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Crank Forward Forum

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Winter on the Inside

Dear Forum,

With visitors seeking new topics, I thought I would pipe up...

I live in northern Minnesota. Typically, the outside biking season is from mid-April to mid to late October.

So, I spend a significant amount of time inside on a trainer.

I have my Fusion on a Cycleops trainer in front of my Wide Screen and spend the winter on the bike watching Netflix shows.

Potentially, I will ride the trainer with netflix three times a week for five to five and a half months.

For those also riding inside for the long haul, what do you do to fight "cabin fever'?

Re: Winter on the Inside

Buy some killer lights, layer up and ride outside. The way I see it we still have another 30 days of riding maybe more. Hibernate Later.

Thanks for the layering suggestion but.....

Business Chef,

You speak as a person living in northern Minnesota. I do layer up when I ride. Last year, on Thanksgiving, I was out riding my CF. This year on Thanksgiving, there was two feet of new snow on the ground.

This year, the second half of November had mostly below freezing temps in Hibbing and snow on the ground. I will not ride on ice and snow. I love my CF but I find the front tire to behave a little too loose for me in sandy or slippery conditions. So, ice on the roads guarantees I will not take the CF out. Inside becomes the next best option.

I fully expect to be outside by early to mid-April. This means that if I ride my bike on the trainer 3x a week from mid- November to mid-April will add up to about 20 weeks inside, or about 60 rides on the trainer if i don't miss (which is not going to happen, but I'm saying)

So, asking what others might be doing to alleviate my boredom that can set in by March, is a valid question.

But, with no answers forthcoming, I can only assume that the group is as stumped by the problem of surviving winter as I am....

Have a great winter....... I hope next spring finds you out riding with the sun in your face and the wind at your back

I Don't Mean to Rub It In...

After unending months of riding at night in 90 degree temperatures with 75% humidity, my real riding season is here finally!

I took advantage of the 75 degree weather on Sunday and loaded up the Hammertruck with about 20 pounds and headed to the beach. I recently added the frame-pack and the rear wooden topper-deck to complete this round of upgrades. I actually took my wife around the block on it and got it up to 14 MPH without too much effort.

All in all, the HT continues to surprise and delight. I am still having some problems with my right knee but removed the Frog pedals and replaced them with platforms for testing and the problem seemed to go away. So, I will experiment with my cleat positioning.

Although I've read some negative comments about the double-legged kickstand and didn't care for it at first, I really appreciate it now. Providing that you balance the load it is rock solid on virtually any surface, as you can see from it balancing on the hard sand. It even balanced well in the soft sand.

There is a lot more I want to do with it, but so far I couldn't be happier.

No rubbing it in here

Winter riding is great. Although the fusion might be light on the front end, a tire switch to something knobby or studded would help a bunch. I dig the weight on the front end that the Alterra gives. Winter riding is one of the main reasons I gave up recumbents (for the most part) for Cforward bikes. Skiing is cool, winter biking is better. Riding my bike to a ski destination is my idea of a good winter day.

Re: Thanks for the layering suggestion but.....

I know what you mean about ice and snow putting an end to riding for the season.

Layers are great when exerting relatively constant effort. Not so great when you have to alternate between peeling off most layers to avoid overheating on steep hills with bundling back up on frigid downhills. Dressing and undressing half a dozen times in a few miles gets tedious.

Studded tires are fine, and certainly help with control. But even they have their limits regarding traction, especially when making turns. Studs that work well on ice don't work as well for fluffy snow and vice versa. They can be dangerous on patches of bare pavement.

We all ride for different reasons, and dealing with frequent clothing changes and uncertain road safety conditions are not the reasons I ride.

I don't have too many suggestions for how to alleviate the boredom of using a trainer. I've tried planning out a series of different training routines. Say, sprint intervals of a prescribed length one day, consistent moderate speed for distance another, sprints of a different length the third day. Also things like shooting for different cadences for various lengths of time just to mix it up and build up control. But even playing with these variations in routine get old.

Some of the newer training software that provides the visual experience of being in different locations (beach, mountains, desert, etc) might be fun to try, but I've not used them.

If you find a good way to keep the motivation up and the boredom down, please pass it on!