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Thread: winter riding

  1. #1
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    winter riding

    I live in Michigan, am about to turn 60 and I just love riding my bike in the winter.
    Makes me feel young and tough lol.

    I rode today, sun was out and it was about 36f , I ride a Cruiser 5 about 5 times a week 16 to 25 miles at a time. Today I did 25.
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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    The sun makes a difference to how the ride goes and above freezing would be a blessing for me right now. Still tomorrow it warms up to around 45F but no sun due to the clouds and the rain they are about to drop. Couple that with a 20mph wind and I won't be riding for a little while yet.

    Must be the age factor creeping up on me as only a few years ago I would have been out on the bike doing something. That's what changing over to road riding has done for me.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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    It is more rare, but even in winter below freezing there are days when I think "What a beautiful day for a bike ride.
    mainlytext.com/bike.html Bicycling in winter, the entertainment version

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    Senior Member rtool's Avatar
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    I live in SW Ohio near Dayton. Weather is very changeable here. It can be in the low 20s (f) one day and like today it is supposed to reach the mid 50s. So far we have had many sunny days, which make riding much more pleasurable.

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    Senior Member bent4me's Avatar
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    I ride all yr long. Cold Winter riding is not much different than Hot Summer. Less miles and slower pace. Changing seasons keeps it interesting.

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    My relationship with winter riding is a bit different. As some of my friends might suggest, I rage against the winter. I refuse to let it dominate my life. So, for me it's a personal battle. Winter will NOT keep off my bike. (Of course the proper clothing and studded tires help a great deal.)
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

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    Frigid temps alone (no snow or ice) is just not a good enough of a reason for me not to ride. It's a great sense of accomplishment to conquer cold temps on the bike. I just don't have a good reason not to do it, so I do. It also goes a long way to maintain my membership in the "flat stomach club."

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    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    too cold to ride today. i'll be spinning indoors. maybe when it warms up and gets close to 0F...

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    Quote Originally Posted by digibud View Post
    too cold to ride today. i'll be spinning indoors. maybe when it warms up and gets close to 0F...
    Oh...don't be a wuss...its' only -46
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

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    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    hey! you're right!

    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Oh...don't be a wuss...its' only -46
    I hadn't realized it warmed up! It was -49F earlier so maybe I'll go out for a ride. NOT!

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    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    --46F or C!?! At either, C being the colder, I'd turn into a mikecicle at those temps!!!

    The coldest I've ridden so far was last year at 22F with a 12F wind chill.

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    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    I'm so glad I live In Florida XD
    Scott Aspect 940 29er, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

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    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    and the current temp is...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
    --46F or C!?! At either, C being the colder, I'd turn into a mikecicle at those temps!!!

    The coldest I've ridden so far was last year at 22F with a 12F wind chill.
    it's currently -40F on the button at the house. the other day walking out to the eskimo steam bath about 100feet from the house I just had some light socks and flip-flops on with no hat or gloves and a Tshirt. By the time I'd walked that 100feet I was quite happy I didn't have to go any further. Pretty darned chilly. I've camped out without a tent in these temps before but I have to say, being out and about at -40F is really a lot of work and a constant challenge even for small things. Building a fire the other day, I gathered the wood while wearing warm mitts but then to get the kindling setup and the birch bark prepped to light required me to remove the warm mitts and work in light gloves. As my hands started to get painfully cold I knew I had to get a match lit soon or I'd have to stop and get my hands warmed. I rested a hand on the stove for a few seconds without thinking and that was painful. Got the birch bark lit OK and thankfully the kindling was setup right and the fire took the first time. Got my gloves back on and returned later for a seriously hot steam (we call it that but it's more like what most people would call a sauna). Personally I don't ride at -40F. I'm game to about -10F and I'll go out if there is a reason at -20F. Beyond that I have to say it's just not too fun for this 60yr old wimp.

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    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    well, I don't have to deal with the super-cold that some of you are talking about, Merely the cold. It's about 22 F just now, and I'm slowly preparing to go out for my evening ride. I kind of drag my feet, avoiding the bracing feeling of the start of the ride, but I'll be very happy once I'm riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    I'm so glad I live In Florida XD

    Actually, having lived both places, both have their challenges. I've lived "off the grid" for extended periods in -30F and colder. It is very manageable and once you get your head around the temperature actually enjoyable. Without air conditioning the same can't be said about high 90's and humidity to match. Summer in Florida with its' high temperatures and humidity to match is not only very uncomfortable, it is dangerous. It is rare to hear of someone dying in the cold. Every power outage in hot season seems to bring news reports of people dying.

    Separately, I know people who commute on a bicycle year around and the "Fat Tire" people seem to enjoy winter camping with some pretty low cutoff temperatures.

    Last night I met a professional woman who was telling how she and her family moved their cutoff temperature for travel to their remote cabin from -20F to -40F/C. And this was with toddler age children.
    Last edited by HawkOwl; 12-17-12 at 06:49 PM.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

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    Save for snow/ice/rain, I ride all year. Winter riding is not my favorite endeavor, but I do it to maintain fitness, physical and psychological, and work on my annual mileage. Fortunately, I don't have to face the temperature faced by digibud and those who live in the northern climes. We get some sub-zero temperatures occasionally, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

  17. #17
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    well, I don't have to deal with the super-cold that some of you are talking about, Merely the cold. It's about 22 F just now, and I'm slowly preparing to go out for my evening ride. I kind of drag my feet, avoiding the bracing feeling of the start of the ride, but I'll be very happy once I'm riding.
    Yeah, it was a fine ride. Unfortunately, one of the trails was as close to a sheet of ice as I've ever seen - miles and miles of glare ice. I'm not sure why - the trail was hard packed snow the other day, but I guess just a little bit of rain a few nights ago and then the cold....Anyway, my Nokian A10 studded tires, though not the most heavily studded of tires, kept me upright.

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    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    I live in Michigan, am about to turn 60 and I just love riding my bike in the winter.
    Makes me feel young and tough lol.

    I rode today, sun was out and it was about 36f , I ride a Cruiser 5 about 5 times a week 16 to 25 miles at a time. Today I did 25.

    It's a nice change to ride without sweating. I'm looking forward to some snow, I've already put studs on one of my bikes, and will be adding to another in a day or so. Oh, yeah, the skis are waxed and ready also.

    Marc
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    "I can still do everything I used to, but now I'm mature enough to take a nap without being told." - Me

    "You don't deteriorate from age,you age from deterioration" --Joe Weider

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    It's a nice change to ride without sweating. I'm looking forward to some snow, I've already put studs on one of my bikes, and will be adding to another in a day or so. Oh, yeah, the skis are waxed and ready also.

    Marc
    I would LOVE to know how to pull that off. Even on the coldest days with heavy winds, being "under-dressed" and shivering, I perspire when riding.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Even the ride home into rain and storm front headwind, was a short adventure,
    coming home from town center.

  21. #21
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Did a ride today in 36F temp but no rain and only a slight breeze. Sealskinz Gloves and socks and they did not get cold. Base layer- short sleeve jersey and the ultimate top coat-----An ASSOS winter coat. Wind-proof and warm to start but it is that keeping the wind out that works. Also Put on the cyclight tights but the Ski Mask stayed in the back pocket. The sun only came out for a little while and it was at that stage that I had to unzip.

    It is the layering that keeps out the cold providing the layers are of the right material. The base layer is a thermal wicking long sleeve vest and Assos clothing is top of the range. Prices are top of the range too but Sales do occur but if you can afford it- Assos clothing is worth it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  22. #22
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Today was the season's first commute in the snow. About five centimeters of new snow, but falling over roads wet from yesterday's rain and major hailstorm, so I had to be a bit careful on the descents and corners, but it wasn't too bad, even the curving 10% grade off the part of the hill I live on. Fresh snow is soft enough to ride on; you can even apply some front brake. Had to get used to the bike feeling "loose" in spots, and a little bit of front wheel deflection where the snow gets compressed and rutted by car tracks, but riding in snow really improves your general bike-handling skills, especially when you do it on 23mm racing tires with no tread or studs.

    But the usual 20-km commute, which takes about 55 minutes (by the computer) on a slow day, turned into a 1h 8-minute commute, even though the snow turned to slush as I neared downtown Vancouver. But what surprised me the most was the large number of bike tracks on the greenway bike route/path. Must have been a couple of dozen. Usually in new snow, I see a couple of tracks by the time I get there. But today, the path was being heavily used.

    There were also a few riders cautiously walking their bikes down some of the descents, although they are by no means steep. You have to get used to riding with the rear wheel locking up every now and then.

    Luis

  23. #23
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    I would LOVE to know how to pull that off. Even on the coldest days with heavy winds, being "under-dressed" and shivering, I perspire when riding.
    I guess it's all relative. I should say "sweat less" or minimally. It is kind of funny to walk in somewhere with sweat on my brow when I take off my helmet and hear somebody ask: "Aren't you cold?" Do I really look cold with sweat on my forehead? Oh, well. A lot of people just need educating.

    Marc
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    "I can still do everything I used to, but now I'm mature enough to take a nap without being told." - Me

    "You don't deteriorate from age,you age from deterioration" --Joe Weider

  24. #24
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Year rounder here too. I chuckle at how few bikes are at the train station on snowy or sub-zero days --just a couple of us loons.
    My coldest day was below -25F. Those days are more about mastering the elements than actually enjoying the ride (full neoprene mask, ski goggles, toe covers, padded underwear junk warmers, etc).

    It also reminds of of those tough windy days on our supported long ride trips --where the youngsters give up and call for a pickup. The older guys just plod along respectfully defying the elements.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    awww, this reminded me of that feeling when I first became independant and could ride my bike whereever I wanted, and it was fast!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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