January 03, 2011

Mid-Winter Training

After a long season and a break in November, I finally got back to training again in December. It feels good to be back on the bike! But, the weather hasn't been all that great for riding the trails, so I've been on the roads or my trainer in the basement for the past several weeks.

As Nathaniel mentioned, we're now sponsored by Buttonhole chamois cream.  I've been using it for the past month and been very happy with it, especially because it's prevented any saddle sores (always an early season problem when I start to ride again after taking time off the bike).  The cream has a nice mint chocolaty smell and a pleasant tingle like the old Assos chamois cream.

I was especially happy to have it yesterday when I went out for the Haymarket Winter Bike League's 60 mile ride/race in 40-50 degree temps and rain. Riding in weather is made much better when shared with others - and about 70+ people showed up to burn off some holiday calories and ring in the new year.

The ride was up and over short, steep hills covered in road salt and grime and the last 9 miles or so were on dirt roads (that was fun).  I ended up with a ton of the road grit on my face (but my photochromatic glasses from Optic Nerve let me see where I was going!)...

A bit grimy after a January 2 road ride in the rain

A good way to start 2011!

- Jeff

January 02, 2011


This year we have two new sponsors, Polar insulated water bottles and Enzo's ButtonHole chamois cream. Although I personally have not really started training for this year, I have had a little bit of time with each and I'm excited to start using them more frequently. Last year over the winter, I had a problem with water freezing on long rides, so Polar bottles should be helpful this winter. Over the summer they will be useful for keeping water cold! One thing that is unique about them is their removable mouthpiece / valve, to clean out any dirt that may get trapped in there. I only have one sub-32 degree ride on a Polar bottle, but the water didn't freeze!

Also, chamois cream is something you may not realize you need until you try it. Last year I got some bad saddle sores, so hopefully this year will be different. The cream has a nice scent and texture. Plus, it isn't made up of artificial chemicals.