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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-07-05, 04:07 PM   #1
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Too cold to ride in Chi-Town?

What does 17 degrees feel like on a bike? Did anybody in Chicago ride today, and why?
I was checking WGN, and it's wicked cold at night there! 17 degrees was at high noon!
What's up Chi-town- (The new north pole)?
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Old 12-07-05, 04:09 PM   #2
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17 degrees isn't bad if you don't dress like an idiot. that's standard midwest weather.
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Old 12-07-05, 04:14 PM   #3
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Steaktaco, Romini, and I rode last night in 13 degree weather and I almost overheated. I imagine temps would have to dip way into the negative to be 'too cold' to ride.
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Old 12-07-05, 04:15 PM   #4
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17 degrees feels like spring. This weekend's 33 degrees will feel like summer. Right now it "feels like" 9 degrees. I rode to a friend's last night, it was -2 "feel". Pretty cold, but if you're suited for it, not too bad. Just keep your head, feet and hands warm and you're golden.

I ride year round. The only thing that prevents me from riding is when we have a blizzard and the streets haven't been plowed yet or the salt hasn't worked it's magic. But on those days, it's fun to walk in the middle of the street since no one's out.

Edit: I don't mean the very beginning of what I said metaphorically -- your body acclimatizes and adjusts. 40 degrees and I start sweating after a week of single digit temps.

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Old 12-07-05, 04:17 PM   #5
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It's not like you don't expect it to get stinkin' cold here.
You just kinda bundle up. And a flask of Glen Livet
don't hurt either. Rode every day this week, except today.
Getting totally polluted tonight on the company dime = no bike monkey.
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Old 12-07-05, 04:31 PM   #6
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I knew you guys were wicked, you didn't let me down. I get down in the cold, and my Goddaughter, Jordan, lives in the city.(the Chi, not the other city)
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Old 12-07-05, 04:53 PM   #7
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Well, I rode in Champaign today. It was 9 when I left the apartment. It is probably going to be about 2 when I go home. I can't say that I like it, but when weather keeps me off my bike I get a bit ancy. Since it was snowing yesterday I didn't ride.

Honestly, wind bothers me more than just cold and the wind has been around 7mph today.
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Old 12-07-05, 05:19 PM   #8
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I rode to downtown on the path today at 8:00 this morning; when I left it was 7 degrees and windy. It makes me maintain a good pace because I'll freeze if I take it easy. All the road salt out there is a hassle on the chain though.

Fixed gear on snow and ice is awesome though. You can skid like nobody's business.
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Old 12-07-05, 05:24 PM   #9
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I lost all feeling in my both pinky fingers this morning. Totally numb. Why just the little ones? I imagined life with 8 fingers. Then they came back to life after a couple of seconds in my mouth. Tomorrow I might employ the "jewel tec" method for an extra layer of (grocery bag) insulation.
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Old 12-07-05, 05:53 PM   #10
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Its was 3 with some ridiculous wind-chill when I left for work this morning. My thumbs got cold and my heals. I only have a 3 mile ride to work so it wasn't bad. Layer up.
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Old 12-07-05, 06:26 PM   #11
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Yeah I just got back from a short little ride. I didn't ride to school today, though I did on mon and tues.

I just can't seem to keep my fingers/face warm. Do you guys wear mittens/balaclavas/facemasks? My two pairs of gloves and scarf-face aren't cutting it. My best luck so far has been with a hood underneath my helmet.
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Old 12-07-05, 06:42 PM   #12
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Time to hail a cab!
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Old 12-07-05, 06:46 PM   #13
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san francisco is hitting lows of 30... that is freeeeeezing!
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Old 12-07-05, 06:55 PM   #14
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Just got back from a quick ten miler. I love riding in the cold.
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Old 12-07-05, 07:01 PM   #15
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I'm thinking about buying a car, that's how freakin' cold it is. I'm held hostage by the CTA (crush, trample, abuse)!!!
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Old 12-07-05, 07:11 PM   #16
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car? CTA? you are talking to the wrong crowd. The last time I used the CTA it took me 55 minutes to travel 3 miles, I should have crawled. I have not used them since. My car, it sits on the street long enough to collect enough dirt so the kids in the neighborhood can draw on it. When I rolled out the door yesterday the termometer said 6 today wasn't much warmer. After the first couple blocks it isn't too bad.
I am with everyone else, if you have been riding everyday up uuntil now your body is pretty used to it. I cant wait until the end of January when the temps only hit 2 and at 5:30 in the morning it is way below that and the wind is blowing hard. Oh man I can't wait
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Old 12-07-05, 07:15 PM   #17
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I swear, from UIC to Lincoln Park it took me an hour on CTA using the Blue & Brown lines. It's kinda tough for me to ride my bike right now but I'm okay with that. I used to be tougher a few years ago. One things is sure, the CTA gets my blood boiling.

PS - Tristan, I can see your office from the brown line I ride every day. Fun fun!
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Old 12-07-05, 09:30 PM   #18
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Every day this week including today. You just have to cover up. I got one of these to cover my face and am loving it. I even saw a dad pulling a trailer with two kids today - those kids had some serious snow suits going on .
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Old 12-08-05, 11:09 AM   #19
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Oytie, Mattbone - I felt your finger pain until I ditched my doushbar "windproof" gloves
(man, they stunk) for a $5 pair of Thinsulate gloves from CVS. They are really warm and
not too bulky. Did I mention they were 5 bucks!? Add balaclava from belmont army
surplus and you're golden.
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Old 12-08-05, 12:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raygunner
PS - Tristan, I can see your office from the brown line I ride every day. Fun fun!
yay! i can see your train from my window!
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Old 12-08-05, 01:05 PM   #21
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I ride to work every day no matter what. It's only 4 miles each way, and I stay pretty warm. There was a -8 windchill yesterday morning, that sucked.
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Old 12-08-05, 01:23 PM   #22
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Go Chi-town! There is no such thing as "too cold to ride". My coworkers are all just waiting for the days I don't ride in. It ain't happening. ....except for Monday & Tuesday of course. But that was ONLY because I knew that my bridge was an icy death trap. (bridge surface freezes before road). I usually show up partially sweaty.
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Old 12-08-05, 01:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
I lost all feeling in my both pinky fingers this morning
word
me too

listen it ain't never too cold as long as you dress smart
and if any of y'all need some tips on propper HOBO Steeez
My new book, "The successful layering techniques of the urban Hobo" hits shelves this friday.

for real though, the secret is this:
you don't need expensive mircofiber, smart wool, fleece whatever...
just take two (preferably three) of everything, and put that isht on!

is your head cold? put on another hat
are your fingers freezing? what? is that only ONE pair of gloves you're wearing?
cold legs? i head the tripple rippple of multiple layers!
two tshirts, two sweaters, two coats, and three scarfs
i've got three pairs of underwear on and i'm just getting started.
and hell, go ahead and wear all those socks! why stop at four?

you see? its easy!
just ask you're friendly neighborhood homeless person.
i bet they're warm as can be!
and trust me, they'll appreciate the attention.
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Old 12-08-05, 03:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_9
There is no such thing as "too cold to ride".
Agreed. But right now we're having a "day after tomorrow" style snow storm. I'm already contemplating the first ill-fated skid attempt going home tonight when I start back-pedaling and spinning in place. Into the breach...
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Old 12-08-05, 03:56 PM   #25
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I *love* riding in the snow. It sucks getting all wet, though.
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