So ... it's getting to be that time of year when my last ride is approaching.
On the road bike I'm an unapologetic fair-weather rider. I don't like to be out rolling along with that constant 20mph wind below about sixty degrees, so my roadie year is probably over at this point, barring a freak warm Saturday, and I'm fine with that. Not doing the whole shoe-covers, wind-proof gloves, and balaclava thing. Just doesn't appeal.
On the MTB I go much longer because I'm protected in the woods and mostly not going fast enough to be generating huge windchills. Plus I'm willing to ride trails (as opposed to roads) at night, which means weekday after-work rides are still an option. Even so, unlike my truly hard core friends, I don't put the studs on and ride all winter. That means that some time in the next month or so I'll be going on my last ride of the season. Which brings me to my big philosophical question: Is it better to call it quits BEFORE or AFTER that stupidly cold, wet, sloppy, muddy, miserable ride that you know is coming sooner or later?
An argument for quitting AFTER that ride is that you really know, deep down, that you're ready for it to be over, and good riddance until April. No second thoughts or looking back.
An Argument for quitting BEFORE that ride is not having to clean a horrendous mud- and debris-caked mess off your bike while frigid hose water forms ice all over your driveway. Another one is that if you're lucky a last ride in good conditions can leave a really nice afterglow for the off season.