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Old 01-23-14, 10:10 PM   #26
Mr. Hairy Legs
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I'm so glad to be on the west coast. This has been one of the nicest winters in memory. Today I noticed all sorts of flowers blooming outside.
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Old 01-24-14, 12:37 AM   #27
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I'm so glad to be on the west coast. This has been one of the nicest winters in memory. Today I noticed all sorts of flowers blooming outside.
I miss living at the coast. I rode pretty much year round there (Vancouver/ N Vancouver and enjoyed many trips to Barnston Island.
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Old 01-24-14, 05:42 AM   #28
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I'm throwing in the towel today.....it's not the -20 windchill that bugs me so much as the 45 mph wind. Fat bikes don't like wind.
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Old 01-24-14, 07:36 AM   #29
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I'm one of the weird ones who likes riding in the cold. I would rather ride in cold weather like we're having now (lows in the teens and 20s F) than hot humid weather we get in the summer with 95+ highs. As others said, acclimation is important and you have to keep riding when it starts cooling off in the autumn to be able to handle winter. You also need the right gear. Hands and feet are the weak links, so you need decent gloves and shoes/socks/coverings. Keeping your core warm will also help keep your extremities warm, but overdressing will make it worse because you sweat. It's a process of trial-and-error knowing what combinations of clothes to wear.

My biggest discovery the past few winters is the benefits of rain jackets for general purpose riding in winter. A good rain jacket will also function as a wind block but allow good ventilation. You can wear various base layers and jerseys under the rain jacket, depending on the cold. This past fall I bought a new Showers Pass Elite 2.1 jacket and it has been incredible for the cold weather -- extremely well ventilated yet great at blocking wind. As a bonus, it's got me covered if rain crops up.

BTW, I set a new record cold commute for me this morning, 12 F with a wind chill below zero. However, I'm don't think I can handle temperatures much colder without investing in some warmer gloves and shoe covers. That probably wouldn't be worth the cost because we rarely get temps below 20 F in this part of NC. The weather we've had lately is the coldest here in more than 10 years.
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Old 01-24-14, 08:14 AM   #30
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This is why I'm thankful for my Tacx Fortuis Trainer.
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Old 01-24-14, 08:32 AM   #31
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I don't mind riding in the cold, now that I have some cold weather gear. However, the temperature swings over the course of a week can make it difficult to ride in daily, and even then, the temperature swings over the course of the day make it a challenge with gear. 41 in the morning, then 60 on the way home.
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Old 01-24-14, 08:39 AM   #32
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Saw a grand total of one bike out there this morning, and the guy was wearing a ski helmet and goggles. Temps in the single digits. If this keeps up, I may have to step up my cold weather gear a notch or two. A fat bike with studded tires would be a nice addition, as well.
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Old 01-24-14, 09:00 AM   #33
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TN, HaaaHaaa, winter, I scoff. So to OP's issues, flat pedals and in low insulated winter boots. That should help. Boston has been lows of -5 to 0, and highs of 10-20F. No commuting this week due to work issues. Will pedal off road Sat though.
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Old 01-24-14, 09:26 AM   #34
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I don't mind riding in the cold, now that I have some cold weather gear. However, the temperature swings over the course of a week can make it difficult to ride in daily, and even then, the temperature swings over the course of the day make it a challenge with gear. 41 in the morning, then 60 on the way home.
Hey, that would be tough. Riding at 41 in the morning with tshirt and shorts, then needing a way to carry the cold weather gear while you ride naked at 60 on the way home
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Old 01-24-14, 09:54 AM   #35
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Hey, that would be tough. Riding at 41 in the morning with tshirt and shorts, then needing a way to carry the cold weather gear while you ride naked at 60 on the way home
+1. Good reply!

I just posted this on the Northeast Regional Discussion thread, ”Metro Boston: Good ride today?”:

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Hi all MetroBostocyclists,

Check out the front page of today's (1/24/14) Boston Globe for a feature story on Boston's Winter Cyclists, "rugged riders undeterred by season's harsh turns." (cue the William Tell Overture.)
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Old 01-24-14, 11:06 AM   #36
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+1.

He's my inspiration to HTFU. I still have no idea how he does it. I did a ride on Tuesday night that I'm guessing got down into the low 30s and I was freezing my various extremities, even with a merino wool baselayer, long sleeve jersey and PI Soft Shell Jacket up top, PI AmFib bibs below, wool socks, soft shell shoe covers . . . well, you get the picture. My wife said she's never seen me look so cold and miserable after a ride (and she was right).
I've had plenty of people ask me "you rode in this weather" over the years, followed by the inevitable "you must be crazy/tougher than me". I usually quit riding when it gets down to about the freezing point, and think I'm a wimp compared to people like tsl who ride all year in worse weather. Especially this year.
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Old 01-24-14, 12:05 PM   #37
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think I'm a wimp compared to people like tsl who ride all year in worse weather. Especially this year.
Just to be clear, while I appreciate the admiration, it's not a case of wimpiness vs HTFU. I'm not that special.

I'm just an old guy who likes to ride his bike. I'm in it for the joy. Yes, sometimes the challenges sweeten the deal a bit, but the bottom line is that my commutes are the best two times of my day.

Why would I want to give that up?

It simply became a matter of figuring out what I have to do to keep that twice daily (take only as directed) jolt of joy, rather than give in to seasonal depression.

As a bonus, I don't have to re-train from zero in the spring. That, in effect, is wimping out. I don't think I could put up with all the pain of starting all over again from zero every March.

Anyway, yes, that first winter I was horribly, unbelieveably cold while I figured out what works for me and what doesn't. Mainly it was a case of discovering what doesn't.

These days, I have what works nailed. A quick look out the window, and confirmation from one of the weather web sites, and I can put together the right clothes, pick the right bike, choose the best route and leaving time, and off I go, happy as a clam. I still surprise myself at this. All week I carried extra clothes and gloves in the pannier. Basically I took my wardrobe for a ride. Unnecessarily.

But all these years later, that first step outside, and the first five minutes of the ride, I'm still cold. I've just learned that it doesn't last. (There's a reason why they call it "warm-up".) By ten minutes I'm warming up, somewhere between 15 and 20 I'm unzipping a bit. So I guess I do tough it out, but just the first five minutes.

As for conditions with the bike, economically and storage-wise, I have to make what I have work. There are days when 35mm studded tires are less than ideal. Brown sugar on top of hardpack is the worst. That's what I had both ways, all three workdays this week. I just drop to the small ring and big cog, shift my weight far back on the saddle, and pick my way through as the bike shifts unpredictably beneath me. My average speeds were in the single-digits this week.

Rather than become scared the first time I encountered this, I decided to learn how to deal with it.

It *is* a decision. You either decide to give in to fear, or you decide to find out how to make it work.

I simply decided in the other direction than most. I viewed it as an opportunity to improve my bike-handling skills. This week, I *almost* had to "dab" once. So there's still room for improvement.

Which gives me a goal to work towards while I enjoy the ride.
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Old 01-24-14, 12:06 PM   #38
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Single digits feel like the new normal; the cold doesn't bother me much anymore. It was 10F this morning, and I felt fine, even managed to sweat a little. The snow on the other hand, is a serious pain. It was nice today finally not to have to worry too much about slip sliding under a bus. Taking bike share the last couple of days may not have been the wisest thing to do, though those sherman tanks are pretty stable at least. I think I've take the subway more often in the past week, than I have in the rest of the last six months. Give me temps closer to 30 and no snow, and I'll be golden.

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Old 01-24-14, 12:55 PM   #39
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Not to make you guys jealous, but it was 29 degrees F for me this morning. A guy at work asked me "Isn't it cold?" but later admitted that he has a daughter somewhere back east (he does know, I just can't remember where he said) that bicycle commutes in negative temps. Maybe he was trying to trap me into admitting I'm a wimp.
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Old 01-24-14, 01:36 PM   #40
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Someone on facebook (from NY) posted a picture of a snowman with a sign that read, "Florida". I commented that though it would feel like swimming pool weather to us right now, it was 37 according to my phone yesterday in Orlando. Someone else posted, "No, stay up north! It's freezing down here. It's getting to 30's at night and highs of only 50's." I immediately thought of this and all the other threads on this forum about folks riding in the extreme cold.

I don't commute, but when it started to get down to a high of 50, I thought I might need to wear longer pants and a long sleeve shirt on my exercise ride. I was wrong. I was miserable the whole time sweating my rear end off wishing I was in shorts and a short sleeve. Coldest I did was about 35 in the shade of the woods. Jeans after work and a light jacket. Few minutes of that at 35 and the jacket was unzipped and I wish I didn't have it with me. Never got the chance to see what colder than 35 was unfortunately because of overtime at work.

For the record though, I do think you folks are crazy with this cold, LOL. I can't even stay warm in my car in the mornings.
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Old 01-24-14, 03:20 PM   #41
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12 miles at 10F this morning.
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Old 01-24-14, 03:44 PM   #42
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I really think this winter is payback for us having fairly mild winters the past 2 years.
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Old 01-24-14, 05:19 PM   #43
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I really think this winter is payback for us having fairly mild winters the past 2 years.
You say payback, I say making up for!
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Old 01-24-14, 08:15 PM   #44
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I've decided that I don't care for weather this cold. I haven't missed a day yet, but I'm not really enjoying it much either. Ready for Spring.
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Old 01-24-14, 09:02 PM   #45
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I rather ride in dry snowy cold weather than the cold rainy weather out west. I'm a roadie, but I love riding my cross bikes in winter. I fell in love with winter rides after I got hooked on cyclocross.
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Old 01-24-14, 10:51 PM   #46
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I really think this winter is payback for us having fairly mild winters the past 2 years.
I guess it depends on where you live. I've been calling this an old-school winter. Haven't had one like this in 10 or 20 years 'round these parts.

Actually, that's part of what makes it work for me. It's different. A change of pace. Variety is the spice, and all.
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Old 01-25-14, 08:07 AM   #47
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We've had record lows and snow fall. It's been below zero most of the week. I'm hoping temps will get back to normal soon so I can ride. I find myself wishing it was spring already.
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Old 01-25-14, 08:30 AM   #48
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I was thankful this week that it's been just cold and windy during this cycle, versus the snow followed by ice earlier this month. There was no way I could safely ride over the ice, but cold I can deal with.

What I really want is a few days of heavy rain to wash the sand off the road. I recently switched to Michelin Protek tires after getting a second flat from a rock shard through my Gatorskins. So far so good.
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Old 01-25-14, 01:15 PM   #49
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Just to be clear, while I appreciate the admiration, it's not a case of wimpiness vs HTFU. I'm not that special.

I'm just an old guy who likes to ride his bike.
I know, you're just willing to take things farther than I'm comfortable or able to without making some bigger changes. I've treated enough patients that fell outside in the ice and snow to want to avoid it myself - if the roads ever clear up before it warms up I'll be out riding again but my comfort/risk zone stops when it's too slippery out.

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As for conditions with the bike, economically and storage-wise, I have to make what I have work.
And that's another problem for me, I keep my bike inside at home and work and don't want to bring a wet snowy bike inside. I take my shoes off at the door so I don't mess up the carpets in this weather too.
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Old 01-25-14, 01:20 PM   #50
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I know, you're just willing to take things farther than I'm comfortable or able to without making some bigger changes. I've treated enough patients that fell outside in the ice and snow to want to avoid it myself - if the roads ever clear up before it warms up I'll be out riding again but my comfort/risk zone stops when it's too slippery out.


And that's another problem for me, I keep my bike inside at home and work and don't want to bring a wet snowy bike inside. I take my shoes off at the door so I don't mess up the carpets in this weather too.
One should never feel the need to apologize or explain why he doesn't ride a bike in cold, wet, or otherwise lousy weather.

You ride a bike to work by choice, and can not ride at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all.
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