Winter: Go Long/Easy or Go Short/Hard

plastic_cyclist

Active Member
Location
Angus
One thing I thought I'd not do is favour the MTB over the RB.....now these dark mornings and nights have come, I have been forced to do a shorter, more harder ride to make sure I stay in the game...for this I have turned to my MTB - I have found I only have a small window of opportunity nowadays, so a shorter (maybe 1 hr - 1.5 hrs) in the lunch time area has been a saviour. It's been a nice change, going over terrain where you wouldn't really go with your RB, meaning you can cut through bits and generally roam ! a good hour and your'e done, better than nothing!

However, I don't even know if this hour/hour and half is even doing anything, it has to be surely ??
Whats a minimal time for a ride do people think? I mean I would never really go for anything less than an hour and wouldn't think 20mins or 30mins was much use....better off running for that time !
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
It's fine - little and often is the key. I tend to do an hour and a bit - by the time you factor in getting changed and washed, 30 minutes seems too little.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
They both have their place. Just to "tick over" until January, short sharp rides are ideal. Depends a lot on what plans you have for next year - racing or just leisure?
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
If you don't have studded tyres, watch out for ice... I didn't! :eek:

I used to be macho about the cold weather and would ignore icy conditions and go out anyway. Then one bitterly cold but sunny New Year's Day I went out on my MTB...

After 30 minutes I was descending a bridleway towards a farm gate when it suddenly dawned on me that the whole area was deep in shadow. I hit a big patch of ice which was lurking in the gloom and - BANG! - I went down fast and slid into the gate. There were a few scratches on my bike and my clothes were scuffed but I only picked up a few bruises. I remounted and carried on...

Another 30 minutes went by and I was just starting to relax again when I suddenly found myself off the bike again. More bruises and a couple of small cuts. It was due to a small patch of black ice which I hadn't noticed because the sun was low in the sky and shining straight into my eyes. I remounted and carried on...

Another 30 minutes went by and I was bombing down a farm track when I spotted a group of farmers gawping at a large 4x4 sliding sideways back down the track - holy crap - panic stations :ohmy:!!!! It was too late to brake as I hit the hitherto unnoticed river of black ice. I tried to keep going in a straight line, unfortunately there was a bend coming up. My front wheel slid from under me, I went down hard in a near faceplant on the ice, slid about 20 metres along the ice and ended up in a tangled mess of battered rider and battered MTB in a frozen ditch. The farmers looked on in shock, then burst into a round of applause :biggrin:! Thanks a lot for your concern for my well-being you bastards :angry:!
As for ride duration... I reckon if you spent 10-15 minutes warming up, 10-15 riding really hard, and a few minutes warming down for recovery, even 30-40 minutes a few times a week could maintain a decent level of fitness.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
There was a short distance TT rider who was reported on cycling weekly as doing 10 minute training rides! He was part of the team that held comp record for 10 miles for a while.

But I don't think this was the only riding he did, but the short distance rides did a lot for his speed.

He may be lurking on or was a CycleChat member.
 

mustang1

Guru
Location
London, UK
I'm riding jack these days. The odd times I do get out is usually on MTB instead of road. It's mega fun being in the mud but I'm pretty tired in the late afternoons if I ever get out and it's a struggle along with the tiredness, cold and dark.

I've really gotta do something about that coz the weight is piling on. On weekend if I go out it's at a really slow pace with the fam (read: SO).

But on the positive side, it's nice to mix up some road with MTB.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
There was a short distance TT rider who was reported on cycling weekly as doing 10 minute training rides! He was part of the team that held comp record for 10 miles for a while.

But I don't think this was the only riding he did, but the short distance rides did a lot for his speed.
There was a rider whose forum name was 'Bokonon', who came on a lot of my forum rides. (He hasn't logged in for 4 years, unless he is still here but is now called something else? :whistle:)

He was pretty damn fit so when I asked him how much riding he did I was gobsmacked when he told me that 90% of his riding was his 10-15 minute commute! He stayed fit on 10 short rides a week, plus one longer ride at the weekend if he could fit one in. The secret... he rode fixed, his commute wasn't totally flat, and he rode it fast!
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
There was a rider whose forum name was 'Bokonon', who came on a lot of my forum rides. (He hasn't logged in for 4 years, unless he is still here but is now called something else? :whistle:)

He was pretty damn fit so when I asked him how much riding he did I was gobsmacked when he told me that 90% of his riding was his 10-15 minute commute! He stayed fit on 10 short rides a week, plus one longer ride at the weekend if he could fit one in. The secret... he rode fixed, his commute wasn't totally flat, and he rode it fast!
sounds like my situation apasrt from the fixed haah 10 mile commute and then a club ride on a sunday.I can see though that targeted training works better if you can do it as a club mate started a year and a half ago and couldnt hold the wheel on the rides and now he leaves us all for dead , he does a lot of training on zwift and is super motivated .Then again desk job so hes not knackered before he even starts ( thats my excuse ) .
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I can see though that targeted training works better if you can do it as a club mate started a year and a half ago and couldnt hold the wheel on the rides and now he leaves us all for dead , he does a lot of training on zwift and is super motivated .
I only did it once...
My fittest ever summer followed a winter in which I didn't ride my bike at all for over 3 months, but during that time I did 4 or 5 hard turbo sessions a week (1-2 hours at a time).

I lost more than 2 stone in weight and for the rest of that year I didn't use the granny ring on my road bike or MTB. I found riding up 20% climbs in a 39/26 gear easier than I would now in my 30/28 grovelling gear.
 
a "normal" fun ride for me, regardless of bike or time of yr, is approx 2 hrs. however, last year, about this time, I got into a routine with my MTB & the rides lasted under 2 hrs. there's an off-road loop I can do, in a little over an hour. something else I like to consider is my toe warmth. the colder it is the less time it takes for my toes to get uncomfortable. if I plan for longer rides I have to take extra precautions
 

Kryton521

Senior Member
If I had one/other/both? I'd like an MTB, and a gravel bike. Just to do different things over the winter.

Mostly, with only a road bike, I keep going on my usual routes, take a flask with me, pootle and go gentle. Ice and snow I tend to retreat indoors. Though why I feel safer on rollers than out on the road on ice & snow I don't know!
 
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