Keep Those Wheels Rolling!
If you live in the Midwest, you know what beautiful weather we have in the fall. That alone is enough reason to get out and ride your bike. It’s the best time of the year here in Iowa, even better than July! But regardless of where you live, you have several reasons to keep those wheels rolling right up until winter keeps you from riding outdoors.
1) Maintain your fitness
At the end of the summer, your cycling fitness is at its peak. Hopefully you didn’t put your bike away for good after RAGBRAI was over, but even if you did, you still have time to get it out and ride some more. The more you can ride during the fall, the better shape you’ll be in going into winter. Of all the aspects of cycling, endurance is the one you lose the slowest. So try to get out at least once a week for a 2 hour ride or longer.
2) Enjoy the fall weather
As I said above, fall is a great time to be riding a bike in most places. Tell your spouse/friend/parent/child that your RAGBRAI coach told you to get out and ride use that as your excuse to enjoy the fall weather. Better yet, take your spouse/child/friend/parent with you! One of my favorite memories as a teenager was my weekly long ride and stopping at an apple orchard and picking an apple off the tree on the way by.
3) Make the winter shorter
If you hang up your bike in September and don’t get it out again until April, you have made yourself one long winter off the bike. The longer you can keep riding into the fall and early winter, the shorter you make winter.
If you haven’t typically ridden at all during the winter in past years, you know how you have to start over again each spring. If you maintain your riding into the fall, you can actually increase your fitness and then try to hang onto it through the winter and come out in the spring in much better shape than in previous years. Ride as much outside as you can this fall but also make use of spin classes or your indoor trainer to keep in shape this fall. By the way, I’ve just written an eBook titled “Indoor Training For Cyclists” which contains information on training indoors and contains 50 indoor workouts. Read more at www.CyclesportCoaching.com/IndoorCyclist.html.
If you did RAGBRAI or plan to next year, you most likely enjoy riding your bike. Just because next season seems a long way away, don’t let that stop you from doing what you enjoy doing year round.
Have fun out there and enjoy the fall weather.
Coach David Ertl
David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 (Elite) Coach and owner of Cyclesport Coaching (www.CyclesportCoaching.com) . He coaches individual cyclists, the Des Moines Cycle Club Race Team and the JDRF Greater Iowa Chapter for the Ride to Cure Diabetes. He can be contacted at Coach@CyclesportCoaching.com.