Hi all, I'm John, currently living in Overland Park Kansas (part of Kansas City metro) and just getting back into biking after a few years of not doing very much.
I've ridden a Trek 520 since 1983 and have started having problems with it this summer. The guys at the Trek store laughed at me when I took it in for service (and declared it too old to worry about). That, among other things, convinced me to upgrade to a new bike, so I just ordered a new Trek 520 (but not from that same store). It should be here in about a week.
I'm thinking about starting to commute to work (12 miles round trip) at least part of the time and would like to keep riding through the winter. I've been riding this summer and usually do about a thirty mile ride on a good day (defined as a day when I have time to ride that long). I confess that I'm not prepared for winter riding and don't really know what clothing I need to be comfortable in the cold. We don't get a lot of snow and ice here, so that's not a big issue.
I just found this forum and have enjoyed reading a few posts, so here I am registered and posting for the first time. Anyone who wants to talk, just send email - I love to talk (and can get rather long-winded as you can see here.
Welcome John! What's wrong w/ a 23 yo mtb? Did the Trek guys laugh cuz it was older than them? If you keep it well maintained, it'll ride forever. Zinn's book is good for figuring out maintenance schedules and how to do maintenance stuff. Then again, there's nothing wrong w/ a new bike.
For commuting, I'd suggest slicks on the mtb, a rack and full fenders. For winter, wicking base layers to keep your legs and core warm, but not hot. Dress one layer less than you would if you walked. Keep your hands, feet and head warm (wool socks, good gloves and a balaclava if it gets that cold) and when it gets wet out, maybe some gaiters and waterproof gear. Last winter I rode all winter w/ a Columbia ski jacket shell w/ pit zips and a hood. Base layers were silk long johns and shirt w/ a polypro t-shirt over that and another long sleeve jersey if it was cold out. Check out the Winter forum and search the Commuting forum for winterizing your ride and gear.
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