to shock the body a bit. Most of the world has to deal with much worse conditions from November to March (or later) so I’m definitely not complaining. I don’t like to admit it, but there’s that moment when the alarm goes off, I check the temperature and have the conversation with myself. Ride? Stay in bed? Maybe you’re familiar with this conversation. A good friend once told me, “Either you want it or you don’t.” Pretty good advice and a question I ask myself when facing adverse weather conditions or too little sleep.  My guess is that no one “likes” riding in the cold, or even the wet or snow but you gotta do what you gotta do.

My guess is that cold weather riding does actually build character in a way. But then again, I know plenty of folks with low character that ride in the cold all the time and others who live in San Diego that have tons of character. Maybe it’s not the weather, maybe it’s the person and how one faces adversity.

When I don’t want to get out in the cold, I just think of friends in much colder places that get out there in CRAZY cold. East Coast, Colorado, Midwest – props to you.

Anyway, I did get out there. After all, I had a few friends waiting for me in the Group Ride. I guess that’s the power of the Group Ride, makes you get out there when you might otherwise stay in bed. Now that I think about it, sounds a lot like commitment. Isn’t commitment a big part of character? So there it is, cold weather may or may not build character but following through on a commitment definitely does.

Here’s a question for you – How cold is too cold? Do you have alternate training methods – the dreaded trainer, a day off, etc? I get a twitch when anyone mentions the “R” word (running) but many riders cross train this way. What do you do?

Ride on.

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2 responses

  1. Andy Wilson

    Matt,

    Love the blog! Hope you and Katy are doing well. Out here in New Hampshire, I pretty much switch to cross training for a few months and then the indoor trainer come Jan. for a 12 week training plan. Anything below 35 and I’m staying inside! This biggest issue is lack of available daylight. The only days I can get out this time of year are Sat. or Sunday as there is not enough daylight during the week to ride before or after work. God bless Brother!

    December 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    • The Art of the Group Ride

      Now thats dedication! I’ll ne thinking of ya next time I have second thoughts about riding in the cold. Have you checked out the Sufferfest indoor trainer videos? Definitely keeps things interesting when it’s too cold out. We’re doing great – tell your family hi! Thanks Andy

      December 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm

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