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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 01-07-14, 03:27 PM   #1
pdlamb
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Set a personal low temp?

Anybody else set a personal best cycling in low temperatures?

I've been stuck at 14 F for years. The only time it got below that, there was snow and ice on the road. (Call me a wimp, I want to be in a car if we're going to play bumper cars!) This morning i gained 9 degrees, down to +5F.

No real problems, although I wish I knew where I put my coldest weather tights. Knee warmers under medium weight was OK except for my upper thighs.
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Old 01-07-14, 03:29 PM   #2
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Low 50's- upper 40's. I don't have any good cold gear..since it's Florida and all.
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Old 01-07-14, 03:37 PM   #3
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Here in the balmy Pacific NW, we've managed to avoid all the frigid weather heaped on eastern Canada & the US midwest/deep south. But your post does point out some of the things we don't even consider when riding beyond a certain threshold. I was once in a cross country ski race years ago where the temperature dropped to about minus 20 Celsius. I recall that I was wearing cycling tights with cycling shorts underneath, but at some point, I could feel my nether regions beginning to get so cold that I took off my neck warmer and shoved it down into my shorts where there was greater need for insulation! (since then, I switched to the Swix windproof briefs for added protection when skiing!)

Good to see people can still ride at such low temps.

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Old 01-07-14, 06:47 PM   #4
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Yep, 5° is a personal low this morning. Since it was also the coldest temperatures here in the last 20-30 years depending on where you look, I'm not likely to best it in a long time if ever.
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Old 01-07-14, 06:54 PM   #5
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I've cycled to work (about an hour each way) at -25*F before. It's only been down to -19*F so far, and I haven't been riding in it because I've put 5 hours of shoveling in yesterday and today, so I just drove.

For this year, the coldest I've ridden was about -8*F.
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Old 01-07-14, 07:05 PM   #6
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I had a bad experience riding in extreme cold waaaay back in college. I was about 10 degrees in Buffalo, and I went out, but the bike just flipped out from under me when I hit some ice. It was colder here in NYC today and no thanks.
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Old 01-07-14, 07:29 PM   #7
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23F bike commuting here in Sacramento. Although I did walk to work while I was working in Astana, KZ. One day it was -28C. That was brisk, baby.
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Old 01-07-14, 07:43 PM   #8
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I had a bad experience riding in extreme cold waaaay back in college. I was about 10 degrees in Buffalo, and I went out, but the bike just flipped out from under me when I hit some ice. It was colder here in NYC today and no thanks.
Same here, I'll take the train instead on days like this.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:31 PM   #9
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Yeah new low here. Around 2F. Shorter and flatter than it used to be so not too uncomfortable. Those downhills will really suck it out of you.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:51 PM   #10
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Just started commuting last May (25 mi round trip) so this is my first winter riding road. Yesterday was 12 deg F windchill -1, my record low for the road riding.

Last year I was trail riding for 3 hours on the fat bike in 10 deg F windchill -8 temps. New record low for trail riding set today on the fat bike for 1.5 hours at 3 deg F windchill -17.
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Old 01-08-14, 10:45 AM   #11
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5 deg F today is personal low for me. Previously, it had been 20s and 30s this winter, and in winters before, I totally chickened out on all but the nicest days.
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Old 01-08-14, 11:18 AM   #12
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0°F but calm when I left home headed to work yesterday.
However the ride was tougher Monday when it was 5° with a 25mph crosswind.
It was 13° this morning but we are supposed to get relief starting this afternoon.
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Old 01-08-14, 11:25 AM   #13
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I decided against riding in these temperatures. Yesterday it stayed at 9ºF all day. I took the subway. I figured I could injure myself.

Many years ago, I rode in 8ºF, only because I didn't know how cold it was. That was in Boston. It was pretty painful. I know I could do it if I had the right clothing, but I don't know if I do. Probably not, since it doesn't get this cold often. I guess I'm like the Floridians. But I do ride when it's 20ºF outside. No problem.
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Old 01-08-14, 11:31 AM   #14
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4 degrees was my lowest, and that was yesterday. Today, it was all of 9 degrees, and I can't say I noticed a bit of difference. Cold is cold. If my commute were even 15 minutes longer, I think I would drive. I was at my limit for what I want to tolerate.
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Old 01-08-14, 11:38 AM   #15
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I just barely beat my previous record low today with the low temperature at 15 F, one degree lower than my previous record. I decided not to ride yesterday when the low reached 9 F because it was very windy, so the windchill was about -10 F. That was a good call because my feet and hands were pretty close to my limit for discomfort this morning. We don't get temperatures this cold often enough for me to invest in gloves and shoes that would keep me warm enough in temps lower than 10 F. We usually have several days every winter where the morning lows are in the teens, but we haven't dropped below 10 F in something like 14 years.
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Old 01-08-14, 04:18 PM   #16
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After 2 years car-free in Buffalo, I realize that low temps are not the problem with proper clothing. High winds with little plowing makes for a tough commute, though! Just not from a cold body point of view.
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Old 01-08-14, 06:24 PM   #17
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5F with a 15 mph headwind today is my new record. Luckily were heading for a warm spell so won't
see those temps for a while hopefully. I've decided though its doable I don't find it enjoyable. Having
to work outside all day I probably won't go below 15 again .
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Old 01-08-14, 06:31 PM   #18
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In my 30's I used to ride down to 10F. Now, in my 50's it's 23F (why 23?, IDK). However this winter I was started out on a 15F morning and turned around due to more ice than I felt safe with. Next cold, dry day I'm gonna try for 15 again.
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Old 01-09-14, 06:14 AM   #19
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You people are nuts! I started my car on Tuesday, let it sit and warm up for half an hour, got in bundled up like I was on an Alaskan hiking trail, and still froze my tail off driving half an hour inside a car with the heat blowing. That's with me being one who is always hot.
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Old 01-09-14, 07:33 AM   #20
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You people are nuts! I started my car on Tuesday, let it sit and warm up for half an hour, got in bundled up like I was on an Alaskan hiking trail, and still froze my tail off driving half an hour inside a car with the heat blowing. That's with me being one who is always hot.
My "engine" warms up much quicker on a bike!
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Old 01-09-14, 07:44 AM   #21
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Florida - the coldest for me was a couple of days ago. It was 29ºF with wind gusting from the North @30MPH. I rode into the wind for 7 miles. It wasn't too bad since I layered like crazy. By the time I got to work though, I was more tired than usual from that ride. Finger tips and toes were numb.

With my cold weather gear, I know I could go colder. It has gotten colder than 29 here before too..so...we'll see what the rest of the winter brings.

For me, its the wind gusts we get off the Gulf that bother me more than the weather.
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Old 01-09-14, 08:31 AM   #22
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My all time low was set last december (on the 17th) a 27.5 kms ride at -30°celcius (-22°f) and that day I decided against riding below -25° celcius.
Up here -15 to -20° celcius is normal at this time of the year so it's no big deal.
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Old 01-09-14, 09:31 AM   #23
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My personal low is about 18F. I just don't have the right gear for riding below that, and even if I did, I doubt it would fun.
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Old 01-09-14, 10:03 AM   #24
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Your personal go-no-go low temperature is also tempered by the length of the commute. So.. for me...
4.5 mile commute = 2 F
7 mile commute = 7 F
1 mile ride to the store = -10 F
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Old 01-10-14, 05:26 AM   #25
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I've been down to about 19 degrees F. But I've also been up to 120 degrees, so I consider that a Fahrenheit Century.
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