Posted by: jdantos | January 9, 2013

Freezing Saddles

Freezing Saddles

When the signup first came up on the Washington Area Bike Forum, I thought, “oh what the heck, I’ll sign up, and log whatever riding I would’ve normally done.” So I threw my hat in the ring, and forgot about it as Christmas approached. January and February are usually months when I withdraw into my shell and generally exercise a lot less –  dreaming of the day we set our clocks forward by an hour.

But after the holidays, I was looking for things to look forward to, and Freezing Saddles was there. In the past week plus, it has definitely motivated me to ride a lot more this winter so far than I ever would have. I’ve found myself tacking on an hour or more of riding to my evening commute, like it was the summer.

Good bike lights have helped a lot. This fall I invested in a solid, see-by-it light in addition to the normal be-seen blinkies, and it has helped immensely. Nighttime riding is now really comfortable for me.

Strava has helped – both for motivation, and to discover new routes. I love to learn about how other people in this town get around by bike, and to see other people’s riding habits. In a sometimes solitary endeavor, Strava has been a great way to add camaraderie, albeit virtual (until the next Happy Hour, forum folks). For all of Strava’s focus on competitive speed and sprinting up hills for KOMs, the biggest advantage I see in the software is its socialability, route-sharing, and collaboration.

But mostly, I’m happy for the motivation to get off my duff and get outside even in the freezing cold, and for the community that comes along with all this friendly competition.  Kudos to the organizers, and I look forward to many Pointless Prizes and happy hours to come!

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