Yes, the Rihanna song is actually “Shut up and Drive” but, if she wasn’t so fixated on speed it very well could have been titled “Shut Up and Ride”.
Anyway, it is 8 degrees and raining and I just finished a 60 min. ride outside and I feel GREAT! Here’s how to get out the door when the weather or your mood is mediocre and why you should do it.
1. Plan your rides early in the week around your work / family schedule. Set yourself up for success.
2. Make a commitment to a friend to ride together.
3. Reconfirm the night before and morning of. This is KEY! You are keeping each other accountable. Today for instance, when my friend checked in I had several excuses for why I wasn’t going to ride – “rain looked imminent” and “I didn’t feel like riding” were my top two. She quickly reminded me of why we had the plan in place and to focus on the positive. (i.e. I have the freedom in my schedule to fit in a ride this morning, it isn’t currently raining, I am healthy, I enjoy riding etc.)
4. Just getting started is typically the hardest part. Shut up and ride and if you feel lousy after 15 minutes then give yourself permission to head home. I made my way out the door and 10 minutes into the ride it started to drizzle and shortly after pour which brings me to the “Why” you should ride when the weather or your mood are poor.
1. Endorphin release! “When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine” (WebMD). Endorphins coupled with socializing with your workout partner are a powerful mood booster.
2. Practice in foul weather! Most of us don’t voluntarily go out for a ride in poor weather but when you are caught in it it’s a great opportunity to practice and learn. At some point you will likely have a race where the weather is poor.
• Today I practiced braking and cornering safely in the rain. Your bike performs differently on wet vs. dry pavement. You don’t want race day to be the first time you ride in poor conditions.
3. Test out your gear!
• Today I tested my rain gear and learned that my “rain jacket” does not keep me dry when it’s raining hard.
• My feet were painfully cold. Neoprene booties are essential if you don’t want frozen feet.
• Be prepared – if rain looks imminent, plan your gear accordingly. Today I wished I had my ear warmers and warmer gloves. Next time I will pack them.
Set yourself up for success by planning your weekly rides, booking with a friend to stay accountable and just “shut up and ride”! You will be happy you did!