After last winter’s record 9 feet of snow in Boston for 2014-15, we are being treated to some very mild temps. Here are some ideas on how to take advantage of the unseasonable weather. (And don’t get me started on the difference between weather and climate!)
What to do now?
Ride! With weekend temps going up to the mid-50s, hop on your bike. Without Greenland-size snowbanks, the roads are fairly dry with only a little sand, and most of the salt has washed away. Pump up those tires, put a little lube on your chain, and wipe it clean as you are going to have some fun.
Now is the time for LSD – Long, Slow, Distance rides, though you might want to go easy on the Long part. Unless you have been on your wind trainer or doing spin classes this winter, your legs are not ready for the stresses of a typical summer ride. Go up a few steep hills and your knees could be complaining for a month, and you don’t want to sit around waiting for that throbbing to go away. So pick some short flat routes for the first few rides. Keep off the hills for the first 200 miles.
And then what?
This is New England, so old man Winter still has a few more tricks up his sleeves. If the forecast calls for snow, especially mid-week, head to your local bike store and get a tuneup. Avoid the warm weather crush by taking your favorite steel / aluminum / carbon fiber / titanium friend in now for a mid-winter makeover. Trust me, those shop mechanics are just as stir crazy as you, and can probably get everything done in a day or three. Pick up a rear fender so you can ride even if the roads are a little sloppy.
I’ve seen dozens of cyclists in the last few weekends – come join the crowds. Just start slow and steady. Those mountains will still be there.