Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Part Three: How does winter treat you?

Once again we are back with other winter article, seems timely as I fly off to California today to escape the freezing tempertures and snow in the UK right now. The diversity of what each rider does is very interesting. Check it out!

Erico Melo:
Back in the day when I used to live permanently in Portugal, I remember getting really frustrated at the weather whenever we got 2 or 3 days of rain in a row because that meant going to ride in a really sketchy indoor spot inside an apartment building. After moving to Finland in 2003 I realised that the winter had a whole different meaning and that my frustration and my friends complains about the winter in Portugal were kind of non-sense. In Portugal, especially in the south were I am from, you can pretty much ride shirtless all around the here.
When I was planning to move to Finland I remember that the one thing that was stressing me the most was the problem of riding in the winter. I didn’t know what to expect. In the beginning I didn’t really understand how you should behave during the winter. I hadn’t even used a scarf before in my entire life.
One of the first things I bought when I moved to Finland were skis, cross-country skis. I thought that in order to adapt to this new environment and culture I have to adapt my hobbies a little bit as well, so instead of going for a jog I would go skiing instead. This hobby soon made me realise that if one can ski in temperatures around –20 or even less for hours I should be able to ride as well.
During the first winter in Finland I didn’t have a proper indoor place. I rode in a spot, which has a roof, but it is not totally closed from the sides and has no warming system whatsoever. The winter then wasn’t so harsh; the coldest it got was something around –16, with most days around –10 so it wasn’t so bad. I learned a lot on how to be able to ride in cold temperatures during that winter. Small things like long sports underwear or start riding with both wool and normal socks and then change to ride with only normal socks after warming up made a huge difference. Nowadays, I have an indoor spot where I can ride, it’s in a shopping centre’s underground parking lot, but it has a few problems. It is very dusty, sometimes full of smoke, some of the security guards are not so cool, and believe it or not too hot. This winter I haven’t yet been riding in this “warm spot” because I am trying to save myself psychologically. I know this winter will be very long (we already have loads of snow and temperatures around –15), so at some point I will be spending many hours in the dusty smoky parking lot. Instead I have been riding most of the time in the “cold spot” where I rode during my first year just because the floor is perfect, the view is awesome, and the feeling, at least for your mind, is better than being locked inside a “sinister cave”.

Aaron Frost:
Well I recently moved to Austin and we have access to covered garage known as the O.G. and i'll ride there most of the time. We also have access to a climate controlled garage for the cold days. I also heard we may have an area inside the new Empire Shop! Austin does not get to cold so...lucked out there.

George Manos:
Winter in Greece is supposed to be easy, but in the city I live,which is in the north part deep in the mountains,winter is pretty hard with zero degree temperatures and the worst part,raining till August!! Seriously it's like english raining kind of weather!
These conditions made me looking for an indoor spot the last 2 years,so i found myself exploring the city in some pretty dark and bizare places:abandoned buildings,underground garages etc.this actually formed my riding style cause I should ride in dark,tiny,pumpy slippery,dusty floors and running pegs and doing big combos was not an option.
Conclusion,shitty weather made progress in a strange way!

Takuji Kasahara:
I feel lucky to be in eastern Japan in every winter. We don't get snow much, it snows for only about 7 days every year here.
Also I have some covered spots to avoid rain and snow. Most of the spots are train stations and they are ridable from when the train stations close till they open. I usually work 8:30 to 18:00, getting sleep as soon as I get home from work and wake up at 0:30 in the midnight then go ride till 4:30 am, coming home and sleep for a couple of hours then go work. "Sleep twice" is how I deal with the winter and the rainy season. Japan is a very safe country, it is safe to ride at train station in the middle of nights. I don't recommend this if you are living in unsafe countries.

Trevor Meyer:
I moved south! But even here it gets cold at times, so then I ride in the garage.Winters are not bad in Arkansas sure beats a Minnesota winter, where I grew up!

Martti at the infamous white room, yes old footage, but thats not the point! Very inspirational edit still to this day!

Martti Kuoppa:
I am really lucky to be riding at my white room. The place is a huge sports complex from any kind of sports and I have a special permission to ride there and it only costs me 20 EUR / month. On top of that I can do other sports like gym etc. If I want to.. Only downside of the place is that it is usually full of cheerleaders from 5 pm to 10 pm and nowdays as I am working full time it is tricky to find time to go there.
Friday and saturday evening is quiet and I am okay to ride there then. Yes, I´m lucky!

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Anonymous said...

One thing no one said is you need to have a big bottle of hot water to drink. boiling hot water if possible. the more- the better. and you need to keep the water warm/hot the whole session. either a thermos inside a jacket or something. if you keep it on the ground, its going to start getting cold. you will probably start sweating soon.

and then the obvious gloves/ hoodies/ thermals/ beanies etc.
this is for really cold places like canada. etc.

and if its still too cold. spend sometime doing weight lifting or cardio or something.

george manos said...

takuji's programm is crazy but very inspiring though!

flatmatters said...

Good points t-dot!