Winter Diversity

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It is hard training on the weekends, in the winter, around here in Topeka. Of course the weather is hit and miss. It has pretty much been miss this year so far. This weekend, it is supposed to be “nice”. By nice today, I mean the upper 40’s today, but lower 60’s tomorrow. But it is also supposed to be in the 40 mph wind range too. That is usually the issue around here.

It is really windy in the spring and fall. I haven’t been around the whole month, but yesterday Bill told me he doesn’t think he’s ridden this year in a wind under 15-20 mph. I know I haven’t. It is a two edge sword. I really like the wind. I like riding into the wind and returning with a great tailwind. I don’t mind starting out with a tailwind and then, after getting warmed-up, turn around and fight my way back home. I tend to take our club rides out and back, mainly with side wind. When the riders ability levels are so great, as they are this time of the year, the draft is way more important.

The another side of the wind, it is very hard to keep training rides together when it is super windy. When it is super windy, the draft really isn’t all that good. It whips around the leading riders, making it harder for the guys behind. Plus, with gusts, it is harder to stay tight and in formation, thus, more resistance.

Not many riders from Topeka did a full cross season this year, so many of us are at our square ones. That doesn’t make for a lot of guys wanting to spend 20 minutes at a time pulling into a 30 plus mph headwind. I’m not looking forward to it.

Many times when it is this windy outside, I’d normally go out and ride gravel. But the gravel hasn’t really thawed up enough not to be mucky in the shade. If the sun doesn’t directly hit the road, then it is frozen solid with a thin layer of slim on top. Not good for groups, once again.

I tend to have pretty good form by the time March rolls around. I can thank the wind for this. There really isn’t an easy training ride around here until May. Kansas is the 3rd windiest state in the country. I like it.


I thought this was very funny and somewhat true.

I thought this was very funny and somewhat true.


7 thoughts on “Winter Diversity

  1. Euro

    Why not just ride the trainer in the winter? I’ve been racing for 30 years, and have gotten to the point where I hate riding outside if it’s under 45 degrees out. Trainers make the workout more quality and less of a waste of time.

  2. Christian Davenport

    I read somewhere that when training, Merckx began training rides with the wind at his back. When he got tired, he would turn around and ride home into a headwind.

  3. David L

    Different subject from today’s blog but I was listening to Mike Creed’s podcast with Marianne Martin today. She said she wanted to win the polka dot jersey at the TdF to prove to YOU that she could climb. Of course, she proved a whole lot more by winning it all!

  4. mike crum

    your best posts are ones like today, re: training.. heading into the wind on your normal group ride on a windy day 15-25mph wind, and you pulling, ho fast do you pull? curious..i know it may vary if its a 15 mph wind or 25, but how fast do you go into a strong wind? how far before you turn? out and back ? then what do you average on the return? i do a loop and its 12mph into and 25 or a bit beter o the otherside..out into a wind like that be very tough, espically if you’re doing a 50-80 miler 25-40 into a wind.. damn!! thanks

  5. Skippy

    19th day of riding with over 1200km on dry sunny roads , when i should be Ski Touring ! So many days in TDF weight uniform , but with a plastic shell for into the wind . Only thing missing at present are the above 1000M climbs , as the wet road could be icy on Descent ?

    This site has an outrageous story that needs world Wide publicity :

    Reminds of several US articles last year , including this :

    Really a shame that your visitors are unable to load Photos , like can be done on Facebook ?

  6. Wildcat

    Wow, that sucks. I went duck hunting Saturday and had a great 40-50 degree hunt. Got my limit. Then had a 2 hour 60 degree ride today. I love Kansas.


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