Folie is a french word for madness or insanity. At least that is my understanding of it. We had a two hour ride a few days back and someone mentioned winter riding, and how is it that Little 500 teams will get their riders to spend hours on the trainer and the rollers in the middle of winter.
My response? "It takes a special kind of insanity to ride through the winter."
Some might call it dedication, but lets be honest. Even the best or most dedicated cyclist can be viewed as a little insane for choosing to spend hours riding a bike that is going nowhere. Music and movies can only help so much.
And this is the crux of the issue. Cycling is all about handling the largest amount of pain, and boredom is no exception. Cyclists work constantly to increase the amount of pain they can handle, so that eventually their body no longer sees it as pain. They ride in awful conditions to learn their limits, because knowing your limits and being able to push them is what helps win races.
The first race I ever won was a basic four corner criterium, in the rain. I would not have done so well if I hadn't trained in the rain. The same holds true for Little 500. The majority of the training is done in the snow and the ice, so if you can't get used to that now you might as well quit.
Still, let's face it, when it all comes down to it I can't think of one cyclist I know who isn't just a little nuts for what they do. We all have a little bit of folie.