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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 02-28-08, 03:59 PM   #1
ShinyBiker
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Mom was right: Scarves do help.

It wasn't that cold out this morning (upper 20s), but the wind was really whipping up. I think the weather guy said last night that the wind chill would make it feel like the teens. On a lark, I wrapped a beaten old navy scarf around my neck that I happened to see at the bottom of my closet. I think it made a great difference. My face didn't seem to grimace as much considering the wind. Also, putting your scarf on seems to immediately flush up your face with warmth.

I picked up an earlier tip from the BF that you should wrap your wrists which helps with keeping the hands warm. I used wristbands initially, but have since bought some long REI wool skiing gloves that go past the wrists.

BTW, I commute in regular clothes and have a short (3 miles one way commute). The bad thing about such a short commute is that by the time you're starting to warm up, you're already at the office.
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Old 02-28-08, 04:08 PM   #2
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yeah, having something around your neck really helps. i have a ski thing that works perfectly. it's like a headband but goes around your neck (like the top of a turtleneck). it keeps the wind off my neck.
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Old 02-28-08, 04:20 PM   #3
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yeah, having something around your neck really helps. i have a ski thing that works perfectly. it's like a headband but goes around your neck (like the top of a turtleneck). it keeps the wind off my neck.
Neck gaiter
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Old 02-28-08, 04:24 PM   #4
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Neck gaiter
i prefer 'ski thing' but, yeah, that'll do as well.
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Old 02-28-08, 04:30 PM   #5
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i prefer 'ski thing' but, yeah, that'll do as well.
aka "dickie" or "neck dickie"
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Old 02-28-08, 04:52 PM   #6
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i use a simple bandanna, bandit-style (over nose/mouth/neck).

works for me.
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Old 02-28-08, 05:31 PM   #7
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Just don't let the end of the scarf get caught in the spokes!

That would be bad. That said I've done the same thing and proceeded carefully. Often I will wear a silk balaclava that is very thin and fits easily under my helmet.

I also commute in regular clothes. Like you my commute is only 3 miles each way (3.75 miles the way I usually ride it), and you're right about arriving just when you're starting to warm up and feel good. I live at the top of a very long and steep hill, so this time of year I freeze heading to work in the morning, and then get sweaty riding home in the afternoon. If it's nice I try to extend the ride home by 10 or 15 miles... so I will often bring some riding clothes to change into for that... but not always. I've done some pretty long rides in regular clothes and shoes.

Sean
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Old 02-28-08, 05:50 PM   #8
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baclava rocks! makes you look like a bank robber too, and cagers don't mess with ya
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Old 02-28-08, 06:27 PM   #9
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Hi, I have a 3-mile commute. What do you wear to keep your legs warm? I am looking for wind proof pants to wear over my work slacks. I couldn't fell my legs this morning!
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Old 02-28-08, 06:49 PM   #10
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baclava rocks!
Isn't that a Greek dessert???

A scarf works well and you can slide it up over your chin & mouth, if necessary. It fits lose enough, but keeps me plenty warm...
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Old 02-28-08, 07:01 PM   #11
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It's actually called a balaclava. Neck gaiters are the best! With a good hat it gives you the coverage of a balaclava, but it's easier to adjust and not as restrictive.
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Old 02-28-08, 07:24 PM   #12
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+1 on the ski thing.

I have a neck gaiter that doubles as a face mask. My experience with a balaclava did not go so well. Something to do with claustrophobia. Maybe if I purchased something better than the performance one I have.....
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Old 02-28-08, 08:32 PM   #13
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Hi, I have a 3-mile commute. What do you wear to keep your legs warm? I am looking for wind proof pants to wear over my work slacks. I couldn't fell my legs this morning!
Have you tried long johns/thermals under your work pants? When you get to work, simply take them off in the rest room. I did that once and found it just a bit toasty. I only wear my thicker fabric type pants when it's really cold. My thighs and legs do get cold, but not to the point of numbness. Like I said, it's a short ride and once you're inside "all is well."
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Old 02-28-08, 09:14 PM   #14
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i prefer long johns underneath the pants to a wind proof layer if i can get away with it. I find it more comfortable and it prevents sweat. However if it's too cold (i guess less than -10c) i go with a windproof outerlayer which really warms you up.

and +3or4 or whatever we're up to now on the neck warmer/dickie/ski-thingy
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Old 02-28-08, 10:58 PM   #15
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I'd prefer to have the scarf because it does not mess up my hair and is classy. I don't really like wearing the balaclava, feel like a criminal.
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Old 02-29-08, 07:35 AM   #16
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Have you tried long johns/thermals under your work pants? When you get to work, simply take them off in the rest room. I did that once and found it just a bit toasty. I only wear my thicker fabric type pants when it's really cold. My thighs and legs do get cold, but not to the point of numbness. Like I said, it's a short ride and once you're inside "all is well."
I have a longer commute, but I use two pairs of underwear under my regular slacks/jeans--the base layer being long athletic skin tight shorts. Under Armor sells them, but I got several pairs from Target that work fine. They are smooth and help reduce sweat. They go down to just above my knees. Over that, I wear a pair of boxers, to keep the boys warm.
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Old 02-29-08, 07:48 AM   #17
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Hi, I have a 3-mile commute. What do you wear to keep your legs warm?
Ride faster.

In seriousness, I go with two layers when it gets frigid: tights underneath, and a loose thermal layer over that. I'm good with that down to a windchill of 0F, which is the coldest it's been here this year. And I wasn't starting to get cold then.
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Old 02-29-08, 08:19 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=BA Commuter;6250938]Isn't that a Greek dessert???
[QUOTE]

Yep. It rocks, quite tasty!

balaclava helps keep the head warm
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Old 02-29-08, 01:11 PM   #19
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...I have a neck gaiter that doubles as a face mask. My experience with a balaclava did not go so well. Something to do with claustrophobia. Maybe if I purchased something better than the performance one I have.....
I use one by Turtle Fur (have one of their scarves, too). It's microfleece, but I guess it's pretty dense because it's not very thick at all for as warm as it is. Helmet fits over it easily and I hardly notice it. I got mine at REI (might be clearing them out pretty soon).
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Old 02-29-08, 05:56 PM   #20
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During the winter i find that the combination of a sweater and a scarf is perfect for riding.
The sweater allows enough wind to pass through so i don't get too hot while the scarf keeps my neck warm. If your neck is warm it is amazing how warm it makes the rest of your body feel.
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Old 02-29-08, 06:21 PM   #21
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It's actually called a balaclava. Neck gaiters are the best! With a good hat it gives you the coverage of a balaclava, but it's easier to adjust and not as restrictive.
Baklava / Baclava does rock! Yum.

I have 3 different balaclavas of varying weights and designs. When it gets really cold I wear an additional thermal skully underneath. The only problem I have is the heaviest one is difficult to breathe through when going hard and limits oxygen intake. That's kind of at odds with keeping warm. But that's my preferred method of keeping the face/neck/head warm.

May try that neck gaiter thing though. But for now... February is OVER! Balaclava days are numbered.
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