Wait! What!?: Pro Winter Cycle Training Tips and No Mention of Zwift?

Bend local and professional cycling coach, Cody Peterson.

Bend local and professional cycling coach, Cody Peterson.

We are so fortunate to live in Central Oregon in the winter.  We can ski, snowboard, fat bike, XC ski and more on the mountain in the morning. And then run, road ride, MTB and more in the afternoon.  That means we get to go outside (almost) year-round.

Now that the holidays are behind us and it is a new year, many of us are thinking about the cycling year ahead.  This includes looking at the local events calendar and planning some 2019 cycling FUN!  For locals these include the Sisters Stampede, the High Cascades 100, Tour des Chutes and many more.  No matter your fitness or competitive level, there is something for everyone in Central Oregon.

So that means it’s time to start getting busy NOW!

Cody Peterson, 2016 Masters Cross Country National Champion, professional cycling coach, Bowen Sports Performance pro fitter and Hutch’s Bicycles/Bend Dental Cycling Team President has three key rules to get you focused.

As a cyclist, winter is the greatest time of year.  This is the season of possibilities as it is the foundation of a great summer.  Everything that you desire for the upcoming year comes from what you do this winter. 

Here are some tips for winter to have a great summer season.

Rule 1

Keep what you have or hopefully still have.  You had a great summer and fall riding some sweet single-track and epic climbs and worked hard for those.  Keep as much of that fitness as possible.  As the days are shorter and colder, high-intensity intervals help the rider with limited time retain more of the fitness.  We have quite a few classes every week at Bowen Sport Performance to help you with this.  Get in two high-intensity days in during the week will really help you keep some of that hard-earned fitness.

Regular group workouts happen at Bowen Sports Performance almost every day of the week.

Regular group workouts happen at Bowen Sports Performance almost every day of the week.


Rule 2

Focus on the hardest push of all, push away from the table.  Do you really need that extra cookie?  It takes a lot of work to carry extra pounds up hills.  It is even harder to lose the extra pounds when you want to.  Take the easier step now and just don't put them on.  Be mindful of the extra food and the future consequences it brings, so share it all with your friends instead.


Rule 3

Ride your mountain bike, A LOT.  The reason Bend is the greatest bike town around isn't how great our trails are in the summer, it is how great our trails are in the winter when all the other great summer riding places are buried in snow.  The desert that is just to the east of our town blossoms in the winter with spectacular trails and opportunities galore.  Maston, Cline Butte, Horse Ridge and others are available for winter riding fun.  The cold temperatures bring another unexpected benefit; when the ground is frozen it is DRY.  Yep no mud when you ride in the mornings before it thaws. No mud and no trail damage (see below for winter trail riding guidelines).  It is much easier to stay warm if you are dry.  Ride when it is a little colder than actually waiting for the sun to come out and get wet.  I would rather be out there when it is 30 and dry than 40 and wet any day.  An added benefit of riding when it is dry means less time cleaning your bike.

Cody Peterson practices what he preaches.

Cody Peterson practices what he preaches.


Now get outside and enjoy the ride!

Happy New Year!

~ Cody

Useful Links:
Bend Trials Website
Bend Trails Facebook Page


We love Cody’s advice. Riding in cold temps saves our trails from getting rutted out as the temps rise and the trails get muddy. You also want to stay in the MIDDLE of the trail. Don’t widen the trail by creating a “go around” and causing damage to the surrounding wilderness.

Here are the Central Oregon Trail Alliance’s guidelines for riding in muddy conditions: