2015: 293 miles in 45 days
2016: 282 miles in 48 days
- All of my rides were either commutes or running errands.
- I biked to work more times this year (5 times, compared to only twice last year).
- I managed not to get majorly sick this time, which is a plus.
- The studded tires mostly worked. Putting them on was a pain- I ripped my hands on the studs, and messed up my derailleurs. Riding on them when there was no snow/ice on the ground was not pleasant, either. If I use them again, I would either put them on a winter beater bike or buy separate wheels for them so that I can put them on my bike more easily.
- Wearing a mask did help on the really cold days.
- MG wrote up a very nice interview.
- I didn’t enjoy my experience nearly as much as I did last year, though. I will likely not participate again. I will, as always, keep riding throughout the winter.
I took photos on Instagram. I’m particularly proud of the shots I took that chronicled the lengthening of the days.
Freezing Saddles is a friendly competition by the Washington Area Bike Forum (aka Bike Arlington Forum). Basically, you bike from January 1st to the last day of winter (March 19). You gain points for every day and every mile you ride. You are assigned a team, and the team and individual with the most points win. Other prizes are given for side-bets and for any kind of dubious honor one can think up, such as the longest ride, or the lowest average miles.
It’s a fun way to encourage people to keep riding throughout the winter. It’s also an opportunity for statistics geeks to go nuts and parse the data in every which way possible. So, with that in mind, let me present a few pointless stats of my own.
I suppose it’s not quite fair to compare the two, but here’s what I’ve discovered so far in training for a run versus training for a ride.
1. I recognize my limitations in running better than I do in biking.
After multiple injuries and difficulty in breathing from running, I am less apt to push myself. On one hand, I’m less prone to injury, and train more gradually. On the other hand, I have much less confidence in my abilities as a runner.
I seem to willfully ignore my limitations as a bicyclist. I can blame whatever problems I have on the bicycle, or I can fool myself into thinking that coasting and taking breaks can keep me going indefinitely. I can push myself much harder on the bike, and sometimes with deleterious effects.
2. Fueling is completely different for each activity.
After a long ride, I am ravenous and want to eat all the things. I need to replenish my fluids right away, lest I become dehydrated. After a run, I am not at all hungry or thirsty until much later. I forgot this, and after Thursday’s run, ate a granola bar because I thought I had to. Big mistake– that bar sat like a rock in my stomach for the rest of the morning.
3. Bicycling is a more social activity for me.
I like biking on my own, and I do that fairly often, but I think it’s more fun when I’m with friends who enjoy bicycling too. Running is still not altogether fun for me, and although I like running with R, I don’t think I can run in a large group. That stems partly from my lack of confidence in keeping up, and also in that I feel like I should suffer alone.
4. And yet, running improves my mood better than bicycling.
I’m not quite sure why this is. Perhaps running at the current distance and speed is the perfect setting for an endorphin rush for me, and I run out of energy from pushing myself too hard on the bike? I don’t know, but as long as I can stay healthy, I’ll continue to run on a regular basis.
It’s a little over two weeks since our trip ended. Since then, the government has re-opened, and I’m back at work. I’m still frantically trying to catch up on things, which has been complicated by moving to a new house. My arm and knee have more or less healed, and I’m back to commuting on the bike, with occasional coffeeneuring trips.
I’m pleased to report some progress.
New saddle is comfortable. The Terry Liberator X saddle works great for long rides. A big difference there. I was sore, but not in pain like last time.
New top tube bag= easy access to food. I bought a Detours Slice bag, which makes it easier for me to use while riding. It opens and closes with a zipper, and I was able to fish out Shot Bloks and a Larabar with one gloved hand. Nice.
Fueling up. I had a good dinner the night before. I took small bites of energy bars and Shot Bloks while on the bike, a quick stop for a sandwich, and followed everything with a Tums chaser. My energy (and mental state) was more or less constant throughout, and I managed to keep the heartburn at bay this time. I stayed well hydrated.
Some things to think about: