Ask the Experts: Winter Training, Spring Dreaming




The harsh onslaught of winter weather often makes cycling difficult, if not downright impossible. Sloppy conditions, pouring rain, and heavy snow are all valid reasons to take a day off from the bike without losing all of your trail cred. Even if you’ve earned a brief hibernation, there are plenty of alternatives to riding that will keep you physically fit, mentally prepared, and thoroughly stoked for spring when it finally arrives. We asked a few of our favorite experts to let us know how they stay sharp during winter and to inspire us with their plans for spring.





Curtis Inglis, Retrotec / Inglis Cycles


What are you doing for winter training?

My winter training is pretty much the same as summer training: I ride bikes with friends in between everything else I have going on. I work alone, so I really never ride alone. It’s my social outlet. I’m also working on a car restoration project with my dad. It seems like we tackle a car project every few years. This time around, it’s his 1961 Dodge Dart that he bought brand new when he was young. I can’t wait to see it back on the road again!

Do you have any plans for spring?

Later this spring, I hope to go on a vacation with my wife, Mitzi, and of course, ride bikes whenever the weather permits and I have time. I also want to make some real progress with my dad on his car project. At the moment, I am squarely focused on making NAHBS bikes for the show in March. Luckily, half of the bikes I plan to take are for customers, so that I can keep moving forward with bike orders.





Scot Nicol, Ibis Cycles


What are you doing for winter training?

I don’t train. Never have. What I do is ride my bike. Today I’ll ride it to the top of Bald Mountain and see if I can see the snow covered peaks of the Sierra.

This last week I was up in those snow covered Sierras, so my activities last week consisted of shoveling snow, then the next day I shoveled more snow, then shoveled a lot more snow the next two days after that. There was so much snow and wind that there was no skiing. Happy to report I did manage to find my car. Even happier to report that after a few more hours I was able to dig it out.

When I’m lucky enough to be up in the mountains, I go skate skiing every day. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. As with cycling, you use your legs to propel yourself. Unlike cycling, you use your upper body a tremendous amount. You need to do something similar to crunches and also use your arms. Plus, we ski at 7,000-8,000′ so there’s the altitude to deal with. Finally, it’s all about technique. You can’t brute force this one – if you don’t have good technique, you’ll flounder. And I didn’t think this was possible, but the snobbiest of the skate skiers are even snobbier than the snobbiest of roadies! I can feel the disgust and see their upper lips curl as my form is silently critiqued as I get passed, seemingly effortlessly, by my judgmental skating brethren.

Do you have any plans for spring?

Plans for spring are to ride as much as I want to. There will be trips to Sedona, Moab, Bellingham and possibly Fruita. The big event that I will be working on is the Ibis Migration in Mendocino, which is the second weekend of May. There is spectacular riding in Jackson State Forest. We’ll be staying in rustic 80+ year old cabins deep in the redwoods at a place called the Mendocino Woodlands. No electricity or cell coverage. Ibis was started a mile or two as the crow flies from there, and one of the fun trails, Widowmaker, is just a few hundred meters from the birthplace of Ibis. There will be about 150 people there, Thursday night through Sunday. It will be a ton of work, hopefully worth it!




Jeremy Sycip, Sycip Designs


What are you doing for winter training?

My winter training routine consists of riding a stationary trainer in the garage, 2-3 hours a day. Just kidding! When the trails in nearby Annadel are too sloppy to ride, I work on my 1964 FJ45 Land Cruiser. I like to keep it running and ready for off-road camping trips.

Do you have any plans for spring?

March is the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show (NAHBS), so I’ll be driving out to Salt Lake City with the show bikes I’ve made. Hopefully, if I get all the show bikes done, I can leave a couple days early and get in some riding out along the way.
I’m building a mountain tandem with rack mounts so my kids and I can go on an adventure camping trip after NAHBS. Then, when the weather gets nice, we can do more Meet Your Maker group rides.




Jeff Kendall-Weed, WTB


What are you doing for winter training?

My primary workout consists of carrying our 10 week old daughter to the changing table, lifting a wipe, tossing a diaper, lifting a new diaper, and then lifting her again for hugs and kisses. Beyond that, I am doing yoga once a week, trail running two days a week, and lifting weights 2-3 times per week. I had a quick routine practicing balance and coordination, and while I’ve fallen off the back with practicing, it did seem to help my riding quite a bit! I had a goal to get in good shape before our daughter’s birth, and while it sounds like I’m not doing a lot, I feel like I’m maintaining pretty well.

Do you have any plans for spring?

Spring will be exciting! My goal is get back out to the dirt jumps and to purchase my first ever trials bike. I’m planning on shooting a video in April and want to have some new tricks up my sleeve by then. Beyond the bike, I’ll be enjoying watching our daughter grow, attempting to learn the ins and outs of parenting, and enjoying spending time with our little family!


Spring is coming and we’re getting ready. Are you?

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