Late Fall/Early Winter Cycling – Motivation

As daylight hours drop and temperatures get colder, it becomes more difficult for me to get motivated to ride my bike. A lot of my cycling friends have set up their trainers and moved indoors; their bikes won’t see the outdoors until the spring.  For others, the cycling season never stops;  they may have put their road bikes away, but they’re still out on gravel and fat bikes and will continue to be out riding all winter!

I’ve written in these pages that I have (at least) one bike for each season.  In addition, I’ve got all the cycling clothing and gear I need to ride in just about every weather condition we experience here in southern Ontario. Still, I find it harder to get motivated to get out at this time of year.

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve already reached my cycling distance goal of 5000 km and with the sun setting early these days, it’s unlikely that I’ll ride to/from work anymore this year.  But there’s still weekends… right?

Back in about 2012, with a group of cycling friends, I organized a weekend gravel grinder through the fall and winter.  My goal was to get a group of riders each week to agree on a date/time/meeting location.  Once that was established, it was easier to stay motivated.  These weekend rides soon became club rides and eventually, I passed the leadership role to others in the club. There was also a group of die-hards who rode in the evening once a week with bright lights on backcountry gravel roads and rail trails.

These rides still exist, and I join when I’m motivated, but I still need that kick to get moving, much more so this time of year.

I’ve written about cycling in winter here and here, but I need to motivate myself to just get outside this time of year, so I’m going to list why I should get outside:  Here’s my list of benefits of late-fall/winter cycling:

  • Great company of night rides:
Night gravel grinder (photo: Alain Francq).  That’s me on the far right… can you tell?
  • Fat tires in snow bring a new dimension to cycling: Snowy singletrack!

    Snowy singletrack! 
  • Gravel roads in winter can be easier than paved roads because the gravel mixes with snow to give traction.  And … fewer cars!
    Gravel roads in winter (Photo: Ken Ruckstuhl)

    OK, now I just need to get out there and ride!  Who’s with me?



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