It's Cold, Dark, and Wet... How Do You Stay Motivated to Keep Riding?

The dark side of Autumn has fallen and it's much harder to motivate. Yesterday it rained for most of the day and I motivated myself right into a self-imposed rest day. Knowing I have a lot of cold, wet days ahead, I am hoping for some Chainlinker advice...

How do you get out there on your bike when it's cold and crappy out?

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1. Walking to and waiting for the CTA is even less pleasant in crappy weather.

2. A few minutes on the bike warms me right up.

3. It's pretty much the only time outdoors I'll get for the next few months.

4. It's a fun challenge when it gets really nasty

And not being crammed on a bus or train.

Yeah, I forgot that one. I get pretty cranky when I don't ride.

yup: one rush hour ride on the CTA (yesterday) and I'm cured for another season...  Ha ha!

I have to get to where I'm going, so I don't give myself a choice... I have good gear to stay relatively dry and warm, and good lighting to help stay alive, and it gives me a rush to be out there in extreme conditions when hardly no one else is. 

It would be real hard to get out and ride just for a fitness ride, for sure.

I enjoy the challenge on tailoring my outfit to deal with the changing weather conditions. This time of the year is always tricky because the conditions can change day to day or even change within the day. 

I've gone as far as creating a spreadsheet that catalogs the different combinations I wear each day. Pretty geeky, but it has been helpful to look back and see what I wore on similar days. 

Call me a geek, too, but I think that's a great idea!  When winter comes, I can't always recall which combination of gear is right for which kind of weather until I ride with the wrong stuff one day and either freeze or sweat.

It saves me the equivalent of one good beer over public transportation. That's enough motivation for a simpleton like me!

My non-bike commute is on Metra from Evanston. That's $8.55 per round trip for me. Biking to work saves me a small chunk of change as well as all the health and mental alertness benefits. Plus, I pretty much have the Lakefront Trail to myself until next March or April. The benefits are endless!

Rain sucks, but these temps are ideal for cycling IMO.

I found out yesterday that my shower caps fits over my helmet perfectly! 

That is pretty ingenious.

I've found that some helmet manufacturers provide plastic helmet covers that match the shape of their different helmet models. For example, Lazer has these:


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