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Old 09-10-08, 07:50 PM   #1
cyclinfool
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Fall Riding

Well its really coming fast - we will be down to less than 12 hours of sunlight soon, it's getting colder and fall is just around the corner. For all who are new to this forum you will be amazed at how long folks here will stay on the roads - we have a few die-hard in Upstate NY who ride all year long - you know who you are - these guys are in the snow belt as well! Last year for me it was shoe covers, fleece under tights, ski gloves, a fleece hat under the helmet and two layers of fleece under a jacket that got me through November before I threw in the towel and exclusively road the trainer. I just can't do it under 30 degrees.

What are your fall/winter riding plans? How long do you plan to stay at it and how do you plan to dress for it?
If you are in South Fla I don't want to hear about it!
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Old 09-10-08, 07:54 PM   #2
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I ride pretty regularly through about the end of October on the roads, the occasional weekend after that if the weather (read: temperature above 40) is decent. Otherwise I spend a bit more time on my MTB except on Saturdays during bird hunting season. I remember a few years ago going out on a ride on New Years day when the temperature was pushing 55 degrees!
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Old 09-10-08, 08:01 PM   #3
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Yep, going to service the winter wheels soon. Great time to ride as
the cars almost always give a wide berth to winter riders (because
we're insane?).

Clothing....bluejeans and my winter work coat as most of my riding
is commuting to and from work. Steel toe work boots with wool socks.
If it's 10 degrees or colder, longjohns are in order.

My job requires me to be both indoors and outdoors every day so
I just dress for work which satisfies my needs for the commute. It's
just 5 miles and I ride easy.
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Old 09-10-08, 08:05 PM   #4
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This will be my second fall season here in Lincoln, CA. I don't see that my riding will change too much, just a few more clothes. Last year, wool socks, leg warmers, a fleece vest, windbreaker and long fingered gloves were enough. Only rain stopped us.
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Old 09-10-08, 08:21 PM   #5
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What are your fall/winter riding plans? How long do you plan to stay at it and how do you plan to dress for it?
If you are in South Fla I don't want to hear about it!
I ride all winter as long as there is no snow or ice on the roads and the windchill is above 25F.

I don't have any special tires or other bike equipment but plenty of winter specific clothing. I usually wear tights over cycling shorts, Lake winter cycling boots with chemical toe warmers, a balaclava, winter gloves and three layers on the top. Here I am dressed for a 30 mile ride in January. I think the temps were in the mid 20's that day.

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Old 09-10-08, 08:23 PM   #6
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Snow in the mountains

In 2006, when I rode the Moab October 4 century it had snowed and rained for two days before.
The route goes into the La Sal mountains to 8200 feet. This was a surprise. It does not usually do that.
Now I live near Moab at 7500 feet. The century is September 20. Hopefully I will not need a jacket.
Rode my mtb the winter after that on the roads around 7500 feet. Last winter there was too much snow.
Hopefully I can get out on the recumbent I have ordered this winter. May have to drive down to the town at 4000 feet to ride, however.
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Old 09-10-08, 08:32 PM   #7
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I thought from the title that this would be about Club Tombay--maybe a calendar of social events for members who can't seem to quit the Club.

However, now that I see what the topic really is I must decline to participate.
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Old 09-10-08, 08:33 PM   #8
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I ride all winter as long as there is no snow or ice on the roads and the windchill is above 25F.

I don't have any special tires or other bike equipment but plenty of winter specific clothing. I usually wear tights over cycling shorts, Lake winter cycling boots with chemical toe warmers, a balaclava, winter gloves and three layers on the top. Here I am dressed for a 30 mile ride in January. I think the temps were in the mid 20's that day.

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Old 09-10-08, 08:46 PM   #9
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Last fall / winter I outfitted my commuter bike to go year 'round. I will do the same this year. Seattle is rarely below 25 to 30 degrees in the morning -- typical winter commute is 35 degrees, light rain, and dark. Good lights, fenders, layers are essential. I have a 20-mile round trip commute; I did it at least two days a week and as much as 5 days a week.

I don't ride on the rare icy/snow days, but ran into some black ice last year. A combination of swearing and praying allowed me to avoid falls last year, but I witnessed a number of other bike commuters go down on black ice.

On days I wimped out of bike riding I would go to the gym to work out.

On the weekends I watch for breaks in the rain and get in riding when I can...on really rainy days when I didn't want to take a long ride I would just ride my commuter bike through the rain to the gym on weekends (about a 6 mile round trip).

All in all I was able to average over 100 miles/week through last fall/winter.

The biggest downside of fall/winter riding to me last year was increased bike maintenance -- the roads here are wet all fall / winter (even if it isn't actually raining, it's wet) and bikes accumulate a lot of road grit....also hard on brake pads and rims.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 09-10-08 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 09-10-08, 09:30 PM   #10
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Can I play in SoCal? I love riding in fall and winter when the air is crisp and cool and I don't return home with a face the color of a tomato due to the heat. Snow on the mountains, crisp cool air. I plan to ride my hybrid (outfitted for night riding) after dark on work nights, and use it or my road bike for the weekend rides and I hope to cover a lot of mileage as soon as the temps get cooler.

Fall -- bring it on!
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Old 09-10-08, 09:49 PM   #11
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BengeBoy: You rock for riding like that all winter. I usually ride to work till it gets down into the mid 30's unless its raining.We get quite a bit of frost and black ice in the valley here and also I have to leave my house at 4:15 am so if its raining it makes it doubly hard to see with the glasses and when its dark and wet those people in the cages don't see you as well despite all the blinking lights so I take a ride on the weekends when I can but mostly take the winter to work on my bike projects. I have two lined up so far and most likely a third.
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Old 09-10-08, 09:53 PM   #12
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I've looking forward to a lot of riding in Sept & Oct. I consider temps down to 50 to be perfect riding weather. And 40s aren't bad.

After the clock turns, I have fewer opportunities to ride, as the sunsets immediately move to before 5PM & I don't get off work until 5:30-5:45. But am hopeful that once it gets cold, as in below freezing, that we don't have much snow and so the trails will be dry & frozen. If so, then I hope to try riding in it. Last winter the trails were snowcovered from Nov through March, so I barely rode at all.
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Old 09-10-08, 09:56 PM   #13
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Here in Upstate NY you can ride 11 months out of the year, August is too damn hot! But seriously I usually ride more in January than I do in August.
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Old 09-10-08, 10:00 PM   #14
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I ride all winter as long as there is no snow or ice on the roads and the windchill is above 25F.
That would rule out most of the winter in Wisconsin.
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Old 09-10-08, 10:05 PM   #15
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Bev, any thoughts of heading south for a few weeks during winter, now that you've retired?
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Old 09-11-08, 12:48 AM   #16
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I don't need to do much living in So. Cal. If it isn't raining I most likely can ride.
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Old 09-11-08, 05:01 AM   #17
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I'll ride if it's above freezing and sunny. In years past I've still gotten in a few days as late as early January if there's a thaw.

Things to take into account in the fall. Watch out for leaves on the road.......there are very few things as slippery, even when dry.

Watch out for limestone/rock dusted trails that freeze at night and thaw during the day. That top 1/4" of thawed material will stick to your bike like concrete if not cleaned off soon after the ride. Its very abrasive on the mechanicals too.

Carry enough emergency clothing to survive a breakdown. You still need to dress to shed heat when you are riding (unless you like being soaking wet) and when stopped to repair something, that level of cloathing will not keep you warm enough.
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Old 09-11-08, 05:37 AM   #18
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The coldest I've ridden here in central NJ is 17F. Nothing really special. Top: Light balaclava, Long sleeve base layer, long sleeve jersey, mid-or light weight jacket. Bottom: Bibs, wind-front tights, regular socks and light shoe covers. Hands: a range of gloves, from regular mtn bike gloves with fingers to PI Lobsters (rarely use).

Sometimes I'm really cold at the beginning of the ride. As soon as I get warmed up, I'm just fine. Biggest problem is moisture management. That's where good quality cycling clothes, and not over dressing come into play.
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Old 09-11-08, 06:28 AM   #19
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Fall? What's this "fall" of which you speak?
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Old 09-11-08, 07:03 AM   #20
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Fall? What's this "fall" of which you speak?

I've tried to explain to these northerners how uncomfortable 60degf is in South Florida if you've been there for any length of time...
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Old 09-11-08, 08:18 AM   #21
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Last night I winterized my bike by putting the fenders on the 520 and applying proofhide to the bottom of my Brooks.
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Old 09-11-08, 08:22 AM   #22
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This is my absolute favorite time of the year in weather-wimp coastal Southern California. The summer heat is generally past, the midday sunlight is not too strong for my Celtic skin, and the rainy season has not yet begun. The morning air is cool and refreshing.
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Old 09-11-08, 08:54 AM   #23
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I'll ride all year, but less often in the winter. This is more because of the shortness of the days. As a result I might only ride a couple time a week in the winter. I am likely to either run or work out on the rowing machine to replace some of my rides.

For down to freezing or so I just add regular tights, wool socks, a warm jersey, and a windproof shell jacket. Oh yeah and a little skull cap under the helmet, it just covers the tops of my ears.

For colder still I use some heavier tights that are windproof on the front and shoe covers.

Fall is ideal riding weather here in Maryland.

BTW: When people list the temps take them with a grain of salt. A lot of California folks will tell you it was cold at 50 and when press they say that 50 was the low for the 24 hour period! I am inclined to look at the temp when riding or maybe the high temp for the day. Oh and either way 50 isn't cold unless maybe it is raining and you are wearing your summer jersey. It always cracks me up when I visit SF and we are in shorts and meet people on the street bundled up like they were in Antarctica. I guess it is all what you are used to.
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Old 09-11-08, 09:04 AM   #24
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Weather over here will not get too cold- will not get too wet and will not get too windy- But you have to be prepared for all of these at any time. Goretex will become the jacket- Leggings will be on for most rides and The Seal Skinz socks have received their yearly wash. Will have to hunt out the Ski Mask and waterproof winter gloves- but apart from that- Riding as usual.
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Old 09-11-08, 12:11 PM   #25
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The MUP is usually empty when it gets cold, only the few of us will be out there. The roads are about the same.
Tights with or w/o long underware, and a fleece with a good wind breaker will do most days.
below 20 or so, a liner under the helmet, or else it's brain freeze from the vents. You only feel the cold if your not working.
The big problem is that I anly have weekends to ride because of the lack of daylight, I don't like to ride at night, the eyes aren't what they used to be.
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