The new ride: I will be putting the bike specs and weight up when I get the new wheelset (Mavic has been extremely delinquent).
Training (divulging my secrets=):
I once read a coaches comment..."there is no off season, just a non-racing season."
I follow this methodology very closely because I find that if I can stay in decent shape (including avoiding lots of weight gain) through the winter, spring training is whole lot easier and more effective.
This doesn't mean that I am out grinding endless road miles or on the trainer for a 4-hour session...I would freeze or go crazy. Mental freshness in the Spring is as important as fitness, so I incorporate numerous winter activities along with some riding.
Here are a list of activities that keep me somewhat fit:
1. Hockey!!! For those who play, you know the intensity...for those who don't, you basically go out on the ice and skate as hard as you can for 2-3 minutes and then come off for a similar period (many times the rest are short due to low turn out). Sounds like intervals huh? Hockey supplies most of the intensity I need during the cold months.
2. Lifting. I have a ~1 hour routine that I do twice a week. The workout in its current form took a couple years to develop and was formed through reading, experimenting, and advice/instruction from our personal trainers we have here at work (yeah, Seagate spoils us with a full onsite gym that is staffed with two certified personal trainers =). The main rules for all the exercises are no heavy weights, one-leg-at-a-time exercises, and balance and core incorporated into each exercise....the end result is fried legs that last for about 2 days.
3. Snowshoeing...I know, I know, I should start skiing. But honestly, my basement is already full. I love snowshoeing because you can do it in a Blizzard and still be comfortable. The only weather excuse I have is that there isn't enough snow...but then I should be riding.
4. Riding outside. Of course. It isn't 4th because it is the 4th most important but because it is weather and motivation dependent. Last year, I rode Lebanon hills and the river trail for all but about 3 weeks. This year, with new studded tires, I plan to be riding all year. Most of this riding is at a RPE of 6 (out of 10)...something more than soft-pedaling but certainly not intervals. I don't put much time in on the road during the winter months because it isn't all that safe and it is really cold. There is plenty of road riding to be had in the spring.
5. The trainer...ah, the dreaded trainer. I use the trainer as a tool if none of the other options are available or if there is something specific I would like to get done. The ONLY time I EVER use a HR monitor is when I am on the trainer. The main reason: I am curious...I go all year racing and having no idea what my heart rate is other than "ouch that hurts, I am almost redlined," or "oh, that isn't to bad, I can go harder."
6. Running. I do this because it is another activity like snowshoeing that can be done anytime anywhere and it is easy to stay warm while doing it. However, I don't use running (or any of the other non bike activities) as replacement for bike time...
How does it all break down then? A little more than half of my weekly hours are spend on the bike. The rest is filled by the other 4 activities I have listed. Again, diversity keeps me happy and entertained rather than dragging and bored.
Well, cookie eating season is about to start, I need to start training my sweet tooth.