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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 09-21-13, 07:44 PM   #1
wolfchild
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What's the coldest temperature you commuted on a bike ??

Winter weather is just around the corner. The coldest temp in my city so for has been -23 Celsius below zero which is about -9.5 F below zero.. What's your lowest temp that you ridden your bike ??
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Old 09-21-13, 07:51 PM   #2
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-40C/F

A bitterly cold winter day in Winnipeg.
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Old 09-21-13, 07:56 PM   #3
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In the New York city area; temps don't
go lower than 10-15 degrees Farenheit.
So I guess I'm lucky?


Biking during winter by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
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Old 09-21-13, 08:05 PM   #4
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18 degrees F. That early April when I got sick of waiting for spring to come. We had a long winter and I was getting a little stir crazy. I had enough clothes on to stay comfortable for my 5 mile commute but if it got much colder than that, I'd have to invest in better gloves and something besides tights to keep my legs warm.
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Old 09-21-13, 08:38 PM   #5
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I'm a wussy. It was only in the low 20s F.
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Old 09-21-13, 08:53 PM   #6
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-46C / -52 F

http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/edmo.../12141366.html

It may have been a little warmer in the city as the record low was recorded at the airport... it was cold enough that my rear hub started to get a little skippy over the last km of a 7 km commute.

This was not as bad as spending a week commuting when the temperatures were consistently -35C to -42C during a nasty cold spell.

This is routine weather in Winnipeg and a little rarer for us, despite being a little farther north we do enjoy slightly better weather.
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Old 09-21-13, 08:59 PM   #7
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I have ridden close to 0* when I was in Iowa City one winter. I live in NC so my typical coldest weather rides would be around 20*F.

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Old 09-21-13, 09:09 PM   #8
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This was not as bad as spending a week commuting when the temperatures were consistently -35C to -42C during a nasty cold spell.
If I recall correctly, that week happened in January 2008 ... I had a fairly lengthy walk to the train that winter.
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Old 09-21-13, 09:12 PM   #9
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If I recall correctly, that week happened in January 2008 ... I had a fairly lengthy walk to the train that winter.
Sounds right... this is the kind of weather that tests everything and I could have driven but was on a mission to ride every day.
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Old 09-21-13, 09:17 PM   #10
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Sounds right... this is the kind of weather that tests everything and I could have driven but was on a mission to ride every day.
I wouldn't have wanted to drive in those temps. As I walked, I watched the cars thudding and squealing by on their square tires, with their very cold and miserable-looking occupants, and was happy to be walking.
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Old 09-22-13, 01:10 AM   #11
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Minus 20F is the coldest temperature in which I've ridden a bicycle. It isn't fun but it isn't more difficult than any other cold temperature. The difference is that keeping my feet warm is difficult. Any temperature below 20F causes my breath to freeze on my face shield instantly.
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Old 09-22-13, 07:34 AM   #12
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About 30 degrees F. I live in Florida.
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Old 09-22-13, 10:37 AM   #13
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A few degrees below zero Fahrenheit, for cycling. I have walked in temps about 20 below before I got a bike. I did ride 365 days a year until I moved so close to work a year ago.

Thanks to the Great Lakes, we have a pretty temperate climate in southern Michigan. We get about 10 days a year with temps below zero, and only 8 or 9 days that go above 90. Of course there's also the lake effect snow....
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Old 09-22-13, 12:02 PM   #14
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I believe around 2 F a couple of times heading to work and a bit lower on a shorter distance to the grocery store.

Below that I usually take the bus.. although we don't often get much colder than that.
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Old 09-22-13, 12:27 PM   #15
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4F

But I will take 4F (or any cold we might experience here in the Midwest) over the really nasty headwind days. Strong headwind and studded winter tires is the worst combination of all. Thankfully, that is only a few days out of the year here. And successfully beating those days makes the other iffy weather seem like no big deal at all.
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Old 09-22-13, 12:33 PM   #16
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I have only biked in temps as low as the 20's; however, I have hiked in temps of -10 (Fahrenheit). I really don't like riding in cold temperatures, I have found nothing that keeps my hands comfortably warm.
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Old 09-22-13, 01:46 PM   #17
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Only in low 20 degree.
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Old 09-22-13, 01:51 PM   #18
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I don't have shoes/covers that like much less than freezing
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Old 09-22-13, 06:05 PM   #19
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I don't have shoes/covers that like much less than freezing
Do you have a bike equipped with platform pedals? If so, you could always wear hiking boots with a couple pairs of thermal socks.
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Old 09-22-13, 06:52 PM   #20
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Do you have a bike equipped with platform pedals? If so, you could always wear hiking boots with a couple pairs of thermal socks.
You haven't seen the road I live on! 1200' 3.5 mile drop/climb. Fair weather cycling seems to suit me, these days anyhow. Except for the occasional rain ride. Thanks for the suggestion, though!
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Old 09-22-13, 08:15 PM   #21
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1200' 3.5 mile drop/climb.
I bet that would be a challenge. Leave home on a chilly, wet day and run into icy roads in the hills.

Hope you have a granny gear!
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Old 09-22-13, 09:35 PM   #22
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I was told that the TV show Good Morning America was video taping a segment from the top of the Federal Reserve building in Helena Montana many years ago during record cold weather. The weather guy threw a cup of water off the roof on a day when the temperature was below minus 40F. The water was frozen before it hit the ground. There is a video of someone in Siberia doing the same thing with a pot of boiling water. It created an icy cloud and ice crystals before it hit the ground about eight stories below.

A few years ago the temperatures in Helena were in the minus 20F range for a few days. The boss at the bus company had the buses running for three days straight. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to start. I wasn't working for the company then but I've heard it is a common practice for diesel motors in extreme cold weather.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKMNSvpB9dY

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Old 09-22-13, 09:52 PM   #23
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I was riding a century at about -20C, and opted to carry my water in a camelbak knock-off. The hose sprung a leak and I ended up with water all down the front of my jacket. My first thought was that I'd be in real trouble because the last thing you want to be at those temps is wet ... but the water froze almost immediately so I was OK.

And yes, diesel motors can be a real pain in cold weather. There's a big push in parts of Canada to encourage people to limit the amount of time they warm up their vehicles before driving, and that might be OK for other vehicles, but the diesel ones have to warm up for a long time.
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Old 09-23-13, 03:34 AM   #24
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I bet that would be a challenge. Leave home on a chilly, wet day and run into icy roads in the hills.

Hope you have a granny gear!
I love it, except when its cold & icy. That's no way to warm up! Bikes go away for the winter, here.
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Old 09-23-13, 10:33 PM   #25
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I was riding a century at about -20C, and opted to carry my water in a camelbak knock-off. The hose sprung a leak and I ended up with water all down the front of my jacket. My first thought was that I'd be in real trouble because the last thing you want to be at those temps is wet ... but the water froze almost immediately so I was OK.

I'm not alone when I say that this lady is absolutely amazing!

Thank you for being a living inspiration for those of us who can only dream.
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