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  1. #1
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Tuesday 10/22/13: The End of Early Morning Biking For Now?

    We knew it had to happen. Big ten degree drop in temps expected here in the Northeast tomorrow. I've been commuting to work by bike every morning lately and it has felt awesome being on the saddle at 6:30am. Unfortunately, tomorrow morning, instead of the mercury being in the mid 50's, it's going to be in the low to mid 40's, which is when I start clearing space for my bike in the basement.

    So, all you other fair weather cyclists...what do you think? Is this the end for this year?
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  2. #2
    fixed for the long haul 40 Cent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    We knew it had to happen. Big ten degree drop in temps expected here in the Northeast tomorrow. I've been commuting to work by bike every morning lately and it has felt awesome being on the saddle at 6:30am. Unfortunately, tomorrow morning, instead of the mercury being in the mid 50's, it's going to be in the low to mid 40's, which is when I start clearing space for my bike in the basement.

    So, all you other fair weather cyclists...what do you think? Is this the end for this year?
    Definitely harder to get myself out there as the temperature drops. I ride if it's above freezing. I'll even ride at temps in the 20s for short distances.

    In the city, commuting has become so popular with Citibikes, etc., that the bridges and bike lanes are getting a bit crowded in warm weather. I'm looking forward this winter to seeing who the real die-hards are

  3. #3
    Senior Member Consularrider's Avatar
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    Not the end, just the beginning of the warmer clothes phase. My starting temperatures will be in the low to mid-30s the next couple of days. Now where did I put my warmer gloves and skull caps?

  4. #4
    Pug
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Is this the end for this year?
    Hell no! Just time to get out warmer clothes.

  5. #5
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    Wimp.

  6. #6
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    I'll let the temps go down to the thirties and still ride. Below that though I trudge upstairs to the trainer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>Wimp.<<<<

    Absolutely!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    >>>Wimp.<<<<

    Absolutely!
    Mind that I used Sat and Sunday's 25 mph NW winds as an excuse to go mt. biking. Too wimpy to road ride at 50 deg. !.

    Today is absolutely a raw day and it hasn't rained here in Brooklyn.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    This is the time of year I really enjoy pulling out my mountain bike and heading to Bethpage State Park, but later in the day -- like 4:30-5pm, after work. I also don't mind road riding later in the day, but the cold mornings challenge my concentration too much, often leading me to make stupid sudden moves while I'm trying to cover my neck or keep the breeze off my chest.

    This morning would've been fine for commuting. I don't know what the weather people were making such a big deal about. But by the time I got outside and ready to go, it was too late to start transferring all my stuff from my briefcase to the bike.

    Anyway, I'm hoping to still squeeze in a few more commutes, but it's not looking good.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  10. #10
    vol
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    As long as it's not too windy or snow storm with accumulations, I don't find cold weather too much of a challenge. It's good especially when one has to pass by a bad neighborhood. As I'm writing, I'm eating my 4th ice cream bar this evening

  11. #11
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    I consider myself a fair-weather rider, but as long as there's no precipitation and it's above freezing I'm still out riding the bike at least once a day. Friends and family members think I'm crazy for riding for no reason when the temps are in the 40s, wearing just a sweatshirt and shorts, but hey, I don't get cold and riding along bike paths this time of the year the scenery is more breathtaking than in the summer. Plus I don't have to worry about annoying iPod-wearing-joggers or dog walkers on the wrong side of the path.
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  12. #12
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    As they say in Minnesota, there's no bad weather, only bad clothing.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Ferdinand NYC's Avatar
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    I was a fair-weather cyclist for my entire life, up until the winter of 2011-12. During the summer of 2011, I found that riding helped me cope with the most emotionally painful event that I have ever experienced, the death of the person I loved most. Also, I lost lots of weight in that summer, more than 60 pounds. In an effort to maintain my mental strength and to keep of the weight, I just continued riding through the winter for the first time. So this will be my third winter of riding.

    I do it; but I can't say that I like it. Up until the winter of 2011-12, not only had I never ridden in the winter, I had never been outside so much in the winter! Even as a kid, I barely went outside much in the winter. I ride my bike in winter it for the benefits I mentioned: mental strength to cope with emotional pain, and staying in good physical shape. Rather than go to a gym after work (which I am sure that I would skimp on eventually), I have turned my commute time into workout time.

    But -- and I can't emphasise this enough -- it SUCKS! It is a huge contrast from the summer, when I can't wait to get out there. I rode 1000 miles this past July when it was gloriously hot; but I'll ride only about 300-400 miles during a winter month, almost all in commuting.

    I just layer on the clothing. Mike's comment about wearing only a sweatshirt and shorts during days in the 40s made me cold just reading it. This morning it was 40 degrees when I left home; I had eight layers on my chest, including three sweatshirts. And I had two pairs of gloves and three scarves. (I use a scarf around my neck at all times if the temperature is under 90 degrees; I really don't like the wind on my neck.)

    My legs are fine in the cold; I can comfortably wear shorts down to about freezing. In weather colder than that I turn to sweatpants.

    As the weather gets worse, I'll mix in a small lined jacket and then another large thick sweatshirt amongst those layers. And I have a fourth scarf and additional pairs of gloves that I can use. I also have a big lined sweatsuit that I can wear over everything else in extreme cold. My personal record is 11 degrees.

    So I'd say that I'm a fair-weather cyclist by nature, who has become a year-round cyclist by necessity.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I remember a period of years when I used to love riding in the mornings during the dead of winter. I had a full head mask and several layers of thermal shirts, pants, and socks ready to go every morning, and I'd just get out there and head to the bagel shop for breakfast before work.

    I don't mind riding in the winter as much as I mind riding TO WORK in the winter. The switchover from riding gear to work clothes gets to be too much of a hassle, and then my face aches all day!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  15. #15
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    I can deal with the cold down to about 10deg., IF I'm on the mt. Bike, in the woods and out of the wind. I used to handle 25 on the road bike, now it's 35 and only if a dead wind. I don't commute in the dark, not trusting L.I. Drivers to see me, so my mileage really drops off this time of year. It's now POOL TIME !

  16. #16
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    I'm looking forward to some winter riding this year. The wind is the determining factor for me.

  17. #17
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    I find that I will more readily commute by bike in the winter than go out and do a long road ride. On a commute I know I have a shorter fixed distance (10 miles) in the morning, and when I leave work, usually in the dark, I have no choice (not really, there's always the subway.)

    It is really easy to talk yourself out of a long weekend ride. There are chores at home, football, sleeping, sorting your socks, watching the grass die...

    I have my clothes all figured out so that's not an issue.

    I rode in today and only my feet were cold, otherwise I'm fine. I even took my road bike since I put a new chainring on, 34 to replace a 36, and adjusted the front der, I needed to test it.

  18. #18
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Papa Tom, sometimes I put Vaseline on my face before going out into windy cold weather. If you try that, it might prevent your face from aching.

    I find a different limit for myself each winter. Some winters, it's been 30F. Some, it's much lower. Some winters, I don't want to deal with snow or ice on the ground. Other winters, I see those things as challenges to overcome.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>Papa Tom, sometimes I put Vaseline on my face before going out into windy cold weather. If you try that, it might prevent your face from aching.<<<<

    Yeah, I have tricks for staying warm and comfortable, too, but most apply only to recreational winter rides that don't involve changing clothes or wiping stuff off my face at the end. As far as commuting, I don't want to have to peel off so many layers and then deal with all the sweat before starting my work day. I actually did commute one more time after starting this thread, but NOW I think I'm done.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  20. #20
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Well, if you've been commuting by bike regularly until now, you've earned your choice to quit for now.

    Today, while at our country place, I drove to the hardware store, and halfway home, I realized that I would have cycled it in warmer weather. Hey, cycling sometimes is a heck of a lot better than cycling never.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  21. #21
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    27 degree commute this morning. Still a very nice ride in.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    And I took a great little ride alone on the Bethpage Bikeway (Long Island, NY) on Saturday, November 2. Great Autumn color show out there. Glad I didn't drive all the way upstate to see the leaves take their last breaths. The next day, the temperature dropped by what felt like 30 degrees.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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