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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 11-30-07, 02:23 PM   #26
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...and even then, our winter days are like crisp fall days for many riders here. Commuting in ND, Minnesota, or upstate NY/NE in the winter....now that's impressive.

Even after 5 years with the same coworkers, many still comment when the see me leaving the office and it's pouring rain or when it's particularly cold for DC.
Not that big a deal..this morning's commute (10 miles) was 4 deg F with 15 -20 mph winds. You just dress for it and before you know it, you are toasty warm.
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Old 11-30-07, 03:22 PM   #27
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Not that big a deal..this morning's commute (10 miles) was 4 deg F with 15 -20 mph winds. You just dress for it and before you know it, you are toasty warm.
Up there, no. Down here your relatives might very well have you committed for it.
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Old 11-30-07, 03:41 PM   #28
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Sometimes it seems that it's especially the younger people who are amazed. (I'm 41.) I think they are still kind of in the teenage excitement over getting a drivers license phase, and have not yet encountered the idea of bikes for transportation, if they have not been fortunate enough to know anyone who did it while they were growing up.

After doing this for 5 years now, the pattern seems to be this. In the summer, they admire you because they assume you are simply passionate about your hobby, and that's cool. But when you continue in worse and worse weather, that interpretation wears thin and they don't know what to make of you, because who would ride a bike to work in rain and snow just for fun? By the time dead of winter arrives, and you attempt to explain that you do this all year, even on days when it's not strictly fun, then they just conclude you're weird. Oh well. The older I get, the less I care about that.

Over the Noon hour today I had a flat, and had to patch it. I did that inside, but I was outside pumping it up with my hand pump, and someone walking in from her car said "Boy, you have a lot of energy." The only response I could think of was "Yeah", but I was really thinking "You think pumping a bike tire takes a lot of energy?! That's kind of sad."

Sometimes I've said something to my building's facilities person about making sure that the snow shoveling crew shovels out the bike rack. After all, no one else has to shovel their own parking spot!

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Old 11-30-07, 03:47 PM   #29
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Some people at the Dr's office today were shocked that I was on my bike in 55 degree weather. I am amazed at how people think if it isn't exactly 70 degrees it's too hot or too cold to even spend time outside.
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Old 11-30-07, 04:08 PM   #30
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Up there, no. Down here your relatives might very well have you committed for it.
I'm from DC...they think I'm strange anyway.
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Old 11-30-07, 04:52 PM   #31
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Three times this week people have made remarks like, "How can you ride when it's so cold?" One of them was a regular bike commuter. It was in the 30s and 40s and windy in D.C., but it wasn't even below freezing all week (I think). My standard response, "This is nothing. Wait until January." Today it was a 20-year-old male intern who expressed amazement (and I'm 65.) That makes the half-hour ride more than worth it.
Us superhuman Metro D.C. commuters may get a great chance on Monday to prove our mettle. They're calling for cold, rain, and heavy winds. Let's see, my only full fender bike is the single speed...

It's the heavy layer of crusted rough snow/ice on the unplowed MUP that stops me. New falling snow/sleet/ice will be a challenge to the nokian studded tires I picked up this summer.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:13 PM   #32
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Every winter I become a bi-athlete:

My legs pedal and my nose runs!


I crack myself up!
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Old 12-01-07, 12:19 AM   #33
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I hope my studded Nokians arrive this weekend because it looks like we are going to get some snow and cold. It's been in the twenties lately when I have been riding, but looks like it's going close to zero degrees tomorrow. I started bringing some of those toes warmers with me just in case my tootsies get frosty, but so far haven't needed them.
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Old 12-01-07, 12:33 AM   #34
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With the wind chill it was -30 C this morning and a few of the guys keep asking me when I'm going to drive (I sold the car in May) or when I am gonna stop riding.

Today we had 8 people show up for the cm ride and I have to give them all points for riding and I know we amazed more than few folks.

I was really amazed when we met a guy who had spent the last 200 days riding across Canada and who was on his way to Vancouver.
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Old 12-01-07, 01:01 AM   #35
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Some people at the Dr's office today were shocked that I was on my bike in 55 degree weather. I am amazed at how people think if it isn't exactly 70 degrees it's too hot or too cold to even spend time outside.
You must live in a climate that's very mild- I do and the people here are so spoiled that they will be far less active outside, foregoing hiking, team sports and such because it's so "cold" outside. Being acclimated to a mild climate I too feel cold until I put on a long sleeve shirt and a jacket and then I go outside to do the same activities I was doing all summer. They, on the other hand, still wear t-shirts and stay inside where the thermostat is cranked up to like 75*
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Old 12-01-07, 04:46 PM   #36
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Why, when I were a lad and in a stage show, during winter we used to cycle in, collect our breath in t'baskets on t'front o' t'bike and use it as dry ice.

Saved us a fortune, tha' knows. 'f course, we 'ad ter face sideways a bit when baskets wa' full, otherwise Tha could get punctures from shards of frozzen breath.

Used to cut down windchill by breathin' downwards ovver t'front of us tops. It'd freeze and med 'em perfectly windproof.

If we wa' shortsighted and t'natural lubricant ovver t'eyeballs started to freeze, we had us a mould made by optician in shape of us contact lens - gev us perfect vision for the journey into work so glasses nivver misted up.

Usedta stop us toes getting cold by peeing ovver t'boots - froz ovver and med 'em as windproof as tops.

Didn't bother wi' front of shorts tho' - cold shrinkage med us more airyodynamic fer winter races.

Why, I remember great freeze-up o' '47. Now that were a winter. Why, ah could tell thee some stories...
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Old 12-01-07, 05:48 PM   #37
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I just ask them if they've ever spent the day skiing or (like 90% of my co-workers) spent the day sitting in a tree stand waiting for some poor animal to walk by so they can shoot it. Those guys amaze me more 'cause they're just SITTING there.....BBBBRRRRRRRR! I must admit, though, I do enjoy their spoils.
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Old 12-01-07, 06:38 PM   #38
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put a mountain bike on lay-a-way for this reason &season,the rain,mud,slush & snow!perfect weather, yes my emps look at me like i'am nuts!first winter to commute for me,i sure don't like doing it on the old roadbike when the ice & snow gets here!
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Old 12-01-07, 07:55 PM   #39
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I loved it when my boss would say if a bicycle can make it here your 4x4 with snow tires can when people called in saying they couldn't make it in.
In reality, there have been a couple of days when I cycled in, but I wouldn't have driven a car. The roads were so icy they were difficult to walk on, but the studded tires bit right in and I never slipped. Saw plenty of cars slipping, and several in the ditch though.
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Old 12-01-07, 08:57 PM   #40
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In reality, there have been a couple of days when I cycled in, but I wouldn't have driven a car. The roads were so icy they were difficult to walk on, but the studded tires bit right in and I never slipped. Saw plenty of cars slipping, and several in the ditch though.
Actually, there are times when I'd rather walk (or maybe bike) than drive simply because I can't trust the other drivers out there. I have snow tires for the car, but I know that many other drivers are going to try getting through the ice & slush on balding all-seasons.

I sometimes think that winter tires for my car were a waste of effort since I'd rather stay off the roads.. lol
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Old 12-01-07, 10:03 PM   #41
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You must live in a climate that's very mild- I do and the people here are so spoiled that they will be far less active outside, foregoing hiking, team sports and such because it's so "cold" outside. Being acclimated to a mild climate I too feel cold until I put on a long sleeve shirt and a jacket and then I go outside to do the same activities I was doing all summer. They, on the other hand, still wear t-shirts and stay inside where the thermostat is cranked up to like 75*
The climate here is peachy most of the time (the only thing this city has going for it). We do have cold snaps down into the single digits, but I don't ever remember it going below 0. Most everyone I know either doesn't go out when it's cold, or they go out wearing not nearly enough clothes (my neighbor used to drag me outside to play basketball when I was a kid in January, and he'd wear gym shorts and a t-shirt; after about 20 minutes, his skin looked inside-out), then complain about how cold it is. July can be rough and way too hot and humid, but even that usually doesn't last for more than a few days. I'm moving to Portland, Maine next year if all goes well, so I figure I should buck up and embrace the cold!
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Old 12-02-07, 12:55 PM   #42
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I rode in to work today. It was 5 degrees with a windchill of -20. My toes froze. I wore two pairs of socks and a pair of winter hiking boots! I don't know what to do to keep them warm! I'll have to look into inserts or something, I guess. Anyway, I wimped out and had my boyfriend come pick me up. I couldn't do the frozen feet again on the way home

My boss called me crazy, though! That felt good.
Too much socks or laces too tight can be disaster. Keep the feets loose for good circulation. Neoprene booties work well. Plastic bread bags over thin wool ski socks on the long wet cold rides.

Same with gloves. I always buy them big for better circulation. Then I put bigger mittens over the gloves.
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Old 12-03-07, 07:20 AM   #43
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After last winter my coworkers eventually stopped asking if I rode to work on a particular day because they know I will no matter what. However, there is one woman who will still ask in a kind of obnoxious manner, "You didn't ride that bike today did you?!" I always say, "Of course, why not?" The strange thing is, I've ridden when the wind chill was 3, yet it will be 30 degrees and she'll still say it. *shrug*
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Old 12-03-07, 07:29 AM   #44
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On footwear...

I wear waterproof, insulated hikers that have an extra felt packs in the bottom and after that I have some nice polypro base socks that get covered by wool socks.

I've been riding in some pretty frigid weather over the past few weeks and it's -20C this morning (again) and my feet will be warm and dry (again).
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Old 12-03-07, 08:11 AM   #45
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After last winter my coworkers eventually stopped asking if I rode to work on a particular day because they know I will no matter what. However, there is one woman who will still ask in a kind of obnoxious manner, "You didn't ride that bike today did you?!" I always say, "Of course, why not?" The strange thing is, I've ridden when the wind chill was 3, yet it will be 30 degrees and she'll still say it. *shrug*

I bet it switches in the summer to "you didn't ride in this heat today did you"?
-------------------------------

These types of threads make my laugh. Every subforum on BF has their own "how I am a badazz" type threads.
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Old 12-03-07, 08:29 AM   #46
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I bet it switches in the summer to "you didn't ride in this heat today did you"?
-------------------------------

These types of threads make my laugh. Every subforum on BF has their own "how I am a badazz" type threads.
Strangely, people here don't even consider hot weather, which is weird because it gets insanely hot here in August (12+ days of 100+ this year). Most of the time in the winter it's only 30-55 degrees around here, yet most people are constantly saying how much they hate winter and love summer. Then when it hits 94 and it's only early May they are just tickled to death. People here are terrified of cool temperatures and rain. Just one of many reasons I think most of the Tennessee population is completely crazy.
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Old 12-03-07, 08:57 AM   #47
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Strangely, people here don't even consider hot weather, which is weird because it gets insanely hot here in August...
I can relate to the heat issue. Down here in Georgia, it's not unusual to have 77 degrees before the sun even comes up... and the ride home can be brutal when it's 98+ and the sun turns it into a broiler.

I guess it's only fair that we pay some sort of price for not being forced to endure those insanely cold winters!

It is funny how people down here will gawk when I ride in 40 degree weather... but they don't see anything unusual about my riding when it's 100 outside...
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Old 12-03-07, 11:02 AM   #48
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I can relate to the heat issue. Down here in Georgia, it's not unusual to have 77 degrees before the sun even comes up... and the ride home can be brutal when it's 98+ and the sun turns it into a broiler.

I guess it's only fair that we pay some sort of price for not being forced to endure those insanely cold winters!

It is funny how people down here will gawk when I ride in 40 degree weather... but they don't see anything unusual about my riding when it's 100 outside...
Yeah and I can take cold much better than heat. Several times back in the summer it was well into the 80s when I was riding to work at 6:30 am. Then at 5:30 pm it would be 106+. And the other day it was 25 when I rode to work.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:02 AM   #49
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I got the same comments today but not because of the cold. Oregon is being hit by the Pineapple express so it's very high winds; 40 -50mph gusts and tons of rain just hammering down. Made for an interesting ride and I didn't see any of the bikes on my commute that I usually do.

The only part of me wet is my head and a little on my feet. Gotta love cycling gear.
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