larger guy on bike

Offseason conditioning: Step 0

One of the great things about bike touring is it’s impact on my fitness.

I’m buring 8,000 calories a day! For weeks on end!

I can eat anything I want! And I’m over forty!

And then… winter.

Not everyone who loves bike touring (or adventure cycling, or whatever else we call it) has a distinct off-season, or lives in a place where weather conditions dictate a major decrease in biking. But it’s certainly my issue. Every fall I look back on a great 7-9 months of adventure, and somehow end up gaining weight that I inevitably have to haul up a big ass hill* in a few months.

Some people on tour “bike their way into shape” and that works out fine in a lot of cases. This year, I’m hoping to get a little (ok, a lot) leaner ahead of my rides, so I’m reverting back to watching what I eat in a way that almost makes it a game. I’m using an iOS app to help track calories in much the same way I use mapping apps to track my miles on the bike. It’s not nearly as fun, but I know it will pay off down the line.

So, step zero is getting to the point where I can load myself AND the gear on my bike below the max weight threshold suggested by the manufacturer and the laws of physics. Since my gear can’t lose weight as easily, that’s where I’m at for the next couple of months. I’ll bet I appreciate it on those hills come spring…

Do you have issues with offseason fitness? Or are you geographically better situated? Or are you a commuter that laughs at ice and cold who doesn’t face this challenge?


*technical term

vintage image courtesy of Nebraska Outdoor Addict

This is a second publication originally posted January 26th – due to a technical problem, it self-deleted (I know, really?)  but thanks to the magical powers of double publishing to, it was preserved. For good, or for bad…