Category Archives: Winter Cycling

The Leaves are Falling (and a Little Snow Too)

There are plenty of opportunities for some nice riding whether for recreation/exercise or errands/work. Here are a few riding tips to keep in mind during the fall season:

  1. Check your lights front and rear. Too many lights are just right in the low-light fall conditions. Your lights are to make you visible (both day and night), not necessarily to light the path ahead.
  2. Replace the batteries. Keep your chargeables charged.p50315471 - Copy.jpg
  3. Have someone view your bicycle from behind in the dark with the lights “on” to ensure that their beams are not blocked by gear or clothing and that they aim toward following vehicles.
  4. Watch other people on bicycles and judge their visibility index as a guide to improving your own.
  5. Add a blinky light front and rear and use them both as nighttime supplements and as “daytime running lights.”
  6. You’ll probably ride safer and smarter if you are comfortable – so plan your riding gear accordingly. Think layers.
  7. As you bundle up, look at your outer layer. If it’s dark in color, either choose something that isn’t or pick up a cheepy reflective vest from your local big box home center.tumblr_inline_neml72xshI1r2v92h
  8. Wet leaves and snow are slippery so anticipate stops and turns.tumblr_li3fainZGQ1qakvm6o1_500
  9. Pay special attention to puddles of water or clumps of leaves as they can mask potholes and craters in the paved surface.
  10. Recall that some pavement markings can also be slippery when wet or extra slippery when covered with wet leaves, snow, or ice.
  11. Keep your chain clean and lubricated.
  12. Plan your braking to avoid a spill.
  13. Be mindful of slippery metal surfaces (such as utility covers and grates).
  14. Fall and winter is a good time to 414057_10150558104377778_290371472777_8772451_121834680_o with a tune up from one of our local bicycle shops. This is a good time to support your local shop and to help them over the slower winter season. November through March is good time to get that special attention from your bicycle mechanic. Find out where at –

Other winter riding tips –

To plan for low stress, safe cycling, plan you route with the Albany Bicycle Coalition BikeAlbanyMap –

To find out about bicycle-related events, go to –


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Filed under Bike Tech, Lighting, Riding in Albany, Winter Cycling

Ears Cold? Try These

Here’s a handy way to keep your ears warm(er) and to reduce annoying helmet-head wind noise – Adventure Cycling’s “Cat Ear” Ear Covers.

Cat Ears Ear Covers 11-14-14


These are simple “polar fleece” triangles with a strip of hook-and-loop on each side to secure the “ear” to your helmet straps. Although the photo borrowed from Adventure Cycling’s “Cycle Source on-line shop shows red, they come only in black.

 Worth the $16.00 – part of which would seemingly go to Adventure Cycling’s programs.



Model – Courtesy Adventure Cycling

Detail – With coins for reference


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Filed under Bike Tech, Winter Cycling

May is comin’ . . .

Ride in the Winter 1-15-15

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by | January 15, 2015 · 4:10 pm

What is Spinning?

I’m going to go ahead and dub winter season as spinning season in the Capital Region. There are lots of us who ride outside but many of us are spending our time indoors on a stationary bike. Today I spent two hours Spinning; grinding my teeth, slicing my legs like on a meat slicer, and sweating absolutely all over the bike (feeling bad for the person after me). This is Spinning – sometimes easy and sometimes hard. After I got out of the gym I took a look on the Times Union Bike Blog and came across a description of Spinning by Jay Holick.

Jay writes,

My daughter invited me to spin with her one night after work at the Spin Revolution, Clifton Park. While I was waiting for the class to begin and while I was stretching, I thought it would be interesting to Google “Spinning” on my smartphone and here is what I found…

As I looked around, I discovered Spinning can actually be a very motivating workout for cyclists of all levels.

The birth of Spinning.

In 1991 John Baudhuin, President and CEO of Mad Dogg Athletics, teamed up with John G, who had spent time training for a cross-country cycling race. He was a new dad at the time and found it hard being away from his family to train. That experience sparked the idea for the Spinner bike and the Spinning program.

Spinning could provide a safe place—away from roads and overly aggressive group riders—to build strength and stamina on the bike.

Now the Spinning program is the global leader in indoor cycling training, education and equipment.

What should you expect at a Spinning class?

Both the equipment and the program are standardized, so you take expect the same format whether you take a class in New York or California. Workouts are 40 minutes long and all classes incorporate music to help motivate and inspire riders.

Basic movements—from seated flats to standing climbs—are used to mimic outdoor riding positions, and instructors use universal cues to prompt their classes for changes in movement and hand position.

Why Spin?

Away from external distractions, Spinning classes allow the rider to focus on the workout, making it a great place to build endurance and confidence on the bike. Spinning® is also an incredibly efficient cycling workout, especially when you’re crunched for time. Who wouldn’t want to…?

  • Burn more calories in less time
  • Squeeze in a high quality workout in under an hour

So, how do you get started?

“Showing up is half the battle,” Anderson says. “Just go through the doors and let the endorphins kick in. The instructors empower you but, as with any good workouts, the real power comes from within. It’s a safe environment, so that allows you to turn up the intensity a bit and challenge yourself.”

The only downside might be the addictive nature of the classes. “Once you start seeing results, that’s what will keep you coming back for more,” Anderson says.

What about those intimidating instructors?

“You are in complete control of your workout,” Anderson says. “The resistance is up to you so it will only be as challenging as you make it.”

If you need to back off, Anderson suggests lowering the resistance to an easier cadence. She compares it to yoga where practitioners are encouraged to rest in child’s pose if they need a break.

The instructors’ function is to direct and motivate you. So if you’re uncomfortable in a class or feel the pace is not one you care for, you should find a Spinnning class and instructor that suit your individual needs.

Afterward, I discovered Spinning is not my cup of tea but I did see a lot of people really getting into it. So to them I say…Cycle On!”

He’s right, Cycle On!  

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Windchill Effect While Riding a Bicycle

Two days ago I was on a six mile ride at around 6:45 am. It was about 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  Around 4 miles into my ride I noticed my hands were so cold. I started to wonder if my hands were cooler than the air temperature. According to the information below – my hands did feel colder and I wasn’t far off frostbite!

The US Department of Heath and Human Services says,

The Wind Chill index is the temperature your body feels when the air temperature is combined with the wind speed. It is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As the speed of the wind increases, it can carry heat away from your body much more quickly, causing skin temperature to drop. When there are high winds, serious weather-related health problems are more likely, even when temperatures are only cool.

Here’s a chart from the National Weather Service to help you understand the temperatures your body will be facing while riding.

NWS Windchill Temperature Index

Remember windchill effects while riding. Make sure you keep conscious of frostbite and how easy it can settle in. We don’t want to see anyone loose their fingers or toes! You can read our article here about layering properly.

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Filed under Winter Cycling