Spring riding, bad weather, and individual limits

I had my first outdoor rides of the year on my good road bike in Ontario this week.

The qualifications, “good road bike” and “Ontario,” matter.

In February I spent a week with my good bike in Arizona and in March I was at training camp in South Carolina.

I’m also back bike commuting on my cyclocrosss bike.

Sunday we were out on our road bikes in cold and the wind. Four degrees Celsius and sunny I can live with but the wind was less pleasant. We rode out into a 30 km headwind, with gusts up to 50 km. Still it was a good ride, and when combined with coffee after and then the hot tub, made for a terrific Sunday afternoon. When it started snowing Sunday night I was especially happy that I’d gotten out.

My usual Thursday ride didn’t start this week as planned. I got a note that read, “Stay in touch. I’m not riding if it’s raining. Three degrees is okay but three degrees and raining isn’t.” That was our ride leader’s limit. Cold, yes, rain, yes, but not the combo. I agree.

Tracy also chimed in about getting back on the bike: “Yes, if it’s above ten and otherwise not. Also, no rain.”

She’s written before defending being a fair weather cyclist.

I’ve been thinking about limits and where we set them.

I would say I don’t ride in the snow ever because I have done. See the above picture! It’s proof. My friend Dave and I rode 60 km in minus 5, with snow. But I did take my cyclocross bike, not my good road bike. Actually I’ve been thinking about getting a fat bike for serious winter riding. I’d like to be the sort of person who rides in all weather and just chooses her bike accordingly.


This weekend it was raining and snowing and below zero, and two friends were off riding 200 km. It was the first brevet of the Ontario Randonneurs season, the tour d’Essex. They won the badass award.

How about you? What are your limits for cycling? Are you an all weather or fair weather cyclist?

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