Another crappy day here in the Northeast, with a nice rain/snow combination misting across the region. This time of year I am definitely a fair-weather rider. I haven’t ridden my bike outside all Winter – I’d rather wait until the snow and ice are melted and the forecast doesn’t require packing a waterproof jacket and booties.
If you are a fan of any of the cycling forums out there, no doubt you’ve come across the HTFU crowd. HTFU, for the uninitiated, stands for “Harden the Fuck Up”. This advice is readily dispensed anytime someone says it was too wet/cold/early/late/dark for a ride. The HTFU’ers cheerfully tell you how hard they are and how they cycle through hurricanes, tsunamis, and tornadoes. They ride uphill both ways to work in six foot snowdrifts and so should you, you poor excuse for a human being!
Now I realize that riding in inclement weather cannot be avoided at times and it is a skill that should be practiced before taking on any long-distance endeavors. I’ve ridden in the bitter cold and through massive thunderstorms. I can ride in bad weather and I have ridden in bad weather, but that doesn’t mean I should ride in bad weather.
I’m of the sort that will gladly train inside when the weather sucks out – no need to risk getting sick, no need to break out all the inclement weather gear, and no need to thoroughly clean my bike after my ride. Now, don’t get me wrong — a nice, gentle Summer rain falling? I’ll go for a spin. Hail, black ice, and general nastiness? No thanks.
As I plan a season full of long group rides, brevets, centuries, and whatever else I throw myself at this year, I know I will have times where I will be turning pedals through some pretty shitty conditions. I’d just like to minimize that time as much as possible.
How about you guys? Are you part of the HTFU crowd, or will you join me in shouting back, “STFU, call me when the sun is out!”?