Here is my checklist to ensure I am ready (equipment-wise) for the upcoming race season. (This is a work in progress. Please offer suggestions if you feel anything should be added).
[X] - Working Bicycle
[X] - Helmet
[X] - Backup helmet (optional)
[X] - Aerohelmet (optional)
[X] - Full Kit (Jersey and shores/bibs)
[X] - Backup Kit (optional but recommended)
[X] - Skinsuit (optional)
[X] - Shoes
[X] - Travel Bag
[ ] - Shaved Legs
[X] - On bike nutrition
[X] - Pre/post-race nutrition
 - Back up tubes
 - Back up tires
[X] - Trainer (optional, but recommended)
[X] - Trainer Wheel (optional, but recommended)
[ ] - Back up wheelset
 - Water bottles
[X] - Water jug
[X] - Crash kit (band aids, wrap, Neosporin, etc)
[X] - Pump
[X] - Cold Weather Gear
[X] - Proper Racing License
[X] - Box of safety pins
Freezing is the only word I can think of to describe this past weekend.
Last Thursday I was still in New Jersey and went on a 45 mile ride from New Brunswick to Princeton and back with Jay from the Rutgers U Cycling Team. It was definitely a great time riding with someone I never met except on a listserv. It is also important to note that I probably would not have ridden this day because the temperature was sitting at 32 degrees and we had on and off flurries after it rained the night before if it wasn’t for Jay (I also received a text from him after the ride saying the same thing. Teamwork for the win!).
I then took Friday off… well, more like I HAD to take Friday off because I hadn’t even started packing to go back to college and was leaving the next morning.
Saturday was along the same lines, no riding. I tried to convince the family to leave NJ at 4 AM so I could get back to my dorm and ride to Sugarloaf Mountain, MD (more or less a century with a good amount of climbing) with the team leaving at 9:30 AM, however that didn’t happen. We ended up getting to DC around 3:30, so no riding at all.
Sunday was a good chill day. We did our typical GW route (40 mile loop to Lake Potomac Dr. in Maryland). Temperature varried between 34-37 degrees, so it could have been worse.
Monday was a great ride! We did a 78-mile ride to Poolesville, MD which included a few miles of classics style roads. For the record, I love roads with dirt and gravel. It adds a big extra challenge and favors those with courage (or stupidity depending on how you look at it). I could also tell that my winter training had paid off. Throughout the winter I did mostly short rides (<40 miles), but almost all of it was up and down (I’ve learned to climb!)
While all this riding has been fun, I do kindly ask the weatherman to increase the temperature so I could shed some layers and be able to feel my toes when I ride.
Today was all set to be a great ride. Approximately 50 miles with a ton of climbing, but then it decided to rain starting around 10 PM and stopped late this morning. While its not raining now, the roads are just too wet to make any sort of descending safe around here. Instead today’s going to be a light trainer day with 50-60 miles tomorrow in cold weather.
The purpose of this blog post is just to let others know that its ok to be safe. Personally, I love riding in the rain because it adds that extra element and changes any ride. However, the rain could also be very dangerous. Its one thing if you have a flat area with little traffic to ride in, but if you live in the middle of mountains, rethink your plan for that day. One changed day of training is better than getting a severe injury or worse.
As for cold weather, make sure you dress for the temperature. Tomorrow has a high of 39F, so my plan is to wear a base layer (either my wool UnDwear from DeFeet or my UnderArmour ColdGear turtleneck), short sleeve jersey, and then my geothermal long sleeve jersey. Also will be wearing my Pearl Izumi balaclava to help protect my head unit. Hands get covered by the Pearl Izumi claw gloves (ok, I don’t actually know the name, but they look like lobster claws). For my bottom half I’ll be wearing my thermal knicker riding pants (possibility of North Face long-johns (ha, long johns!) underneath, but I only do that in extreme cases). Your feet need the most attention on cold rides. I wear my basic socks, covered by a pair of SmartWool socks, then cover the shoe with a cover (I’ve been using my team lycra shoe covers, but just recently got the DeFeet Slipstream covers, and am excited to give those a shot. Will let you know what I think of them after I get a ride in.)
Ps. If you’re wondering why the title is named what it is, theres no real reason, just popped in my head. However, video killed the radio star is a good song (and video) to check out! It was actually the first music video played on MTV! Just layed some knowledge on ya!
First off, thank you for visiting my brand shiny new tumblr!
So a little bit about me. Right now I’m a student at The George Washington University School of Business and slowly (and expensively) working my way to a Bachelor of Business Administration. My specific field of concentration is marketing and I’m looking to go into the hip and happening world of advertising when I graduate. I love to produce media! In high school I took 3 years of video classes and that got me hooked on that. I’ve played instruments since I was in 4th grade and that fueled my love to produce/create music. I also love to capture moments so of course photography entered the picture (plus I can’t draw worth anything, so I figured taking pictures is an easier form of art for me to pick up). I am also addicted to the bicycle lifestyle and that includes racing bikes (just road for now, but I really want to get into Track, Mountain, and Cyclocross as well).
Now you’re probably wondering why I have called it the Jersey Jet. Well this is a new nickname I’ve picked up recently for various things such as the sound I make on my trainer, my love for sprinting through campus on F St, or my airplane-based design on my aero-helmet. Oh, and I’m Jersey born and Jersey grown so that probably has something to do with it. I do have other nicknames such as J-Mac, JM3, Johnny3, and a few others, but Jersey Jet is probably my favorite since #1, it was derived from cycling, #2, it is a consonance like my second favorite rider the Manx Missile, aka Mark Cavendish (let’s face it. If Jens Voigt is not your favorite rider there is something wrong), and #3, Jets are kind of awesome!
There will be many more posts to follow so please stay tuned!