What's a little snow?
Monsieur Paris-Roubaix in 1981.
November is here and Vancouver weather tends to flip flop from rainy overcast days to the rare sunny breaks. The other element is the cold. So, what's a west coast cyclist to do? Get ready. Here's what I have done to prep my bike for Fall and soon, winter riding.
For a shining example of the tough roadman that embodies suffering with winning panache - four wins in Paris-Roubaix and many classics victories - I look to the winter image of Roger de Vlaeminck. His cyclocross skills and strong legs surely gave him the advantage to float over the cobbles like riding over asphalt. And as preparation for his 1972 Paris-Roubaix win he rode over 1000 kilometers in four days. Honing his legs to perfection clearly won him many classics (one of only three riders to win all Monuments) and individual stage victories (22 stage wins Giro d'ltalia).
In case you are wondering that's my front light mount.
photos: Cycling Art
photos: Cycling Art
Getting back to my Fall/Winter bike prep. The simple bike bell. I'm still surprise by how many pedestrians don't look before crossing the street. A simple 'ding' is a respectful reminder to everyone about your approach. A safe way to deter a mishap. For visibility a set of lights, front and rear. Drivers often do not see you coming, under low light conditions mine are on flash mode.
Mudguards are essential bike kit and my 1987 Marinoni does not have eyelets and the clearance for full length guards. My clip on mudguards are now on with an extended DIY plastic mudflap to keep the road spray down to a minimum to anyone riding behind me. What if conditions do not fully warrant mudguards? When there is a small amount of rain... I have my ass saver that clips under the saddle.
My SPD pedals are on once again and I prefer them over my SPD-SL pedals for the winter months. I find it easier walking in my Sidi Giau mountain bike shoes that provides plenty of traction off the bike, ie. the cafe break. Also, less wear and tear using two pedal systems and two pairs of road shoes (Sidi and Louis Garneau) split through the season. I enjoy both pedal systems and two sets of cycling shoes thus prolonging the life of both.
Also, cold inclement weather will spoil a ride if you don't have a cycling cap on. Versatile to keep the rain out of eyes and keeping your head and ears warm. Btw, today begins, for a limited time, 20% off all Red Dots Cycling caps in shop. Use coupon code: FALL20
Enjoy riding in Fall and Winter.