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Old 12-15-08, 09:53 AM   #1
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Whew, that was cold!

Faced with a 5km trek to the dentist in -20C (-4F) this past Saturday and a city-wide transit strike in Ottawa, my options were:

a) walk/jog
b) cycle

I decided to pull my kid's hybrid out of storage and test drive it on the road before making my decision. To my delight, the 700 * 28 tires with their slight tread performed very well on the asphalt. And to my added surprise, my touque fit nicely under my helmet. So off I went into glorious sunshine with no wind factor. My only dumb move was to wear my leather gloves so my thumbs were hurting tremendously when I arrived both at the dentist and at home.

Although commuting is out of the question until spring, that little jaunt opened up possibilities of getting in some simple maintenance rides thru the winter. I didn't think it possible to cycle in that temperature.
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Old 12-15-08, 11:37 AM   #2
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wow, your good

my teeth would freeze in that kind of cold
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Old 12-17-08, 07:22 AM   #3
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I have commuted year round for a lot of winters in Calgary, which has about the same
temperatures as Ottawa, just a lot less snow fall. I also commuted in Ottawa year
round for a few years. (See simple sig site article for details with a bit of entertainment.)

I also prefer narrow tires in the snow and don't use studs. The one caution with that is
that I thump into the pavement about once a winter from hitting ice that I don't see
because it is under snow. So that it never happens in traffic, I commute for my early
shifts when there is only about one car per mile to share the road with, and on my later
shifts I take little used streets to the nearest bike path.

On my days off, I ride through a lot of alleys doing my errands and there is a lot more ice
than on the roads. At first I was super slow and cautious and did it with my arms tensed
up. By the second winter of doing that I got really quite comfortable with ice. I do still go
over it slowly but quite relaxed.

I did have one long ride last winter, 18 miles round trip at -33C and ever since the -20
temps seem like practically nothing and I don't mind them at all. A human being can get
used to almost anything.

Last edited by Closed Office; 12-17-08 at 07:26 AM.
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