Winter Cycling - Express your concerns.
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10-09-06, 04:34 PM
Hello all, I'm posting this thread in hopes to do some research for a design project of mine. I'm trying to collect an accurate listing of the biggest deterents that are inherent in using a bicyle for commuting.
This is a great chance to vent about all the little things bothering you about riding your bike. And the best part is I'll listen! Leave no detail out, spare me no pains. I want to hear it all. You can stream of conscious your replys or make them organized, it doesn't matter. The main thing I need in adition to your vent is some background on you. What kind of person you are, how far you commute, what do you ride, age, gender, job and so on... All generic but important stuff for me.
So with no more futher ado, what bothers you? Is it locking your bike up, the weather, tearing your pants, etc... But please don't just answer yes. I need you all to vent every detail if you can spare the time. Give me some context and I'll be your best friend.
I'm a senior studying Industrial Design at the University of Illinois.
Long pants suck for riding but you gotta wear them in the winter. Three feet of wet dirty fabric is no good. Even worse is when they get wet then freeze. For me the worst day of the year is the first day I have to wear long pants.
Other than that, I love riding in the winter. As far as industrial design, I think the bicycle is the ideal machine for winter transportation. Cars are much too dangerous in bad weather, and I don't even have one. Buses and walking are too slow. (I live in mid-Michigan, so the snow and cold isn't too bad.)
10-10-06, 10:14 PM
Honestly, the biggest PIA which applies throughout the year, but it's worse in the winter, is the pile of clothing needed. I have to ride between buildings frequently during the day (sometimes up to 5 miles) and it sucks to get to work in a wooly-mammoth suit, change, and then to have to put it all back on again, ride for 10 minutes, take it all off, put it back on, ride for 10 minutes, take it off, put it back on, ride for 5 minutes, take it off, put it on, ride for 5 minutes, take it off, put it back on, ride home. In the summer, I take it easy between buildings and don't change, but in the winter, I can't.
I'm male, between the ages of 23 and 25. I commute to work every day, rain or shine, for 6km in each direction. I also use a bike for any errand I'm running alone. My primary gripe, like the posters above me, is all the clothing that is necessary. In the summer it's fine, t-shirt and shorts and off I go. In the spring and fall, I often have to dress warm in the morning and cooler in the afternoon. I have to wear waterproof stuff if it's raining, and sometimes it will rain in the afternoon and not the morning... so I have to pack extra (though usually I just get soaking wet and dry off at home). When it gets really cold, it's a pain to choose clothing that will keep me warm and dry, but not cause me to turn myself into a steamed vegetable due to lack of ventilation. Then if the clothing gets wet, you have to find a good place to hang it so that it's reasonably dry for the ride home.
A second thing that bugs me is transportation of goods. Usually I can carry almost any item in my rack bag or panniers. Some items are a bit more difficult: How am I supposed to transport a birthday cake, for example? Or large or long items? There are solutions to all of these, but nothing universal.
It would also be nice if someone finally designed a truly undefeatable lock.
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