It’s that time of year for those of us who live where winter means cold and wind, snow and rain, gritty roads and dark days.

We’ve endured months of indoor riding, made disciplined suffering a virtue, and somehow felt smart about spending a ton of money on a trainer that also claims to be.

There have been openings in winter’s din where we’ve snuck outside for a ride or two and been led to believe that the dawn of spring was emerging. Mentally crushed and physically closed in by a new foot of snow and a stretch of icy cold, we resumed our zombie-like paces back to our trainers where our eyes transfix on cyclists-like, pixel-rich figures riding alongside us, shouting in synthesized voices to “ride on”. (Who says that on the road? Or anywhere?)

And then, it’s over. The weather finally confirms what the calendar says should be happening. Our roadie’s mind switches back on and Spring’s eternal hopes renew our cyclist’s soul.

Sure, we need to layer up to keep our bodies warm, but our mind is alert, the miles pass more easily, and the 3D sights and sounds of the real world remind us what we love so much about riding outside and that make the months of suffering inside almost seem worth it.

For me, that happened this past weekend. For you, my dear fellow road cycling enthusiasts, I hope it has already or will soon happen. The skis are put aside, the Zwift membership is suspended, and the season’s cycling event schedule is committed to the calendar.

Soon, the group rides will re-form, the countdown to the first event will begin, and those hours of cycling Zen away from our maddening world and always-on brains will refresh us like no Three Sisters ride or trips to A Very Dark Place ever could.

It feels good.


  • Suspend Zwift?! If we get another huge snowstorm, I’m blaming you! 🙂

  • On Monday the weather man said 13 and sunny for tomorrow with light winds. Today he said it will rain and be only 3 c but the ice and snow will melt in the rain so all is good. A wet ride is better than no ride. Spring is coming slooowly
    Safe Easter riding to all.

  • Steve what do you know about Canyon bikes? I’m considering trek mad one 9.5. Specialized tarmac and the Canyon ultimate evo 10.0

    Thanks for your opinion


    • Steve, Haven’t compared them. I’ll bet the Canyon is a lot less expensive though. If you aren’t already on a race geometry bike, would make sure these suit you dimensions and flexibilty. Would also strongly suggest you consider a road disc rather than rim brake bike, even in a race geometry. More on this here. Steve

  • YOu have listed the zip nsw 303 as the best value wheelset. Is there any difference between the 303 and 404 nsw’s? Getting up to top speed, ease of holding speed and any noticeable climbing difference? Thanks

    • Steve, I rate the 303 NSW as the best performer of all-around rim brake wheelsets. I rate the Reynolds Assault as the best value of all-around rim brake wheelsets.

      To your question about the differences between 303NSW and 404NSW, there are indeed noticeable differences between the two on the performance characteristics you mention (and others). The 303 gets up to speed quicker and climbs well whereas the 404 holds speed/momentum far better and doesn’t really climb well at all. They are truly different wheels for different purposes.

      You can check out my full review on the 404NSW and other aero wheels here and the 303 NSW here.

      You can use the search box on the top of each page to find reviews I’ve done other wheelsets. Steve

  • Greetings Steve!
    Indeed it is time to get outdoors and ride!!! Haven’t been hit by the Noreasters here in the midwest like you have, but still only able to get out one or two days per week because of rain, snow, wind, mud, etc. etc. 🙂 Supposed to get another 1 to 2 inches of the white stuff in mid Ohio again tonight.
    Was not aware of Swift until I read your post. Have since gone on line and linked to the free trial. It is not like actually riding out doors of course, but I was very impressed how much less it hurt to train when your mind is occupied by competition… so, come next winter it is definitely Swifting for me.
    I tried to use my Kurt Kinetic (not smart) trainer and speed sensor, but it calculated my power at about 35% below actual (yikes). Took my 4iiii power meter from my outdoor bike and mounted it to my indoor bike and then of course, my power was spot on.
    As always, thanks for the Swift insight!
    Happy Trails,

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