Some people ask me (non-cyclists): « why do you write about cycling in the middle of winter? » Simple answer: because I miss it! Try being apart from your bike for 4 months… I even miss getting ready for my rides.
Definitely a fun part for me. Kind of a ritual in fact. With music in the house to get me going. Everybody is different, has a different approach. Mine is based on a very careful preparation.
Let’s see my pre-ride ritual, just for fun!
My ideal time for a ride is between 10 and 11 am.
1) I get up at least 3 hours prior to my ride and eat breakfast 2 hours before.
On the MENU:
- orange-grapefruit juice
- 3 multi-grain toasts: 2 with apple-raspberry fruit snack and 1 covered with an indecent quantity of Nutella.
- 1 banana
- What’s missing? Coffee, of course! 2 cups of any wonderful blend does the trick, a little foam on top.
2) I make sure to verify the weather forecast (Accuweather) in case I need rain jacket, or an extra vest.
3) I also step outside to check the T° of the moment and the wind, which is always an important factor.
I then have to settle on how many layers to wear.
Decide on knee, leg or arm warmers.
Full booties or those cute Pearl Izumi toe covers that Pat got me…You see, I use to wear his. It’s usually my tactic to get some new gear, shuuuu, don’t tell him!
4) I even check the light outside to choose the right lenses.
5) WARM-UP : I go trailwalking with Quick, my black Lab.
6) FUEL FOR THE RIDE : somekind of bar, as long as they’re a good amount of carbohydrates. No proteins, takes too long to digest.
I like Cliff Bars: Banana nut bread and black cherry almond. With more than 200 calories and over 40gr of carbohydrates, I’m sure to make it home.
I also enjoy Cliff Shot Bloks especially in the summer because of the electolytes. Soft and easy to chew. Black cherry is my fav with 50 mg of caffeine for an extra boost (only orange and cola contain caffeine).
For a short term boost, I totally trust either Jelly beans or Gummy Bears. Nothing fussy, just real sugar, with a very high glycemic index. Gives me an extra push on hard climbs. And yes, I steal all the red ones and never touch the black ones!
1 bottle of H2O and 1 of Gatorade.
Oh, in summer, when it’s over 20°C, I try to avoid bars covered with chocolate: melted chocolate in your back pockets is never good! And when the weather is cold, the chocolate becomes hard to chew. Ouch! Breaking a tooth is not that great either.
P.S. Last summer, Pat tried Garmin’s famous rice cakes (Allen Lim’s in fact; a genius btw). He even added his special touch: cranberries. Amazing!
You can watch Allen Lim himself showing you how to make them on this video: http://www.slipstreamsports.com/2008/07/16/cooking-with-allen-rice-cakes
Ok now, with all that said, 10 o’clock now. But being January, I’m heading out for a snowshoe!
What’s your ritual like?