While the warm and dry winter here in Utah has been terrible for skiing, its been great to spend so much riding time outside. Save for a few days here and there, most of my miles outside have been in sunny and mild conditions. Some of my favorite routes are clean and dry and the outside mileage has really been a boon to my winter training.
These photos are from one of my regular routes. The roads of west Davis and Weber counties are perfect for uninterrupted intervals or long tempo rides. From my house I can ride over 60 miles with no stop lights and only 2 stop signs. Low traffic makes for nice stretches of pavement to sprint on without worrying so much about cars. All the time out on the road really seems to be paying off.
While my adherence to my coach's plans each week is pretty good, it does seem like once a week the gods conspire against me and make it difficult to complete a ride. Still, I'm putting in anywhere from 8-16 hours a week on the bike. I haven't lost a whole lot of weight but my body composition must be changing. My clothes are loose and I've had more than a few people comment that I look like I've lost weight. My scale doesn't think so, so my guess is I've gained a lot of muscle while loosing some fat.
A riding friend of mine just finished an"insanity" or P90X type program and as he shifts to getting back on the bike, it will be interesting to see how we compare on the road. He's probably in the best shape he's ever been and that has to count for something. The interesting comparison will be bike specific winter training to non-bike winter training.