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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Tips for biking in the rain (video) with footwear tips for women & men

nice video, made me want to ride in the rain!

I use Novara jacket and pants and I have Sugoi shoe covers and a heavy set of Gore shoe covers too for the really cold weather. I have a Sugoi rain cover for my helmet which also holds in the warmth. I have a series of gloves I use and the two lighter ones are Specialized and the heaviest is Cannondale (but the heavy ones can only be worn at 20F or below). My rain jacket is always my top layer in cold weather (breaks the wind but has zipper vents). I always carry more than needed and adjust (often mid-ride) as needed. I have a set of ski goggles that I have used but they are a bit uncomfortable at times and reduce peripheral vision.

Does anyone here do any training during the colder days of Chicago? And what routes do you do? I want to do some training right after work, but it gets dark so quickly. Any suggestions on routes and clothing?

Don't know where you would be starting from, but here's a 20 mile loop I've ridden that is fairly mellow car-traffic-wise, but allows for speed.

Starting at Lawrence and the river, it takes the North Shore Channel trail up to Main st in Skokie, and follows bike lanes or routes (pretty much) out to to North Branch trail through the forest preserves, and back along the Skokie Valley line trail which is a non-stop 1 mile section of smooth pavement with no cross streets and not too much foot traffic. Great for sprinting.

Just watch out for slippery leaves in the forest preserve.  

Map and directions:

Thanks for this. Bookmarked.


Thanks, Steve! Does this loop have decent lighting when it's dark?

Oops, didn't think of that. The forest preserve path is not lit, the street portions are of course. 

Here's a loop that stays on streets mostly:

I think it would be difficult to do nighttime training rides without a bright headlight- here's mine: I have ridden that trail with it on a pitch black moonless night.

Whereabouts is your starting point? 

Another good route! I'm in the Ukrainian Village area, which would extend the loop another 10 miles approximately. I was looking to do about 20-25 miles right after work. I would actually like to use these routes during spring and summer! These are great 25-30 mile routes for me. I appreciate it!


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