Living in Florida offers a year-round training ground. While northerly friends of ours might be relegated to indoor trainers during these winter months we get to enjoy afternoon rides in temperatures that range from 50-80 degrees. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Some things to keep in mind as we pedal our way through balmy sunny days in the extreme south are as follows:
- Consume enough water even though it is cooler
- Dress in layers for comfort
- Add some spice to your rides
It’s easy to skimp on the hydration when we are not pouring the sweat but our bodies tend to be a bit more dehyrdated because we don’t feel as thirsty in cooler months. Remember that with every breath we exhale moisture. Being dehydrated leads not only to muscle cramping but makes us feel less energetic all around. Not everyone has the discipline to get out and ride when they really don’t feel like it, so do yourself a favor: drink up the water and energize yourself.
There are many guidelines for how to dress appropriately for specific temperatures. Generally, the labels are “cool”, “cold” and “coldest”. Examples are below for each:
“Cool” (59-70 degrees) Sleeveless base layer, arm and knee warmers with typical winter jersey. Full fingered gloves optional.
“Cold” (49-59 degrees) Tights, full fingered gloves, jacket, head cover, shoe covers.
“Coldest” (39-49 degrees) Lined jacket, tights, sleeveless base, jersey, head cover, insulated full-fingered gloves and shoe covers.
Spice It Up
Try out some different group rides with new routes and new people. Be cautious with those you haven’t ridden with, however. Not steering clear of sketchy riders just might give you more spice than you bargained for so be careful. Find a local charity ride or one in another city; why not make a weekend of it? If that doesn’t sound like something you would enjoy then map out a time trial course and give it a go once a week, tracking your time and looking for improvement. Whatever it takes, change up the same ole, same ole.
The Global Cycling Network video below offers good information on how to choose what to wear at what temperatues regardless of where you live. The cool English accent just makes it a little more fun to listen to.
Don’t settle for the winter blues when you can be out underneath the blue skies on your bike. Just remember these tips and pedal the chill away!