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  1. #1
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Long Island: Today I Realized How Much I Suck

    I stopped riding when the temps dipped below 50 degrees. Yesterday, the thermometer on my car was displaying 17 when I saw a guy, probably in his 70's, well-dressed but not for the weather, on a nice bike, just reaching the top of a huge hill in Syosset. The guy was wearing dress slacks and a light jacket and didn't even have gloves on. He didn't appear to be the stereotype of homelessness or anything, and I didn't get from the grin on his face that he "needed" to be on the bike in that temperature. My only thought is that he had to drop his car somewhere and didn't have someone to drive him home.

    Bottom line: This guy is my hero, though he made me feel really inadequate. Tons of power to all of you who are out there in this. I am not worthy.
    Papa Tom

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

  2. #2
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    Perhaps that grin you saw was actually a grimace?

  3. #3
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    If it was 17 and he had no gloves on, if he has to go very far, his hands are going to be a problem. Same for the rest of him. He won't be anybodies hero.
    I ride in that temperature all the time. I'm 64, it is nothing special. It's about being knowledgeable and prepared. I've been doing it for 45 years. If you did, you could do the same thing. Anyone can. I dress properly and am perfectly comfortable. Did a few rides over 60 miles in 20 F temps this year.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    This guy absolutely was not dressed properly, but he did not seem to mind.
    Papa Tom

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

  5. #5
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    The rider probably didn't have a long ride, maybe just went to the closest store and back.
    I ride in sub freezing temps; it's always best to dress in layers:

    11 Fahrenheit = Minus 11 Celsius by 1nterceptor, on Flickr

    New York City 14F/-10C by 1nterceptor, on Flickr

  6. #6
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I'm tempted to pull my bike out of the basement one of these days in the teens, if only to dirty my new Schwalbe Big Apple balloon tires. Wish I wasn't such a woosy.

    Anyway, the guy was on a major thoroughfare, not near any stores he could have ducked into quickly. There's a Home Depot in that area and then mostly restaurants and office buildings. The nearest residential neighborhood is about a mile down the road. There HAS to be a story there, but I will probably never know it.

    I think some of you may be missing the point that this particular cyclist was riding in a light windbreaker with no gloves, scarf, or hat, in 17 degree weather?
    Papa Tom

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

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ferdinand NYC's Avatar
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    I didn't ride today because of the snow. But I ride all winter, barring days of snow or rain, or when there is too much ice on the ground (meaning that I have missed many days this month). I have ridden in temperatures as low as 9 degrees F, most recently last Friday.

    I do it; but I don't like it. I lost a lot of weight four years ago; and I took up year-round riding as a means of keeping the weight off. My metabolism is extremely slow; if I didn't need to ride to keep my weight down, I would put the bike away when the temperature got below 50 degrees, as you have done.

    Riding should be fun. If it is not fun (and if it is not necessary for keeping in shape and avoiding weight gain), then don't do it -- and don't feel guilty about not doing it.

  8. #8
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    I am on the other end of the Spectrum of sanity. New bike and new to cycling makes one do crazy things. I just got into cycling and got a bike only a month ago and have all the cold weather gear and try to go out anytime it is not precipitating or snow o the roads. I did go out last Sat. just as the snow was coming down for a couple laps around the block ( new test saddle I was dieing to try out). I also had been out a couple weekends ago when it was 30 something and the winds were blowing 15-32 mph. I was nice and warm with an under layer, thermal jersey, thermal tights, etc. I was nice and warm when I was riding but a bit cool when stopped.

    Being that I tend to sweat at the drop of a hat, I appreciate the cold since tend to stay dryer.

    Get the right gear and enjoy the rather vacant roads. Nice and peaceful - even for Long Island.

    For me , this is FUN!!

  9. #9
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    It's not the temperature that curtails my riding, but the sheer quantity of snow that has rendered the trails mostly un-rideable and and has covered or severely narrowed the road shoulders. Plus, re-frozen melt water coming out from those drifts is going to present a hazard.
    Making lemonade from the lemons, getting some use out of my x/c skis this year. Yesterday I and another roadie snowshoed a few miles into Harriman, made a nice snow camp, and came out this morning. A very nice albeit short campout. Temps stayed between 9 and 16, so......no bugs!
    joebike

  10. #10
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Don't jump out on a bike when the temperature is much colder than you've ridden in. Do it gradually. Try 40 and then 30 and so on. I find 30 easy, but below that, I have to be careful. Any forgotten or ill-considered article of clothing will cause pain.

    I've been commuting about one day a week this winter. I even was out in the teens with high winds, and my route is along the Hudson River. Darn, it's cold. But as they say in Minnesota, there's no bad weather, only bad clothing.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaos joe View Post
    It's not the temperature that curtails my riding, but the sheer quantity of snow that has rendered the trails mostly un-rideable and and has covered or severely narrowed the road shoulders. Plus, re-frozen melt water coming out from those drifts is going to present a hazard.
    Making lemonade from the lemons, getting some use out of my x/c skis this year. Yesterday I and another roadie snowshoed a few miles into Harriman, made a nice snow camp, and came out this morning. A very nice albeit short campout. Temps stayed between 9 and 16, so......no bugs!
    I'm with Joe on this one. You never know when you're going to round a corner onto an ice patch. As it is, I took a fall on asphalt on 12/27, it was the last nice day for road riding I recall, 50'ish. I landed on my R side, fractured my R kneecap, been all winter recovering from that.

    Otherwise I might have gone to Harriman with you, Joe. I still have a boatload of summer and winter hiking gear - 2 Northface down bags, snowshoes, over boots, Original, original Patagonia fleece wear, Sorels, Thermarest. I think some of it still fits, LOL......

  12. #12
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    Went out again today for another 15.6 miles of road riding. For me, I drive(the car) around the route I plan to use every so often to check out the conditions. plus, I have a low use section of the neighborhood that remained very, very quiet from traffic. I have been keeping to that area. If it wasn't for the fact that I have an overnight deployment at work that I hope will end by 8am ( and I am a little sore too), I just might go out again before the snow starts on Sunday.

  13. #13
    Junior Member okbikeanywhere's Avatar
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    Yeeah, I tip my hat to anyone biking in anything less than 30 degrees. Been trying to wait out the cold this year. In years past I would bike through any weather, but this winter is especially brutal in my mind. Face masks do make a huge difference though when I do dare to venture out.
    Drawing comics on and about my bike travels.
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  14. #14
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    Arghhh, 5 of us frustrated roadies took to the x/c skis again this morning for 3 hours. It started to snow while we were out, and was quite beautiful, but I am so mentally done with this winter I couldn't really appreciate it.
    joebike

  15. #15
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    mid teen is my cutoff

  16. #16
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    There is nothing virtuous about riding in terrible conditions. I do not admire people who do that, however I do commend them for their effort. But commend and recommend are two different things.

  17. #17
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    I was driving up Rt 107 past SUNY Old Westbury and saw 3 guys riding south around 11:00am. I give them credit and hope they made it home before the snow.

    Next week has a few days in the 40s and 2 in the 50s.

    Spring is coming.

  18. #18
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy1111 View Post
    mid teen is my cutoff
    Mine, too, and that's why I don't consider myself tough.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

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

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