Spring is almost here and the warm weather actually arrived early this year to these parts of Canada. I completed my first outdoor ride this week, and let me tell you, it was awesome to get out of the “pain cave” and see both wheels moving. While I was riding, there was a few things that I realized that I forgot during the winter and I recommend you to try to remember them before heading out for your first few rides of the year. Here are few tips for the triathlete or cyclist who still didn’t get their bike dirty this year.
Check your bike
Make sure to change your trainer tire for your normal one and check the air pressure. Also, make sure that your chain is lubricated and your gears run smoothly before heading out. My mistake this year was forgetting to adjust my brakes (I leave them open during the winter, just so I am able change or remove wheels easily). While it was a but that was a quick adjustment while rolling, it is still something that I should have caught before heading outside.
Lower your expectations
Give yourself a chance to adjust of riding outdoor again. Don’t plan a big workout on your first ride out, just go and ride. It will give you the chance to get back your reflexes and to the feel for the road. Personally, it takes me 2 or 3 rides to get back into the “road mode” and fully focus on a workout.
The cities are not as fast as us to switch into summer settings. Therefore watch out for salt, sand and other debris from the winter on the road. I find that country roads are cleaner because at first, the road workers do not put as much salt and second, most of the debris end up in the ditch instead of bouncing off the curb and back right to where most cyclists ride. Also (this is a tough subject for another entry), but stay vigilant with the vehicles around you, the drivers might have forgotten how to deal with cyclists over the few winter months.
Once you got all that covered, just enjoy! Doesn’t matter how long you go for, you will be able to say that you finally rode outside for the first time this year.