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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 09-19-06, 11:39 AM   #1
Roody
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Are you ready? Cuz a cold wind's a-gonna blow....

Yesterday the temperature at 7:00 AM was 75 degrees F. By noon it had plunged to 55 degrees. Today we're getting "lake-effect rain showers," which are only a preview of the lake-effect snows of November and December. I wore my shorts today, but my knees are feeling a little cold and achy in that west wind blowing over Lake Michigan from Canada. Winds are shifting and the hawk is getting ready to fly!

Are you prepared for winter--mentally or physically? What are you doing to get ready?
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Old 09-19-06, 11:43 AM   #2
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i'm not ready as of yet...some of my winter clothes are worn out and need to be replaced.

however, it's already dark here when i wake up in the morning, so i'm already used to that. the wind will be a different story.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:06 PM   #3
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I just got some long-sleeve baselayer, looking for some wind/water resistant pants and jacket.

Mental preparation I think, is the harder part. Once I'm about a half-mile along my route, being cold is the last thing on my mind. when I'm getting up in the morning, I get goosebumps thinking about walking out into a 60 or colder atmosphere.

I'm starting to wonder what the issues with over-dressing for the cold are, since I'm sure I'll be overprepared
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Old 09-19-06, 09:09 PM   #4
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I'm good up until the real cold stuff hits, then I'll need to add a few items to my cycling wardrobe... new shoe covers, gloves, balaclava... things like that... mentally I'm usually good 'till about mid/end of January... Feb-Mar is pure torture
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Old 09-19-06, 10:28 PM   #5
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Can't wait. The days are already noticeably shorter here. That means my morning commute features a sunrise. There are few things more lovely than the colors of a sunrise on a snow covered field.

[But more responsive to Roody's question . . . as usual, I'm wondering whether to upgrade my lights.]
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Old 09-19-06, 11:11 PM   #6
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I live in So. Cal. We don't have winter.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:16 PM   #7
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Here, maybe 20 days it got below 40. Hope I am ready for it.
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Old 09-20-06, 06:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knoregs
Feb-Mar is pure torture
i agree - these two months are the hardest. i always think the winter isn't too bad through dec and janurary but then it drops another 10 degrees in feb.

march isn't so bad temp wise, but it seems to be a mixed bag of weather. rain, wind, sometimes snow, sometimes nice sunny days. it's hard because you can see the spring in the near future but winter keeps making unscheduled appearances.
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Old 09-20-06, 07:00 AM   #9
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I've added knee/arm warmers for my early morning "go fast" rides on my roadie. And on my Breezer, a sweatshirt has become common AM gear. That and a hot cup of joe where the H2O bottle used to be

But ya'll are right on all counts. The mental prep is the clincher and Feb/Mar are truly awful! The cold I can deal with but the wind? Ick!
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Old 09-20-06, 08:50 AM   #10
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As Joe from Family guy says, "BRING IT ONNNNN!!!"
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Old 09-20-06, 09:05 AM   #11
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I ordered my winter tires a couple weeks back, and I allready bought some winter cycling pants. That is a first for me, usually I hit the colds, and then rush out to buy. So I'm feeling a bit more prepared for the winter.

The only thing is that my winter bike needs a major cleaning and overhaul, which is something I've been putting off for a while now. Once the bike is fixed.... BRING IT ONNNN! (sorry jeff-o, I had to use it too )
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Old 09-20-06, 09:34 AM   #12
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Just coming out of winter here, starting to wear shorts and t-shirts again.

It was a pretty mild one. I got rained on about 7 or 8 times over the entire winter season, and got absolutely drenched to the core twice. Most days were warm and sunny with blue skies.
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Old 09-20-06, 11:32 AM   #13
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Mentally, the hardest day for me is the first day I wear long pants instead of shorts--my final admission that the carefree (as well as carfree) days of summer are over. That day hasn't come here in Michigan yet, but it soon will. Today I'm wearing a light wool sweater and gloves, but my legs are bare.
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Old 09-21-06, 07:59 PM   #14
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Not ready yet - winter clothes are still buried somewhere. But every winter it seems I'm learning to get by with less and less clothing.

My first winter of commuting I'd dress just like George did - remember the Seinfeld ep where George wore this huge puffy coat and couldn't move his arms?

Now I'm pretty good to go down into the high 20's with just a wicking undershirt, long sleeve jersey, windbreaker (maybe) and mid-weight tights.

Psychologically - I love morning rides as dawn is breaking even though, in winter, it is often the coldest part of the day. Hardest is late January riding home after work in the cold dreary darkness.
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Old 09-22-06, 01:24 AM   #15
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Getting ready...
Those two months (March/Feb) are the nasty ones..but as long as you're prepared with the proper layering and attitude it's really the only two months you have to worry about then it's spring again!!

I've got all my stuff ready, never really wore alot of extra winter gear since the human body generates alot of heat the trick is to not lose it to fast. I've actually been sweating at the end of my ride while I pass people shivering in bus shelters.

Bring on the winter!! c'mon I dare you! -20C and three feet of snow.. "bring it onnn!!"
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Old 09-22-06, 04:41 AM   #16
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Not even close to ready...winterizing the house has taken more time (& money) than expected. 48F & pouring rain yesterday morning. I don't mind the snow as much as I do the 35-45F, rainy days.
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Old 09-22-06, 07:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Are you prepared for winter--mentally or physically? What are you doing to get ready?
No, not even close. In fact, I'm in complete denial. It's early spring, right?
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Old 09-22-06, 11:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Train
My first winter of commuting I'd dress just like George did - remember the Seinfeld ep where George wore this huge puffy coat and couldn't move his arms?
Or the little kid in "Christmas Story" who fell down while running away from the bully and couldn't get up again because of his heavy snowsuit. (And remember--don't lick your bike frame on those real cold days!

One thing that helps me get ready psychologically: I think about the Potawotamis and other tribes who used to live in my area. When hunting in the winter, they evidently wore nothing but leggings, and when in camp they would put on a fur robe to stay warm. When properly acclimated, we are like the other animals, capable of maintaining warmth as long as we stay active, and provided we have good shelter when we are inactive.
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Old 09-22-06, 12:23 PM   #19
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im working on a new winter bike right now. its a schwinn varsity that i made fixed. here on the lake shore your brakes get filled with snow,slush and god knows what and become useless. i used a varsity because its bomb proof. got a good head light and tail light. im pretty ready i guess.
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Old 09-23-06, 05:23 PM   #20
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With the exception of a few auslanders it looks like this thread belongs to us upper states and Canada.

This is my first winter being car free, as well as my first winter bicycle commuting. Looks like I jumped in a little too quick but I'm slowly getting there. Building my winter bike right now and have enough clothing to get me thru the ides of November.
I can't wait to see what blows across Lake St. Clair this winter.
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Old 09-23-06, 08:28 PM   #21
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Winter here in Seattle, unlike MI, mostly just involves lots of rain gear and wicking undergarments, and a having a bus pass at the ready for the two or three days a year that it actually snows. You don't even have to change tires. But you must have a good light, preferably LED, because it's going to be dark a lot, even in the daytime. It's the lack of light that drives people mad up here in the winter, not the cold, which is wimpy by Chicago/Detroit/Buffalo standards.
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Old 09-24-06, 12:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bragi
Winter here in Seattle, unlike MI, mostly just involves lots of rain gear and wicking undergarments, and a having a bus pass at the ready for the two or three days a year that it actually snows. You don't even have to change tires. But you must have a good light, preferably LED, because it's going to be dark a lot, even in the daytime. It's the lack of light that drives people mad up here in the winter, not the cold, which is wimpy by Chicago/Detroit/Buffalo standards.
I'll take snow over rain any day!
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Old 09-25-06, 06:44 AM   #23
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I'll take snow over rain any day!
Especially in the winter.
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Old 09-25-06, 09:41 AM   #24
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Quote:
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I'll take snow over rain any day!
Definitely. Rain sucks, especially in winter!
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Old 09-25-06, 10:21 AM   #25
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well, i thought i was ready.
then i read this thread...
this is my first car-free winter and my first bike commuting. i am one of those people who aren't happy unless i am jumping in head first... i just hope there's water in the pool, if you know what i mean.
i'm in the hampton roads area (coastal VA), so it doesn't get too awfully cold here, but it has been known to rain like a mofo for weeks at a time (ok, so maybe not weeks... i am trying to prepare for the worst case here ). i think i have enough to stay warm and dry, but i definitely need backups. as of now i have exactly one of everything. it's either get more stuff, or do laundry every other day.
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