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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 12-26-11, 10:08 AM   #1
Crazydad
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Writing off December

Sorry, but I need to rant. I haven't been on my bike since Nov. 30th. This month it has either been too cold, raining, or both. I am finding that the older I get, the less I like the cold. I will ride all day in 105F heat, but when it gets below 60F, I am absolutely miserable. This December has been one of the coolest and wettest Decembers I can remember. So when it hasn't been cold, it has been raining.

Until yesterday I didn't have anything you could call gold gear and since my wife was laid off, we don't have the money to go buy any. Santa did bring me a pair of tights, so I was excited to get to try them out today. Of course I woke up to find the cold I had been fighting has moved into my chest.

Anyone else fighting to get time on the bike?
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Old 12-26-11, 10:46 AM   #2
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I was yes. Especially when the days started getting shorter and darker. I couldnt leave work early enough to catch a ride and it sorta pissed me off. Weekends were a gamble with the weather. The hold has bugged me a little but I am finding ways to fight it. I turned my mtn bike into a commuter with panniers and such and now I can ride to and from work... which is a 22 mile round trip. Makes it a little easier to get some miles in at least.
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Old 12-26-11, 10:58 AM   #3
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Since I'm only riding stationary bikes at therapy and the gym, and my roadie on the indoor trainer, I do sympathize. With the holidays and decorations and stuff piled about the house, the bike on the trainer has been shoved aside. And I too am just recovering from a nasty cold that is almost over. I won't be riding outside for many more months, since I broke my back last summer. But I get what time I can indoors.
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Old 12-26-11, 11:38 AM   #4
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In the last couple of years I have invested in the good rain and cold gear. Here in Oregon rain is just something you have to deal with if you want to ride more then 4 months of the year. My friends and I do a night mountain bike ride once a week. So, it motivates me to get out there in the bad weather since I know that I am not the only one who is getting wet or cold. That said, until I had the gear, I stayed inside and off the bike until better weather came around.
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Old 12-26-11, 12:20 PM   #5
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Look at your local goodwill for cold weather clothes, I have found merino wool sweters for around $5. Rain gear is what I wear and it's pretty cheap right about now...and remember that the heat is in the bike.
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Old 12-26-11, 12:32 PM   #6
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I can't stand bad weather. I feel cold much of the time as it is. I didn't ride in November and did not get back on the bike until mid-December, when I got down to the southern part of Texas. But I have not been riding as much as I want because we have had some pretty crappy weather here for as far south as we are. Right now it is 48 degrees, cloudy and windy. My spouse has been poking at me to get off the internet and outside to ride. At least give me 50 degrees!

When I went for a short ride yesterday when it was about 50 degrees I just wore jeans, tucked the cuff in my sock, and wore my wool underwear shirt and a light jacket. I ended up a bit warm. But for short rides on the hybrid I really don't want to bother getting all decked out.
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Old 12-26-11, 01:59 PM   #7
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hehehe - sorry to snicker

Up here in the PNW - its positively "tropical" when the temps creep above 35 deg in the winter. Ive been riding all thru December in average temps of 35 degrees (at night).

The only times I ride above 60 degrees are in June July and August. Though I have slacked off a little this week as its "family time"

48 degrees? - Im gonna have to wait for May before I can ride in that temp again

P.S. All my "winter gear" either comes from summers "bargain buckets" or Home Depot. My winter riding outfit prob cost less than $75 combined
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Old 12-26-11, 02:15 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone, glad to see I am not alone.

iforgotmename - Good idea on Goodwill, I have not thought of that, going to check it out next payday.

magohn - I knew I would give some folks a laugh. The same laugh I get when folks up north complain about riding in 90F weather.

Anyway, it is finally sunny today so I am going to hit the road for a short ride and try to blow this cold out of my chest!
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Old 12-26-11, 02:19 PM   #9
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magohn - I knew I would give some folks a laugh. The same laugh I get when folks up north complain about riding in 90F weather.
Thats very true. I trained thru the spring for a back to back double century weekend. On the first day of the event the temps were in the high-70's. I almost quit due to "heat exhaustion"
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Old 12-26-11, 02:49 PM   #10
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I've had a couple nice rices in the sunny 30's. If you dress right, it's downright comfortable riding this time of year.

I don't yet have cycling gloves with fingers, so I've worn clear latex gloves, that my wife uses for some of her crafts & hobbies, under my regular fingerless cycling gloves. Looks stupid, but works good, no cold fingers.
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Old 12-26-11, 02:59 PM   #11
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i had that week of depression when my fair weather went away. then i got rollers. love them.

i'm sure there will be that freak sunny 50F day in January, but until then the rollers let get my daily bike fix and try out new builds/mods....
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Old 12-26-11, 04:33 PM   #12
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Weather here this December has ranged from the teens to the low 50's. I've ridden every day except 12/2. I commute by bike so that helps.

I've gone over 342 miles so far this month and should go over 400 miles which is my best month this year. I've had to ride in some cold temps, rain, and one dusting of snow. It really has been a pretty nice December for our neck of the woods. January and February will be much more challenging.
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Old 12-26-11, 05:46 PM   #13
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Hmmm.... Let me check the forecast here for Los Angeles...



Nope. Sorry. No problems. j/k

Actually, most of my riding is done early morning when temps are in the 40s now. However, by the time the ride is over, temps are in the upper 60s or low 70s. I hate having to haul around a bunch of stuff I just took off.

Occasionally, we do get rain. Then, if the temps are 50 or below, its terrible. I wuss out. Doesn't usually happen for a whole month, though.
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Old 12-26-11, 06:22 PM   #14
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Until the time change, I'd been taking my bike to work and getting about an hour's ride in afterwards. Usually getting out on at least one weekend afternoon now, and going to the Y for spin classes a couple of weeknights.

Coldest I've been out in has been about 40 the other day. Needed a couple of layers on the hands and they were fine. Neoprene booties on the feet were ok, but got a little cold the last few of a 20 mile ride. After the first 4 miles or so, the legs and upper body were quite happy. 3 layers up top (base, heavy jersey and wind jacket), and a pair of shorts with lined tights over them on the bottom.

I've been lurking in the winter cycling forum trying to learn how to deal with the cold. Brrrrrrr!!!! Not sure if I'm going to venture out in the 30's or not, but I'm getting a good idea of what I need for the 40's through 50's.
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Old 12-26-11, 11:06 PM   #15
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I used to wonder why they called it the off-season. I thought they were just a bunch of wussies who didn't know how to wear a coat.

Now I know. It is ultimatly hard to have motivation for a ride when it is cold and wet and dark outside. Hopefully these Christmas tights will keep me warmer.
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Old 12-27-11, 03:18 PM   #16
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i barely rode this month, it's been cold, windy and rainy. i keep myself as active as i can and because i'm not riding i have increased my walking. so far i am negative 65lbs for the year (since may14th).
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Old 12-27-11, 03:46 PM   #17
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It was 23 out on Sunday when I took out on a 54 mile jaunt. Sun was out and no wind and the C&O canal was vacant except for the deer and forest rats. Perfect time to ride.
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Old 12-27-11, 04:03 PM   #18
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Hmmm.... Let me check the forecast here for Los Angeles...



Nope. Sorry. No problems. j/k
The coldest it gets any given day in Los Angeles lately is as warm as it'll be that day in Seattle. But it's the sun that makes me jealous.
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Old 12-27-11, 06:16 PM   #19
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We finally had a beautiful day and I am feeling a lot better so I put on my new tights and hit the road for a nice 21 mile ride. It was about 50F when I went out and I cannot believe the difference the tights made. Only cold part was my feet. Guess I will use the Performance gift card for some toe covers.
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Old 12-27-11, 07:00 PM   #20
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I'm off until next Tuesday, so I've been trying to catch up on my December miles. I think I will do it, too. I rode yesterday and today, plan to ride tomorrow and Thursday, and part of the day Friday.

I have done 200k rides in jeans. Cycling-specific clothing is nice, but lack of it doesn't need to keep you in.
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Old 12-27-11, 07:09 PM   #21
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Don't feel bad dude, I wrote off the entire year of 2011. I have 150 miles total.
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Old 12-27-11, 08:26 PM   #22
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Let me expand on my answer a bit.

One thing I have noticed through the years is that it is very easy for me to find reasons why I can't exercise. Here in Texas, about half the year or more, it is too hot. The rest of the time, it is too cold, too wet, too windy, too dark, too dangerous or something. So if I wait for everything to be ideal before I ride my bike, there will be about two days a year when that happens. If that's the only two days I ride, I'll be so out of shape, I won't be able to do anything on those two days either. So the best approach, when it is too hot, too cold, too dark, is just do it anyway. It's a change in mental attitude that will make a huge difference in life.

I started getting acquainted with the cold better when we moved from Texas to Colorado quite a few years back. One thing I learned was to get proper gear for the cold. That doesn't always mean expensive gear, but expensive gear helps. I read the recommandations to use wool, and discovered that I could get genuine wool sweaters at Goodwill for $7 or so, as opposed to $100 new. I still have an acrylic fleece pullover that I used extensively, and actually used it on some bike rides after I got back down here. Another thing I learned about the cold was that you do get acclimated to it. If you sit in front of a fireplace all winter, you won't be acclimated to it. Bundle up to whatever degree it takes, and go do stuff, and you get better at dealing with it. So I've talked to people that said "I wouldn't ever move to Colorado, it's too cold there!", but I had a lot of fun snowshoeing and hiking in the cold.

If you're doing long unsupported bike rides, it's important to have high-quality compact gear, and that can cost money. If you're riding around in your general neighborhood, you can do things differently. Get drizzled on and get damp? Swing by the house. Need to shuck a layer when you get warmed up? Drop it off at the house. Get cold and need another layer on? Swing by the house. And after a while, you figure out what you need anyway.

I've ridden my Worksman cruiser some in the rain using a rain cape. That is the bicycle equivalent of an umbrella, and keeps you dry if you have fenders, if you don't go too fast, and if the wind's not blowing too hard. For 300k in a downpour, it won't work. For an hour's leisurely ride in your neighborhood, it will, and will be better than sitting on the sofa. You can also get some Frog Togs at Walmart. They're not too stylish, rustle, an will catch the wind, but if that gets you out of the house for an hour, good deal.

And lastly, consider why you ride in the first place. I ride a bike because I like it. It is exercise that I enjoy, and because I enjoy it, I'll do it more. If I didn't like riding a bike, I'd try to find something else that I liked better. Jogging or an exercise bike would be lots cheaper and more convenient, but hold zero appeal for me. But I will ride and ride and enjoy it.
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Old 12-27-11, 09:13 PM   #23
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Riding during the week is just out due to darkness, so I am doing my best to get in at least one decent ride on the weekends, regardless of the temp. I haven't been out under 50 F yet...not sure how well i'll do with that. I'm just trying to keep myself from getting too rusty, so when spring comes around, I'll be ready to get out there! I bought a decent pair of wool socks, and that made a tremendous difference in comfort/warmth. Other than that and 1 pair of tights, I've been piecing my outfits together with layers of non-cycling specific clothes. Hang in there!
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Old 12-28-11, 08:53 AM   #24
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Yeah, I've only ridden 3x since the 11th. Usually I ride 3-4x a week and walk on the off-bike nights. But between Christmas, sick Monkeys, sick me, rain and being tired, I just guess I took some time off. At least the weight didn't really reflect the time off. No significant gain over the holidays.
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Old 12-28-11, 09:17 AM   #25
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No significant gain over the holidays.
Sometimes that's all you can ask for
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