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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 01-24-07, 02:55 PM   #1
kjmillig
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I'm a weenie...

I can't seem to get up the motivation to ride in the rain or below about 45 degrees (Hey, it's Houston. 45 IS cold down here.) It's just too easy to get in the van. I think if I get some new cold weather gear I can push myself out the door in the cold, but rain just kills my spirits. How do y'all get past it, and just ride on?
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Old 01-24-07, 02:58 PM   #2
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You just have to do it a couple of times to realize that it's not that bad. OTOH, if you've already done it a couple of times and you're still wimping out, you need better gear. Either that or you really are a weenie.
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Old 01-24-07, 03:01 PM   #3
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Make sure you're warm once riding. If you're warm and comfortable, the ride should just be like any other. I personally love the feeling of being all warm and cozy when the weather decides to dump out whatever it has.

With the cold I've already taught myself that it's not so bad once you get your bodyheat up once riding. If you're riding in more extreme colds, just make sure you've got most/all your skin covered and ensure that your air 'inlets' are taken care of (tuck your waterproof/jacket sleeves into your gloves, use a scarf/balaclava to keep the breeze off your neck or chest, etc.).

Windproof garments and waterproof garments are definitely a plus, footwear shouldn't be overlooked either - nothing worse than wet, cold feet IMO.

Good luck and have fun riding!
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Old 01-24-07, 03:15 PM   #4
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Staying warm was pretty easy. I've actually backed off my get considerably.

Wet and cold... still haven't prepared for that one.
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Old 01-24-07, 03:28 PM   #5
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One of the great revelations in cycling is conquering cold weather. Once you realize how easy it is you may actually look forward to nasty weather.

1. Prepare your bike - fenders, some place to carry excess clothing and possibly some larger tires
2. Clothing - Layers, Arm warmers, a good long sleeve jersey, are the key items. I usually wear some full length tights below 45 deg and leg or knee warmers from 45 - 65.
If it is damp or windy I will add a windproof shell - although I usually end up removing it after 3 miles.
3. Gloves - I have 3 pairs - lightweight long fingered , a heavier pair and windproof glove covers. I ussually end up mixing and matching depending on the weather. I always carry the windproof shells in my trunk bag, they have saved me a couple of times.
4. Shoes - Shoe covers work great under 45 deg, and unlike other layers I never find that my feet get to hot once the temp drops below 45.

I also keep a couple of bandannas and a baclava in my trunk bag during the winter and will wear them under my helmet if it starts to get to cold. I used to use shower caps to cover my helmet and they work great, this year I found a helmet cover on sale so now that is what I use.

personally I find that I can withstand the cold on my legs at the beginning of a ride and that they warm up quickly. I sometimes overdress on top because I don't like to start a ride feeling cold. Fingers and feet are what get you at the end of a ride or on longer rides, so I always keep extra gloves and shoe covers in my trunk bag.
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Old 01-24-07, 04:07 PM   #6
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Road Rash, that's the kind of info I'm looking for. Thanks.
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Old 01-24-07, 06:11 PM   #7
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The high-tech, cold weather gear I use for temperatures in the forties are cotton socks under sneakers, jeans, and a cotton t-shirt under a cotton sweat shirt. If it's rainy, I wear a layer of light weight poly-pro long-johns under the jeans and sweatshirt. Low forties may call for light gloves.

Low fifties: jeans, and sweatshirt.
High fifties: light sweat shirt and shorts.

60 and above: shorts and t-shirt.

Below 40: light weight poly-pro long-johns under the jeans and sweatshirt, heavy knee length socks under sneakers, woven synthetic fiber gloves under pig skin work gloves, wind proof, light weight ski-mask. If it's rainy, I wear a layer of heavier poly-pro long-johns, but it's rare for it to be rainy and that cold around here.

Mid 30's to mid 20's: heavy weight poly-pro long-johns under the jeans and sweatshirt, heavy knee length socks under sneakers, woven synthetic fiber gloves under pig skin work gloves, wind proof, light weight ski-mask.
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Old 01-24-07, 06:16 PM   #8
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If you love riding, just do it.

It has a way of being addicting to the point where nothing will stop you.

If you truly don't love to ride, it probably won't happen.
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Old 01-24-07, 06:20 PM   #9
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Would a bit of personal humiliation get you going?

Hell if some bloody Canuck can ride in -20C weather, a good god fearing Merican should be able to prove he is tougher.

Better?
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Old 01-24-07, 06:21 PM   #10
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Light rain I live with. Heavy rain, I pass. I bike commute where possible and see it as money in my pocket. My sick truck eats over $0.50/gal. of gas so I put on fenders and ride above freezing. I lived in Houston once and would be more concerned about summer heat and humidity. How can you stand THAT weather?
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Old 01-24-07, 08:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
Light rain I live with. Heavy rain, I pass. I bike commute where possible and see it as money in my pocket. My sick truck eats over $0.50/gal. of gas so I put on fenders and ride above freezing. I lived in Houston once and would be more concerned about summer heat and humidity. How can you stand THAT weather?
That's another story!
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Old 01-24-07, 10:00 PM   #12
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I make it a game and a personal challenge to see how well I can do in bad weather conditions. That's what keeps my motivation up. At some point, I suppose, that will fail me and will have to find some other motivator. Maybe by then I will have saved enough money by biking to buy a new bike. Then I will have to ride it to justify having bought it.
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Old 01-24-07, 10:14 PM   #13
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Don't forget a little lip balm or chapstick. The lips dry out quickly. A little bit lasts a long while. I'm using a freebie sample that Icelandic Airlines gave me 2 years ago.
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Old 01-24-07, 10:30 PM   #14
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This morning I had me first commute above freezing since November. I also have close calls on the ice everyday. Now I know weather is all relative but if it was 45F I would probably ride naked right now while singing some happy song.
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Old 01-24-07, 11:03 PM   #15
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in the rain get
+fenders
+A rain biking jacket (I've this one.
+Athletic button-off pants (These'll keep off the rain)
+ And wear crappy shoes

Also, check out
www.bikewhenever.com
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Old 01-25-07, 10:14 AM   #16
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Put you tights/shorts on as soon as you roll out of bed. You are committed at that point. If I wander aound the house in jeans or whatever in the morning, the decision to ride has still not been made.

Once the gear is on ... you're riding !

P.S. 45 is about the divding line between shorts or tights. Once you get rolling the legs get warmed up nicely. It's the fingers and toes that will get ya. Wind Proof full finger gloves rock. I'm dreaming for a 45degree ride lately :-)
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