There are too many negatives to list about the winter season as it relates to cycling in the Mid-Atlantic part of the US; chief among them is that time spent on the bike decreases. This leads to not only decreased race-readiness (especially for the early season NCAA season) in general, but decreased bike-handling specifically. Poorly maintained bikes then head out the door, with poorly maintained riders sitting on top of them, leading inevitably, to Exhibit A:
I'm no elite rider by any means, and the abuse I subject my bike to (letting it set outside over the winter, not cleaning it properly after long rides, not riding it with at least a little air of arrogance around me to defensively ride it) have led me to believe I've had this coming.
I've learned the hard way that if I'm going to do this sport long-term, I need to at least take this a little more seriously again. That means not treating the end of February like those millions of New Years resoluters do, flocking to the gyms, vowing to get into better shape, trying to cram into 2 weeks what year-round gym-goers strive the whole year for.
So if this were the New Year, the Year of the Bike:
1. no more fitness cramming
2. ride throughout the year; base, build, race, transition, maintain, WINTER, maintain, base, race
3. treat the bike with more respect
4. get into those group rides
Today I was able to do #3 for the first time since I've owned the bike; break it down, clean it up, and piece it together. Essentially it's a frame with wheels now. Derailleur, chain, cables to follow. Here's to hoping there aren't any leftover pieces.