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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, 08:31 AM   #1
dcbiker
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"You Rode in on a Day Like This?" (I love it!)

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.
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Old 11-30-07, 08:58 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:00 AM   #3
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Yeah, I'm still in the one - two layers of long sleeve tops and something to keep my ears warm phase. It's can't be "cold"unless you at least need a jacket
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Old 11-30-07, 09:03 AM   #4
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I can take the cold but not the heat. Only time I dislike the cold is when its so cold you can't stop post nasal drip. Good winter gear makes all things possible. Unless its a zero degree chill factor with 25 mph winds.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:03 AM   #5
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I feel the same way. There have been three times this season that I've gotten into work and someone (usually with a smug face on) says, "I guess you didn't ride today." I just smile and say, "Of course I did" then enjoy the way they look at me like I'm crazy, or awesome, or awesomely crazy.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:11 AM   #6
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The temperature doesn't get me , its the wind that makes 35 feel like 20. My commute goes from warm to icy once I get by the hudson on a windy day, but I'd rather freeze my toes off than take the train. For ten yrs the same co-workers ask me "you rode your bike today?" even though they asked the same question last year on days below the 30's.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:13 AM   #7
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The first morning it was below freezing, I got a few quizzical looks. Then I reminded them that I rode all last winter, including down to 3 below zero, and have no intention of stopping. I think I'm finally done getting the questions. The next round will probably come when it starts snowing. I've been asked about my riding in the rain, in the heat (108*), last winter in sleet, snow, and below zero weather, and in the spring when there were tornadoes and hail. I think I've finally proven that I'll ride in pretty much everything Kansas City weather can throw at me.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:19 AM   #8
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Yeah, I'm still in the one - two layers of long sleeve tops and something to keep my ears warm phase. It's can't be "cold"unless you at least need a jacket
a few days ago, when the first flurries of winter were descending, a co-worker asked if I wanted a ride, and I just spread out my hands to display my jacket, fleece leggings and balaclava and knit gloves and just replied, "what? and let all of this awesome clothing go to waste?"
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Old 11-30-07, 09:22 AM   #9
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People have become so weak. How most people will survive if oil runs out, I'll never know. Out of an office of 1000 people, I'm the only commuter and when it's in the 30's people seriously think there must be something wrong with me to ride in this kind of weather when I have a perfectly good car. They say "you must be saving a lot of money right?". I save $1.50 a day in gas by riding, but I eat that at least because of riding. The fit part isn't even a question and certainly nothing about helping the environment.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:23 AM   #10
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It was low 30s and possible snow in the forecast the other day, and someone asked how I could ride in it. I asked them if they think skiers and snowboarders are crazy for spending 8 hours out on the slopes in the same weather.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:24 AM   #11
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They're either in aw or disbelief, even after 5 years of year-round commuting. I just got done discussing this with someone and she was in utter disbelief (especially the part when I told her that my right eye froze over once last year). Then they start to think you're Superman...
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Old 11-30-07, 09:48 AM   #12
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Yep, it's that time of year again, when people seem to think you'll turn into a popsicle if you ride a bike when you can see your breath. When I tell them that it's no worse than skiing, skating or tobogganing, it's as if a light turns on above their head.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:03 AM   #13
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I'd much rather them keep on going thinking that I am insane. They leave me alone and I can get more work done that way.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:24 AM   #14
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It was -19 C when I left the house this morning, not that much fun until you start to warm up. I enjoy watching fat people shiver while waiting for the bus.
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Old 11-30-07, 11:29 AM   #15
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That makes the half-hour ride more than worth it.
Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:43 PM   #16
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It's been dipping down into the 20's again here at night, so my rides to class at 7AM have been in the mid 20's to the low 30's lately.

I've finally started getting the whole "You rode in TODAY?!?" comments. Now it feels like a personal challenge to keep riding through the last week of classes of the semester.

I'm getting pretty good at dressing comfortably in the cooler weather, what worries me most is getting a flat tire, I can't imagine them being fun to fix in freezing weather...
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Old 11-30-07, 12:49 PM   #17
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"It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it."

(I love that quote from the last person who posted.)
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Old 11-30-07, 01:05 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:13 PM   #19
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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.
I always carry a few ziplocks around with me in the winter. If it is really cold they go between my socks and shoe/boot and if my hands start getting cold I'll stick my hands in them to keep the wind chill off of em.

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.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:20 PM   #20
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It was -19 C when I left the house this morning, not that much fun until you start to warm up. I enjoy watching fat people shiver while waiting for the bus.
Yeah, given that if I go walking now (typically just above freezing), I need warm coat, scarf, hat, but riding in I need a shirt and a shell, I'm not looking forward to any time I can't ride in and have to walk to the train instead. I have to get myself an ice bike I can put studs on.

... also must put something warm to wear in my pannier, in case I get a flat.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:36 PM   #21
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It was 1F here in Minnesota this morning, with wind chill near -20F.

I love this stuff.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:45 PM   #22
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My coworkers think nothing of me riding in the cold, even when it gets down into the mid-twenties. It's because they know that that's not cold compared to driving a utility cart, mower or tractor for hours when the temp is down, but not quiiite cold enough to put frost on the grass, and we all do that.

The temperature an hour before daylight is not as cold as it's going to get just before sunrise.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:49 PM   #23
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The only thing I worry about in this weather is that cars will loose control and slide into the bike lane.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:58 PM   #24
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Half hour in the 30s/40s? You work with some real wusses! Good for you with the hardcore reply. Mine usually is "I have a couple of more layers to go before I take the subway."
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Old 11-30-07, 02:21 PM   #25
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Last winter, we had some snow and ice hit the ground, which only happens a couple of times a year. When I got to work, we had scads of folks who emailed in that it was too nasty to drive to work.

I replied to them, (and the rest of the company), that I had just kicked the ice off of my bike before beginning the workday. My boss (whose from Canada) had a field day with that.
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