Dave Schlabowske
Bike Czar

Winter Too Cold? Ride Indoors!

If you can't brave the cold, there are some fun indoor cycling programs at area bike shops.

By , Bike Federation of Wisconsin - Nov 21st, 2014 11:23 am
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Bar Mitts, Dillinger studded tires, a Schlick Northpaw, wool sweater and insulated jeans keep me rolling even on the coldest commutes.

Bar Mitts, Dillinger studded tires, a Schlick Northpaw, wool sweater and insulated jeans keep me rolling even on the coldest commutes.

Old Man Winter came knocking a bit earlier than normal this year. Maybe it is time to redefine “normal” winters, with 73 inches of snow already on the ground up in Gile, WI and 10 degree commutes down here in the southeastern part of the state. I have friends who swear they just recovered from PVSD (Polar Vortex Stress Disorder) after last winter.

Personally, I try to embrace my inner Inuit when the temperatures drop. With two fat bikes, both with studded tires, I love the cold, ice and snow. As soon as the trails on my commute to work turned icy, I swapped my 1936 Raleigh for my belt-dive Schlick Northpaw. The Schlick has dynamo lighting, full fenders, a rack, and my two favorite winter weapons: Barr Mitts and 45Nrth Dillinger studded tires. The Bar Mitts keep my fingers warm, even in the coldest weather and the Dillingers neatly grip the icy, off-camber sections of the Oak Leaf Trail and Hank Aaron State Trail that make up most of my commute.

My wife Liz commuting in her cute vintage snowmobile suit last winter on her Dutch Workcycles Omafiets.

My wife Liz commuting in her cute vintage snowmobile suit last winter on her Dutch Workcycles Omafiets.

OK, I admit I am not in the norm here. Most of you are not going to don your wool sweaters and insulated Carharts so you can pedal to work on studded tires. I have plenty of friends who do ride all winter, and even my wife, who is quick to tell anyone who asks that she is not a “bicyclist,” pulls on her vintage snowmobile suit and rides Oma to work. Although winter cycling continues to get more popular, I recognize that most people put the bike away for the winter.

For those of you who don’t like the cold, but still want to keep your fitness, many local bike shops offer really fun indoor cycling classes. I have listed a few from the Milwaukee area below, but there are many others. If you know of a shop offering an indoor class that I missed, please share it in the comment section below. If you are cut from the same bolt of wool that I am, say hi to me when you see me on the trail!

One of the Computrainer sessions at Crank Daddy’s

One of the CompuTrainer sessions at Crank Daddy’s

Crank Daddy’s Bicycle Works Fitness Center: Crank Daddy’s Bicycle Works offers a state-of-the-art 2,000 square-foot training center featuring a big-screen TV with DVD/VHS and cable hookup, stereo system, computer with projection equipment, and16 CompuTrainers. CompuTrainers are high tech and allow you to choose a customizable course, adjust the difficulty based on hills, grades, wind and drafting, and track critical stats such as speed, calories, watts, distance and even check your spin. Best of all, you can ride with and race your friends!

Coach Brent Emery’s Winter Indoor Training Sessions: Emery’s has CompuTrainers as well, and you get the benefit of Brent Emery’s experience. How often do you get a chance to ride with a multi-time World Champion and Olympian? Well, Brent has been running his winter training sessions for 26 years!

The workouts are open to anyone desiring to workout smarter, learn how to be a better athlete, improve your physiology, gain intimate knowledge of the many ways to pedal a bicycle, and develop great training and recovery habits in a time-efficient manner, all while becoming a faster cyclist. Participants may do as many or as few of the sessions as their schedule sees fit.

Emery’s asks that you RSVP a few days in advance, which is advisable  to be sure there is space available.

Wheel & Sprocket Indoor Training Hub: What I really like about its new indoor classes is they include some bicycle safety instruction every class. Just because you are riding indoors doesn’t mean you can’t reinforce safe, legal riding! The other cool thing is they have Sally Edwards, world-renowned triathlete and author of 40 books on Heart Zone Training, and some Bike Fed pals from Tri-Faster as coaches. You can meet Edwards this weekend at the Wheel & Sprocket’s Learn more at our Open Houses:

  • Friday, November 21st­ 7:00pm – 8:30pm at Wheel & Sprocket Hales Corners: 5722 S. 108th Street
  • Saturday, November 22nd 11:00am-12:30pm at Wheel & Sprocket Fox Point: 6940 N. Santa Monica Blvd
  • Saturday, November 22nd 3:00pm-4:30pm at Wheel & Sprocket Brookfield: 13925 W. Capitol Drive

This story was originally published by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.

Categories: Bike Czar

One thought on “Bike Czar: Winter Too Cold? Ride Indoors!”

  1. Jack Hughes says:

    Rode again today, six miles, only four yesterday, varies with the temperature. I will continue to be a winter bicycle rider, appreciating the new bike lanes. I wrote earlier about them. Looking forward to cross country skiing again, too.

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