Spring (?) Training Camp

4:26 PM

Cyclists in Minnesota are getting used to (and tired of) being flexible in the face of unprecedented cold this spring.  Wait…is it spring?  It is so hard to tell with the sub-freezing temperatures, ice and snow. 

Pretty easy to pack - just wear everything you own
Normally my team puts on a spring training camp – a full weekend of riding based out of Red Wing, MN.  Friday’s ride was cancelled due to leftover snow on the roads from the week’s storm (we seem to get one every week – they are predicting another 6 – 10 inches tonight!).  Sunday was cancelled because of a massive rainstorm that moved into the area (I’m not sure if there is anything worse than rain when it is only 35 degrees out…).  Though we were only left with Saturday’s planned ride, it was the main event – a 75-mile trek around Lake Pepin with the possibility of added hills and miles through several detours.

Nothing better than a Salted Nut Roll
Though I definitely wasn’t ready for the ride (officially, I’ve gotten in two 30-mile rides and one of 40+), I knew from last year’s experience that riding in a group is significantly different than solo.  We started the day with 17 riders who were hardy enough to battle cold and wind for a great 5-hour ride – a big enough group to give me confidence that I could get pulled around the lake if I did poop out.

What was worrying me at the start was the temperatures – low 30s.  For five hours of riding.  With my Raynaud’s syndrome, I was definitely concerned about painful white fingers and toes.  It turns out there were five of us in the group that struggle with this, and we traded tips all day to keep the blood flowing.  I stuffed four hot packs into the ends of my lobster gloves, and put two directly on my feet (the package warns against this, but it worked for me).  Every time we stopped I windmill-ed my arms around like a crazy person to drive the blood into my extremities. 

I also monitored my body temperature – there is nothing worse than getting all sweaty, because as soon as you start to cool down you go from hot to freezing in seconds.  When we were headed away from the wind (generally the first half of the ride) I opened up my jacket to keep any sweat from sticking around.  Then, when we headed into the wind on the second half I zipped up my awesome Craft jacket to keep all the warmth in and the wind out.

(Oh…and…maybe the fact that I hid behind bigger riders the entire time we were in the head-wind had something to do with keeping my temperature down and my legs happy…maybe…) 

(Oh…and…maybe the stop for espresso helped to keep me alert and warm…maybe…)

End result – a day that, while I couldn’t call it comfortable, wasn’t too bad.  75 miles in the books, a couple of tired legs, and a huge appetite for the Italian dinner that awaited us in Red Wing.

You Might Also Like