Many of us SoCal Cyclists train and race year- round. This is not normal and probably not the best idea. But we can't stop. The sky is clear and the temps above 70. Why would we NOT ride?! So perhaps we should take this opening of the sky as a little nudge to tone it down a notch, stop it with the extra credit bike riding and stick to the plan. Sure the trainer is mind-numbing and saddle sore inducing, but the anger many harbor towards the rain is just as destructive. And our Northwestern Friends, well they have been on the trainers in the basements for a month now. It builds character and mental toughness. This I do believe.
Sure we can train outside to a point in the wet stuff. I have had my fair share the last few weeks. But there is a fine-line between being hardcore and doing out workouts in the rain and being completely stupid. Have you seen the standing water? It comes to my bottom bracket. The horrible holiday drivers who only care about the Tickle-Me Elmo for sale at Toys R Us are making an even worse name for SoCal drivers. Seriously I have been buzzed by more drivers while riding in the rain than I have during the entire summer!!
2/3 of my weekend rides found me in the rain. The first one was great because all my gear did its job keeping me mostly dry. My workout went awesome and riding through the construction zones just made me feel tough, like I was riding for Roubaix. And then I shattered a front spoke, filled my gloves with water, and realized while standing on the side of the road in the downpour fixing my bike covered in mud, road cyclists are way out-sized by dump trucks and minivans. And that I was freezing.
Saturday we gathered the troops and headed to Sunny Sky's in Palm Springs. Well worth the efforts and notched another fantastic, long, hard ride.
Sunday posed another threat: Mud and the wrong MTB tires. On this ride I came to the conclusion that yes I am tough enough to race BLVD in the rain and snow and yes I can make it through 4 hours of bone-numbing rain riding, soaked through looking like a Pinky Mouse again. But sometimes, its just smarter to pull the plug, and not lose limb, ego, or life. A ride completed that results in a week of illness just ain't worth it. Plus, I have some Sunny Extra Credit riding to tap into, nothing lost here.
I have gathered some great DVDs to watch on the trainer this week and enjoying the cover of a roof without feeling like a loser for not throwing myself into the downpour day after day. There's a time a place to do that, and I am more than ready to embrace it when it comes.
But now, its time to enjoy the holidays and a recovery week. :)