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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-04-06, 08:57 AM   #1
RonH
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Are bike commuters tougher?

I was walking to the supermarket yesterday and saw three roadies riding out of a driveway heading out for a Sunday afternoon ride.
The temperature was ~55F (13C) and sunny so I was wearing shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt. The roadies looked like they were expecting a blizzard. They had leg warmers, tights, heavy jacket or wind breaker with a couple of layers underneath, and one guy wore a balaclava.
When the weather is like this (or even colder) I've seem commuters (including myself) wearing much less and they were comfortable.
Ok, now comes the can of worms. Are all (non-commuting) roadies wimps?
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Old 12-04-06, 08:59 AM   #2
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Yup.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:02 AM   #3
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Yes, commuters are tougher.

Especially in the colder climates.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:08 AM   #4
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Three things give us hardy strength: sleeping on hairy mattresses, breathing cold air, and eating dry food.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:13 AM   #5
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We're probably exposed to more varied temperatures than weekend recreation riders (roadies). I bet all three of them stripped off a few layers once they got rolling. I doubt that we're tougher, we just have our gear and clothing better dialed in for each situation.

Except for Ron, he's tougher than everyone (see his wolf tattoos).
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Old 12-04-06, 09:33 AM   #6
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Just more experienced with what to wear and more in tune with quick changes in weather. If you ride everyday you learn quickly what is needed. If you head out once a week or less changes in weather can get ya.

But it can be much harder to prepare for a long (4hr) club ride than a commute. I had a ride this weekend that started at 35F and ended at 70F - did I want to be too cold in the morning or end up carrying bulk in my jersey at the end? (I went for the former and made the right decision I think) Maybe those three were planning on riding well into the night.

Al
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Old 12-04-06, 09:37 AM   #7
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My bike club guys/ racers wear leggings and sleeves on 19 degree C days. They just get cold no matter what. And they are all commuters to some degree, one is even a bike courier. I weigh the same and wear less. Depends on the person I guess. I start wearing my tights at about 4 or 5 degrees.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:42 AM   #8
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This should be cross posted in the roadie forum.

Anyhow, some roadies are equally as temperature tolerant. Then there are those that use a trainer for everything below 50F. I think it has to do with what you are used to and how nutty you are.
To be fair, we also have quite a few fair weather commuters.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:43 AM   #9
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Tempting though it is to say 'Yes', it's just down to our bodies adapting to the more regular exposure to cooler temperatures.

Nah, scrap that...


YES!
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Old 12-04-06, 09:44 AM   #10
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Are we talking about *real* skinny roadies with 4% body fat. I think they'd have a pretty good excuse for getting cold easier.

Also, they are probably out for longer, a road ride can last most of the day.

If your commute takes you that long, you're probably really late for work.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:46 AM   #11
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It's not a roadies vs commuters thing. I think it's safer to say that both roadies and commuters are tougher than poseurs!
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Old 12-04-06, 09:48 AM   #12
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People that "ride 365", in the dark and the cold, are tougher, absolutely.

YES, everyday commuters are 'tougher', (maybe not "fitter") than the 'weekend' poseurs. I know one top CAT rated guy I rode by this summer though, he was wearing shoecovers on a hot August day! I almost burst out laughing.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:49 AM   #13
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I have indeed seen a few roadies out on long rides in the barren countryside on very cold, very windy winter days.

Myself, I hang my road bike in the basement from November till March and ride in the city or the woods where it's at least marginally warmer.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:50 AM   #14
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We're not toughter. We just don't give a ****.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:51 AM   #15
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"Cover your knees below 65 degrees"...

Just because you have insufficient gear for the conditions doesn't make you "tough"...

Sign me,

Roadie Commuter
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Old 12-04-06, 09:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantoj
"Cover your knees below 65 degrees"...
Didn't it used to be 55 degrees?



I kid, I kid, I wear knee warmers most of the time.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:53 AM   #17
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I live in a "hoity toity" part of Kansas City where many (but by no means all) roadies are wimpy yuppies on their $4,000 toys with $1,200 worth of clothing and gear. They're out to show it off, and they think being out in 40*F weather is REALLY showing off how tough they are on top of being able to show of their flashy gear, because all the lesser roadies hang the bike up when it gets below 70.

There are some very serious athletes on the road, though. Most of them are still in lycra near freezing weather, and they're wearing a camelbak under a windbreaker. Those guys are typically pretty hardcore.

Anyhow, those who bike for utility (whether or not they're forced to) may or may not be any "tougher", they are "gamier", though, quite possibly stronger willed than others. Whether this gameness comes from necessity (no vehicle), indifference (who cares how cold it is?), or pride (look at me, it's below freezing and I still use my bike!), it's anyone's guess unless they tell you.

Personally, I'm about 50/50 indifference and pride. I'm doing it to get a workout, but getting called "insane" and getting props from co-workers has started to nibble away at my humility a bit.

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Old 12-04-06, 10:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
Except for Ron, he's tougher than everyone (see his wolf tattoos).
Hey, I've gotten 3 nice compliments about them lately.
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Old 12-04-06, 10:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bike_UK
Tempting though it is to say 'Yes', it's just down to our bodies adapting to the more regular exposure to cooler temperatures.
i.e. TOUGHER!!!!
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Old 12-04-06, 10:36 AM   #20
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Commuters ride in the morning and evening in cold weather with short days. We ride heavier bikes and don't typically ride as far.

I'd say we're a hardier bunch but we can't really say we're tougher. I've seen some hardcore roadies that I can't begin to compete with.
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Old 12-04-06, 10:37 AM   #21
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yes
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Old 12-04-06, 10:42 AM   #22
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There's a huge difference between your 1 hour commute and a 4 hour base ride as far as fingers and toes getting cold. I know cause I've done both. I need way less clothing on my commute in than I do if I go for a long road ride. Not too mention, there's a helluva lot more wind when you get out of the city, which affects the temperature quite a lot.

I'll admit though, anyone wearing a balaclava in 13c is a wimp, regardless of the type of bike they're riding...
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Old 12-04-06, 10:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
Are all (non-commuting) roadies wimps?

I'm both. I still consider myself a wimp. And I've had frost bite twice. But I come from a world of ranching and cattle that most of you will never know. Sat on horseback in the freezing Colorado mountains chasing cattle and learning the art of suffering when I was a kid. And I'm still a wimp. So what's your point?


Cold and frozen takes me to my lowest point in hell.
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Old 12-04-06, 10:59 AM   #24
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I think the average commuter has a thicker fat layer than does the average clubbie.
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Old 12-04-06, 11:09 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
It's not a roadies vs commuters thing. I think it's safer to say that both roadies and commuters are tougher than poseurs!
+1

And I'd say it's your riding that shows your toughness -- or determination. If you can outpace the cars, that's tough. If you ride every day no matter what, that's determination. If you outpace the cars every day no matter what, that's just plain sublime.
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