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  1. #1
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    I'm liking the cold weather commuting better than I thought I would.

    I usually quit my 3 days a week or so bike commuting when the temperature drops below freezing due to being worried about falling on the ice and snow as well as not wanting to get salt on my bike. But the weather this year has been drier, and I've been able to keep riding even after the temperatures dropped below freezing. It's cold enough now to where I dress differently with that 10 degree or so decrease in temperatures, but it's more enjoyable than I thought it would be. And it's generated the "you rode today" comments that I hadn't heard in a while too, I guess everyone got used to my riding when it was in the 30's and 40's.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I like riding in the cold. If you've got the right gear, it's not hard staying comfortable. However, I don't like riding in rain, sleet, snow or other precip. Good rain gear will keep you partially dry, but you still have to contend with poor visibility, foggy eye glasses, slippery roads, wet feet and a dirty bike to clean later.

  3. #3
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    Lately I have been really happy and every evening I get home and proclaim out loud to my cat (since no one else is home yet) who is sprawled waiting for a tummy rub that I love biking while I wear a giant smile.

    I don't know why I have been feeling more that way the last few weeks than normal.

  4. #4
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Commuting does seem like it's more of an adventure now than it used to. One more thing to like.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I'm enjoying my cold weather commute as well. It's a bit of a pain to get rolling in the morning but it feels great once I get going. A balmy 23 F this morning and if I'm lucky, I'll get some snow on the way home.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    and wait until you see your thighs come spring!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  7. #7
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    I know my pants are always hard to find to fit my thighs and posterior. But they are getting pretty tight in the thighs these days.

    I have been lucky it has been very dry and fairly warm. It has been in the 40-50°F range. Still I have only added shoe covers since August, I am awaiting the hammer to drop. Or should I say mercury?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    When I started commuting in September 2013, I honestly expected to be a fair weather commuter. The first surprise rain shower cured me of that. Then I thought I'd be a warm weather commuter, but three polar vortexes later, I was still going at it. There is something liberating and exhilarating about doing it. I can remember thinking "hey, I'm not so fragile after all!"

    And this year I'm better equipped! A new pair of polar shield pants from Foxwear just arrived in the mail today. Now I'm almost hoping for a cold and wet day to try them out

  9. #9
    Senior Member mcours2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    When I started commuting in September 2013, I honestly expected to be a fair weather commuter. The first surprise rain shower cured me of that. Then I thought I'd be a warm weather commuter, but three polar vortexes later, I was still going at it. There is something liberating and exhilarating about doing it. I can remember thinking "hey, I'm not so fragile after all!"
    Same here. I've ridden more than I've driven. I don't think that I can become an every day bike commuter, but my goal for the next three months is to do it 2-3 times a week.

  10. #10
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    and wait until you see your thighs come spring!
    It feels like I'd be ready for anything if I keep riding all winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    And this year I'm better equipped! A new pair of polar shield pants from Foxwear just arrived in the mail today. Now I'm almost hoping for a cold and wet day to try them out
    My Foxwear jacket is a key piece of gear for me these days. Knee warmers over the good tights keep my legs warm, and the knee warmers even stay up better when I wear the tights than over bare skin.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    There comes a point every winter where the roads become a solid sheet of ice. That's when I'm done. Even with studded tires I'm not too excited about riding on sheet of choppy ice, lol. Other than, I like the way the winter gets shorter because I ride deeper into the season.

  12. #12
    tsl
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    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    When I started commuting in September 2013, I honestly expected to be a fair weather commuter. The first surprise rain shower cured me of that. Then I thought I'd be a warm weather commuter, but three polar vortexes later, I was still going at it. There is something liberating and exhilarating about doing it. I can remember thinking "hey, I'm not so fragile after all!"
    My experience mirrors Giant Doofus' pretty well. I was frail and sickly as a child, and that self-image stuck with me for five decades. Plus I have Reynaud's so I get cold really easily.

    That first winter, though, I decided I'd keep at it until it got too uncomfortable. Apparently the improved circulation brought on by cycling made it my warmest autumn ever. Next thing you know, I was buying studded snow tires, but still with the promise to myself that I'd use the bus if it got "too bad".

    "Too bad" didn't happen for another seven years after that.

    And like the OP, I see it as my twice daily adventure. Who'd want to miss out on that?
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  13. #13
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    A fellow cold Chicagoan for the OP:

    Let's Go Ride a Bike | Adventures in city cycling
    "Trying to cure traffic congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." - ATL Urbanist

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    The best part about below-freezing commutes is that it won't rain, just snow or ice, which work out a lot better for me as I find rain in the 30-40 degree F range much more annoying than snow or ice.
    Longbikes Slipstream

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    ... Next thing you know, I was buying studded snow tires, but still with the promise to myself that I'd use the bus if it got "too bad".

    "Too bad" didn't happen for another seven years after that.

    And like the OP, I see it as my twice daily adventure. Who'd want to miss out on that?
    Well said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
    The best part about below-freezing commutes is that it won't rain, just snow or ice, which work out a lot better for me as I find rain in the 30-40 degree F range much more annoying than snow or ice.
    So true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    I have been an avid cyclist, as a lifestyle since about 1972; self-described year-round commuter… As far as improving it, what I have gotten directly from BF are [list of four]:

    • the motivation and tips to ride in rain, and wintry roads, i.e. studded tires
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-18-14 at 09:20 PM.

  16. #16
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    After last winter, these freezing mornings seem trivial. I can't say that I actually enjoy the cold though. It's more tolerable than driving every day.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Slaninar's Avatar
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    The only time I'm not comfortable is when it is both cold and raining at the same time. Everything else is cool. I even prefer cold in some sick way - I can take layers off to stay comfortably cool - vs summer when I could use some chilling.
    Evviva il comunismo e la libertà.

  18. #18
    Senior Member BobbyG's Avatar
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    Plus there's not much opportunity to build and release endorphins in Chicagoland traffic, just the stress hormones. go, Go, GO! "no motor?"
    "When life hands you lumens, make lumen-aide!"

  19. #19
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    Keep it up. I haven't been as good this year with the commuting.

  20. #20
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
    Plus there's not much opportunity to build and release endorphins in Chicagoland traffic, just the stress hormones. go, Go, GO! "no motor?"
    Thanks! I was pedaling home from our office Christmas party Wednesday evening and couldn't help but notice all the Christmas decorations in the yards I rode by. It wasn't what I expected to be doing, but it sure was nice. Even without the endorphins my body was making.

  21. #21
    Senior Member BobbyG's Avatar
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    Thank YOU! I was going to pass on rding today, it was 19F and my limit is now 23F but after reading your post I grabbed my gear and rode! Lotsa fun, although I coulda used warmer socks.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    Thanks! I was pedaling home from our office Christmas party Wednesday evening and couldn't help but notice all the Christmas decorations in the yards I rode by. It wasn't what I expected to be doing, but it sure was nice. Even without the endorphins my body was making.
    I tried to get the family to go or for a ride the other night to check them out. They wanted nothing to do with it. Sad face

  23. #23
    contiuniously variable TransitBiker's Avatar
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    As simple and easy as warm weather riding is...... i definitely get a thrill out of riding in the cold..... the colder the better.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  24. #24
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    If you commute on a MUP/greenway, cold is awesome. Much less traffic.

  25. #25
    vol
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    For one thing, it doesn't hurt when you fall while bundled with winter clothing

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