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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 10-28-08, 08:38 AM   #1
TechKnowGN
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I did it!!

After several days of being sick and prior to that chickening out due to either wind or cold, I COMMUTED IN TO WORK TODAY!

Temperature when I started today was 32 degrees!!! 5 miles in the freezing air, and with a wind chill in the 20s! It took me 10 minutes longer than normal, which I attribute in part to the weather, and my lack of a good breakfast (I forgot to pick up milk last night).

Prior to last night, I didn't have the right lower body gear. I didn't want to pay $50 for tights with a wedding on the horizon, so I kept hoping for a pair on sale. Last night fiance and I went shopping found a pair of Nike Cold Compression tights for $16!! I also picked up 3 pairs of long underwear. Good values can be found in Central Ohio.

I learned I need to pick up a face mask, or baklava (LOL) or whatever you folks are calling it. The wind made my face pretty cold. I also could use some pants to break the wind but that I don't need to worry about getting caught on the crank (ideas here would be nice)

I wore:

Nike Cold Compression Tights
Thermal Long Underwear
basketball shorts
UA ColdGear fitted longsleeve top
Thermal shirt
windbreaker pullover jacket
Stocking cap
180s ear covers
Helmet
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Old 10-28-08, 08:48 AM   #2
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Congrats! Here's hoping for many more trips for you!!

-Roger
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Old 10-28-08, 08:50 AM   #3
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Old 10-28-08, 09:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Standard HHCMF Greeting
Welcome to the HHCMF Club (Happy, Healthy Commuting Mutha F'ers). We take pride in showing off our well muscled legs and tight butts to friends and co-workers, using the money we save on gas and transit to buy cool stuff for our bikes like raccoon tails and grips w/ tassles, and only slightly embellishing our exciting tales of heroism and derring-do as we ride our trusty steeds to and from work surrounded by maniacal impotent death squads in SUVs.
You must've looked a sight with all that stuff on. At the temps you described, I wear silk longjohns, whatever pants I'm wearing to work, wool socks if I did the laundry, a merino wool pullover, jacket, gloves and a beanie that covers my ears. Once you warm up, you produce enough heat to keep you comfortable. Check out the winter forum for clothing tips.
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Old 10-28-08, 09:34 AM   #5
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Congratulations! It seems to me that cycling gets much more expensive if you want to do it in the dark and cold, especially if you want to do it twice a day in the dark and the cold. Just keep experimenting and layering. I won't offer any suggestions on warm layers since I can't remember the last time I spent less than $30 on a single item of cold-weather cycling garb. I'm done with the cheap stuff - I just want stuff that performs.
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Old 10-28-08, 10:21 AM   #6
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I have to say, the tights performed. What I got was "good stuff" at a "cheap stuff" price. The long johns worked nicely as a top layer, although I have to say the wind did get through them more than I hoped. But my legs never really felt cold (they rarely do).

The face was the only area I really need to protect now, although I will look for some kind of bike shorts or pants than I can wear over the long johns.

I've commuted about half a dozen times in the nicer weather of September (I just started biking last month), but this was a far different experience, even from the 50 degree days in late september.
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Old 10-28-08, 10:44 AM   #7
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Ha...baklava. Balaklava, man. Baklava tastes good after a nice meal. Check out Seirus, they make some good masks. That's not a fun lesson to learn, about the needing a mask thing. Rubber bands or reflective bands for your windbreaker pants, if you use them.
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Old 10-28-08, 11:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TechKnowGN View Post
I also could use some pants to break the wind...
Why? I break wind all the time with no pants. Although your fiance might get mad.
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Old 10-28-08, 11:05 AM   #9
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Congrats!

It was a little chilly here last night. I had on a pair of jeans, a light jacket, and a beanie; however, I didn't have any gloves. When I got home, my hands were bright red. My wife gasped when she saw them, but was soon on the run when I started chasing her, threatening to rub my hands on her warm neck and tummy.
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Old 10-28-08, 11:07 AM   #10
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Awesome. You're inspiring me to keep going as our relatively balmy Texas weather gets cooler.... although we were only a few degrees warmer than you today, in the mid-30s. Frost on the rooftops but not on the ground.
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Old 10-28-08, 12:31 PM   #11
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It's in the 40's now, so the commute home ought to be less difficult. Plus as I said I hadn't properly fueled up, and I am still not 100% over the cold.
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Old 10-28-08, 12:32 PM   #12
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Old 10-28-08, 12:41 PM   #13
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I have been riding in the cold for the first time the last couple of days and it is not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. It has been in the low 30's for me. I bought some gloves and a face mask this weekend. The face mask is by Turtle Fur and covers the mouth, has a strip over the nose and goes over my head. I can pull the nose/mouth part down if i need to. If you have it all the way on, only your eyes are exposed and it kept me warm so far.
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Old 10-28-08, 12:47 PM   #14
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Face: HTFU now and cover up later when it starts getting really cold. As long as you keep your head, ears and neck covered, and have decent glasses, you should be good down to 32F without having to cover your face. Cold air is good for your complexion...gives you rosy cheeks and a nose like a cherry!

Legs: Nylon warm-up pants and long johns should do you fine down to 20F or so. Get one of those reflective velcro straps to cinch up the legs, or just use rubber bands, velcro strips, or even tuck them into your sock.

See the "What I wore today" thread in the Winter Cycling forums for some ideas concerning what others wear in various conditions.
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