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The 7 emotional stages of winter riding, part deux

This is a manifesto

Most of Canada has seen their first or second GD snowfall, so that means that winter riding has officially begun. Yes, there’s Zwift. But why enjoy a warm and efficient ride inside when you can freeze your tuchus outside? While some cyclists enjoy cold weather riding more than others, there are some inevitable steps that we go though when venturing into the wild snow-covered streets for their morning miles.

Gather round, grasshoppers, and let’s go through the process.

Stage 1 – Getting dressed in your very cold bedroom

Waking up before the sun to go and ride in the snow is a tough sell, but the biggest barrier to overcome is really getting out of your warm bed. Once you get out of your warm bed, you’re faced with the reality that you have to get dressed for your ride in a glacial bedroom. This is another difficult thing to do. But guess what, you’re a warrior and you’re gonna do it.


Stage 2 – Struggling to lift your knees because you’re wearing too many layers

Even with the best technical gear, there are days when cyclists feel like a sausage in casing as they head out the door. You want to be warm enough, but remember that you might be a little cold during the first 10 minutes of your winter ride, this is normal. Totally normal. Absolutely normal.

Stage 3 – Realizing that you didn’t properly dry your booties from yesterday’s ride

Well done. You took your booties off and threw them in the corner yesterday. So now they are damp and salty. What a nice way to start your day. Unfurl those bad boys and deal with it. Maybe do better next time.

Stage 4 – Oh btw the roads are crap

As you work into your ride and your mind wanders, try and remember to pay attention to where you’re going. Even on a cleared path there are still icy patches. You better keep an eye out otherwise you’re going to have a whoopsie.

Stage 5 – Seeing fellow winter riders, nodding quickly to acknowledge your winter-biking solidarity

For fear of getting very cold, most cyclists don’t stop mid-winter riders to chat. They will acknowledge each other with a quick nod. It’s like owning a VW van. It’s just something you do.

Stage 6 – Must use the can, but the the park loos are closed for the season

Your winter riding route may need to be different from your summer riding route for bathroom purposes. See if there’s a Tim Hortons of McDonalds along the way as the washroom you usually use may be closed for the season.

Stage 7 – So excited for shower except my body is thawing

Yeah it’s gonna smart when you get inside. When you get back from a super cold ride your body is going to be like, “Wow thanks for this, here let me show you how dumb of an idea this was.” As you warm up you may feel some prickly sensations but hey, something about being a warrior or whatever.

Yay you.