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I am currently attending Arizona State, and ride for their cycling team there. Many cyclists are seniors this year, and will be leaving after this semester. All my family is from Wisconsin, yet Ive never lived there, only visited. Their are more reasons than just that the seniors are leaving...and if I transfer I have been looking at some private colleges (concordian, cardinal stritch, lawrence) and public (UW- oshkosh/milwaukee). Honestly, the midwest has people that are much more down to earth, thats actually the main reason. Living in sunny AZ I am also able to ride year round, and WI I would obviously not be able to do that. For those that do live in the midwest, come winter time, are there days where your just like damn, I want to ride so bad, but are sick of rollers by then? I would think most riders spend time in the gym, or do other sports? A big problem thats usually addressed with AZ riders is how they tend to stay race fit year round, which is obviously not the best way to get stronger for years to come. I think going to WI would somewhat force me to get off the bike and take some serious recovery time. Any opinions?
 

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For me, the break is nice...for awhile. Then the itch kicks in. That's when I get the cross-country skis out and go get a cardio azz-whooping on two sticks instead of two wheels. I ride the trainer and the rollers too. Then once the roads dry off (usually well before the snow is gone), I bundle up and hit the road. Actually had a nice 25 miler yesterday, bike didn't even get wet/salty/sandy. It was great - still have lots of snow on the ground, but none on the roads. Fun stuff.

You just learn to keep your fitness level in different ways.

And yes, there are days I just want to get out and RIDE!

Andy
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan ('da U.P., eh!)
 

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only two nice days, i hope it starts warming up

i left today and rained wasnt bad, dueto it not being cold, by the time i got home dropped 25 degrees, and i was frozen,

keep telling your self, pedal pedal pedal
 

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In-House Counsel
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It (Ohio) sucks. If it's not cold, it's rainy. If it's not rainy, it's cold. And if it's not any of those two, it's cloudy and the roads are caked with salt.

Not to worry. I'm moving back to North Carolina in less than two months. Give me the heat and humidity over the north anyday! :D
 

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Indoor workouts do get old in the winter. I do a lot of running when the weather is cold - it's easier to stay warm. I live in central IL. The winter is probably much worse in Wisconsin. As far as the people here being down to earth...We're not too bad, but there are jerks everywhere.;)
 

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Last year I rode probably between 1000 - 1500 outdoor miles by the end of April. Most were good days, but some were not so good! Never rode too much in the rain, but plenty of snow and cold and wind. You've just got to have the right gear (and a month or so riding indoors is plenty motivation to get outside!!)

I'm in Iowa - winter is a great time to get out the mountain bike or cross bike and hit the gravel roads. It's a nice change from the usual routes.
 

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The midwest isn't bad if you're equipped right. I just rode 12 miles through the Dolomites on my I-Magic trainer while listening to the new David Gilmore CD:cool: . Snow seems to be something you can only count on in the northern third of the state if you want to ski. My wife and I (and friends) do the Bike Northwoods ride in Wisconsin every June and have become pals with a UW Oshkosh counselor.....cool guy. The Kettle Moraine area, near Oshkosh is a greatt place to ride, especially the forest. Bluemound and the surrounding area is where the Horrible Hilly Hundred www.horriblehilly.com is inflickted every year. It's in the Southwest part of the state, about 45 minutes west of Madison which is cooler that any town in AZ. I lived in AZ in the late 80's and it was getting to busy then. When they put a Walmart in Payson, I knew it was time too come on back. Wisconsin people are great. I do business in three states and it's just better there. Hope this helps
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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It's nice for about, 2 weeks. Then you realize that your life revolves around cycling and you don't know why the hell you put up with this snow. It's an emotional roller coast here in chicago - WOO nice weather, ride ride ride! Then, 2 hours later, it's snowing...wtf?

I admire UW-madison though, I ENVY their hills!

But yeah, everyone here wishes they would just move to someplace warm where they can ride year round.
 

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Rollin' Stones
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Motivation and priorities.

It all depends on how motivated you are and if your main priority is to ride outside. Trainer miles can be a nightmare if you don't manage them right regardless of weather. I live in the Quad City area, that's the Iowa/Illinois border. You might have to MTB to be outside this time of year. Like Nitro said, everyone here wishes they were somewhere warmer.
 

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I lived in the Chicago area for over 36 years and I must say midwestern winters with little or no qualty riding outdoors really sucks. I moved to SoCal about 18 months ago and I'm not looking back.
 

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OK, I'll stand up in defense of the upper midwesterners here. I grew up here in Minneapolis/St. Paul, so I guess I don't know any better. :)

Multi-sport is big here. The Twin Cities are not so congested that you have to escape the city to enjoy your favorite outdoor activity. I can get quality riding right out my front door. There's some good variety in terrain too, but no actual mountains of course. Triathalons are very popular here, and there's no shortage of good venues for them with all of our wonderful lakes. X-C skiing is excellent here, in fact possibly the best urban spot in the country for that with literally 100K+ trails right in the immediate area. Mountain biking is surprisingly good within the cities too, and some excellent trails are only 2 or 3 hours away. There's even some quality rock climbing in these parts.

The cyclocross scene here is pretty healthy and is a great transition to the X-C ski season. Road racing starts in April, which is good for those coming off the X-C ski season. The roadie-only crowd starts to hit the training pretty hard in March, which can be a bit of a challenge with the weather (like a 10" inch dump of snow that we got today!).

I look forward to the change of seasons and a change in activities. I'm not into the indoor training thing at all, so I'd rather get outside and do something - whatever. I have no complaints with summers that have less than 10 days above 90F temps. If you let the weather stop you, then you'll never get anything done. That's just a fact of life around here. Builds character, right?
 

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Winters in the Midwest Absolutely Terrible for Riding

It's not just the winters that are hard here in Wisonsin -- spring and fall last about two weeks each. It actually doesn't really warm up until June, and then it gets cold again by November (with some rare exceptions). That gives us about 4 or 5 months of riding when the weather is nice and you don't have to worry about what to wear to keep warm. I try to commute year-round, but I live in Milwaukee and I don't have much stomach for riding in the snow and ice around cars, or when the weather is much below about 15 degrees, so there are usually about 30 or 40 days a year when I can't commute. If I didn't commute, I don't think I'd be doing much riding. Indoor riding and a demanding job just don't go very well together, at least as far as I am concerned. The people here are generally pretty good -- polite drivers and down to earth types. You might be able to find a group of people to work out with or you might find a spinning class that meets your needs. Still, if I were young and single with no ties, I'd go to the nothwest or North Carolina or somwhere with better weather, but that's just me.

Thanks.

kg1
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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tcpike said:
I am currently attending Arizona State, and ride for their cycling team there. Many cyclists are seniors this year, and will be leaving after this semester. All my family is from Wisconsin, yet Ive never lived there, only visited. Their are more reasons than just that the seniors are leaving...and if I transfer I have been looking at some private colleges (concordian, cardinal stritch, lawrence) and public (UW- oshkosh/milwaukee). Honestly, the midwest has people that are much more down to earth, thats actually the main reason. Living in sunny AZ I am also able to ride year round, and WI I would obviously not be able to do that. For those that do live in the midwest, come winter time, are there days where your just like damn, I want to ride so bad, but are sick of rollers by then? I would think most riders spend time in the gym, or do other sports? A big problem thats usually addressed with AZ riders is how they tend to stay race fit year round, which is obviously not the best way to get stronger for years to come. I think going to WI would somewhat force me to get off the bike and take some serious recovery time. Any opinions?
You make do. I live just south of the WI boarder and know a few riders that have been outside every week, all winter. I just don't feel the need. Spin bikes, spin classes, rollers, trainer - I stay entertained. I have over 200 hours on various indoor bikes this winter - 3500 miles??

Of course, we would all like the option of nice weather every day, but your comment on the people would be my major reason for the move. Trying to be nice, certain personalities can't take northern living and leave. Those that can't take those personalities, stay.

You could also just be tough like these Green Bay riders pictured:

http://velonews.com/galleries/contest32a/Green%20Bay's%20Frozen%20Tundra-by%20John%20Hall.html

TF
 

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Happy as a clam.
Riding a trainer all winter is good for the soul. It separates the men from the boys. The "soft guys" from the "tough guys". With the frigid temps, it's really difficult to go "hard" outside in winter. Trainer time allows that.
 

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Government Mule
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I ride almost everyday in Indy, albeit not always on a road bike. I'm fortunate in that I can choose my time of day to ride and several communities are hooked together well enough for me to ride the fat tire bike in snow without much traffic. Not good for race training but keeps me active and closer to sanity. WI and upper Midwest is a whole lot colder and more snow than here tho.
 

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Another from Mpls/St Paul chiming in...

I ride year round. Not always on road but I really dig riding during the different seasons.
With the right gear you can do 70-80% of your miles outdoors all winter long. The only time I ride indoors is when I'm doing structured interval work or if the high temp is below zero. Since starting my prep period after Thanksgiving weekend I've logged 200+ hours and 160 of them have been outdoors (the other 40 hours were workouts I didn’t want to do outside).

For indoor workouts it helps to have a number of options (rollers or fluid trainer with Powertap and a Computrainer). If I have a climbing workout to do a series of 6 mile climbs on a 60 mile CT course will do nicely. If I need to do an easy 1 hour recovery spin I can pull out the rollers.

If there is fresh snow, I ride a Pugsley. If there is ice, I ride a CX or MTB bike with studded tires. If I can't get out before dark, I fire up the HID and hit the road for 4 hours. It's truly as simple as that.
 

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n00bsauce
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It does start to get cold in November but not warm until June? That's a stretch. Reliable riding starts in April, sporadic riding in March. Now, it won't be 70+ degrees but 50+ degree riding is very comfortable in tights and long sleeve jerseys. I much prefer spring and fall to summer riding. I do an annual tandem century ride in April and a regular fall century ride in September or October. We mountain biked into November this year and it was some of the best riding all year. There's 7 months of reliable riding in Wisconsin as long as you're willing to put on tights, warm gloves, long sleeve jerseys/vests and booties. When it gets below 40 I usually don't ride but that leaves April through October. Spinning takes up November through March (got two nice road rides in this March already, one was 35 miles on the fixie).
 

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An opinion from Madison, WI...

Madisonians have opinions on everything...so I better chime in. First off, winter is not that bad. I grew up in the South (VA) and it took me one winter to adjust, but since then the weather is no big deal. As for riding, I commuted to work almost every day this winter (as long as the temps were above 5). For training, I spent the winter either on the trainer or at the gym (weights). The best part about living in WI is that the cold weather makes you appreciate the warm weather. From March-November you can ride outside (comfortably) almost everyday. And in the months between, you just get your ride in indoors or hell, just do something else! You won't regret moving to WI.
 

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No riding... says who?

St. Louis - since Jan 1st:
- 1,922 road miles
- 0 trainer miles
Maybe not as brutal here as further north, but winters in St. Louis are no piece of cake. Lowest ride time temp this winter was 8°F. All you need is good gear, motivation, and flex time at work:D
 

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Making the best of it

I grew up in Wisconsin, went to UW-Madison, and since have moved around and lived in several parts of the country. I agree with several of the posts in that you ride when you can and find alternatives when you can't. One of the real keys, in my opinion, is to find some outdoor winter activities that you enjoy (other than cycling). XC skiing is really fun and a fantastic fitness activity. I actually enjoy it more than cycling, but part of that is because I don't get to do it as often.

For me, the Upper Midwest (WI, MN, MI) is better during the winter than areas to the south. If you have snow you can get out and ski, or if the rivers and lakes have safe ice you can skate (another great alternative to cycling). Go further south into central Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, etc., and the winters are a little warmer -- just enough to mean a lot of wet, slushy, muddy weather. Cold enough for ice on the roads and rotten conditions for cycling, but not cold enough for winter sports.
 
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