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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 10-15-06, 09:48 PM   #1
rollsroyce
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Moving to NYC in winter

I'll be moving to NYC, probably somewhere in Brooklyn, in late Dec or early Jan. I rely on my bike(s) to get everywhere, but I'm used to the mild climate of san francisco. Never ridden in snow. I've never been to NY in the winter and everyone tells me its COLD and there's snow. So whats the deal with riding in the winter there? Do people just kind of stop/ride much less or ride indoors until it passes? I've never lived anywhere where "riding seasons" have been very pronounced so this is kind of a new concept to me, particularly regarding riding in the city and commuting.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:50 PM   #2
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somebody should move this to general cycling discussion.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:55 PM   #3
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All the fairweather(*******) go into hiberntion mode, and just ride indoors during the winter, however, there are alot of riders who ride out there all year round, myself included. Its just a matter of dressing right, and you'll be good to go.

Anywyas, welcome to ny, specifcally brooklyn.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollsroyce
somebody should move this to general cycling discussion.
snitch
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Old 10-15-06, 10:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollsroyce
I'll be moving to NYC, probably somewhere in Brooklyn, in late Dec or early Jan. I rely on my bike(s) to get everywhere, but I'm used to the mild climate of san francisco. Never ridden in snow. I've never been to NY in the winter and everyone tells me its COLD and there's snow. So whats the deal with riding in the winter there? Do people just kind of stop/ride much less or ride indoors until it passes? I've never lived anywhere where "riding seasons" have been very pronounced so this is kind of a new concept to me, particularly regarding riding in the city and commuting.
I ride year round in Boston... I dislike public transit and don,t have a car. So when it's winter I use multiple layers of clothing, hats, ear covers, ski mask if it's really ****ing cold, and waterprof/resistant clothing. And the most important I've found to be a pair of Gore-Tex waterproof shoes made by The North Face (got'em off Zappos.com for a reasonable price), these are a must given the rain/snow/slush/puddles/****.

People do ride less but the die hards still ride, in NY you'll have a pretty good public transit system to.
It's not exactly fun but ya gotta do want ya gotta do...

Oh, and usually the roads are plowed but only in the main lane portion, so you have to just take the lane and **** the drivers who honk.
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Old 10-15-06, 10:39 PM   #6
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I remember reading an article once on exercise and how people stop biking, jogging, walking (for exercise) in the winter. The author went on to say that people who do that are just looking for excuses to not exercise b/c if you were going to send them on a skiing trip, they would go. If you can ski in the cold, you can bike in the cold. You just have to make sure you are dressed appropriately, just as people do when they go skiing.
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Old 10-16-06, 04:19 AM   #7
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I ride all year 'round in New York City. You might miss a few days due to ice and snow, but usually the roads and bike paths are cleared pretty quickly.

Temps will be in the 20s and 30s, but you can dress for those conditions easily enough. Generally, the temps don't fall below 20 degrees for too long.

If you're commuting, you'll want a headlight and taillight of some kind. The city is pretty well lit, but you'll want to make sure cars and peds can see you. And maybe consider fatter tires and fenders as well.

You can try nycc.org for more tips.
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Old 10-16-06, 06:02 AM   #8
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Two slogans for winter riding:

There is no bad weather, only bad gear.

Waterproof, Breathable, Cheap. Pick two.
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Old 10-16-06, 06:05 AM   #9
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I find it doesn't get really cold till late Jan/Feb. I can usually walk around in shorts around December still. Then again people call me a polar bear

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Old 10-16-06, 08:30 AM   #10
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I ride all year long in NYC. Snow and rain are just opportunities to make the commute more fun/challenging. Plus it doesn't snow that much here and when it does, it melts quickly. Now that I've jinxed myself, we'll be having blizzards every weekend from now til July.

When I was in Toronto recently, I saw signs in bike shops charging $35 for winter storage. It made me wonder how people could ride if their bike was in storage.
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Old 10-16-06, 08:33 AM   #11
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neoprene socks.
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Old 10-16-06, 08:40 AM   #12
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I ride year round in NYC. On the same track bike I ride in the summer too because I am stupid. I am hoping to get a SS beater built up in time for this season but I may not make it.

Invest some money in clothing and you will be fine even on the coldest days. After light snow the major streets get plowed pretty quickly. The bridge paths take longer but they do plow them as well. A few days last year I had to walk it up the bridge in the morning but it was fine by the evening.

Slush is worse than ice because you can't tell what is wet, what is chunky and what is ice. A lot of times you have to take the tires tracks through the stuff, which puts you in an awkward position on the road and makes turning at all really difficult.

Again the bridges are the worst. On one of the worst days last year I did seated skids all the way down the bridge though. It felt like I was in a bobsled.
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Old 10-16-06, 08:55 AM   #13
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You can do it. Winters here are pretty mild (compared to other places I've lived like outside of Chicago or Laramie, WY) Gets messy sometimes but its fun to get around.
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Old 10-16-06, 09:00 AM   #14
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i've found it's rideable almost everyday. when there is a big snowfall it can get a little dicey, but they do a pretty good job of plowing.

if you dress warm enough, it's totally fine most of the winter.
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Old 10-16-06, 09:17 AM   #15
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When it comes to riding for fun, winter can be the best part of the year. You can actually ride in Central Park without hitting a 10K, tourists looking up at buildings instead of where they're going, people on walks who don't keep their rugrats from running in front of bikes, pedicaps etc. Now if we could just get rid of the rollerbladers wearing ipods so they can't hear you call out "on your right, buttmonkey".

Only warning is this: avoid riding in midtown from thanksgiving until Jan. 2. It's wall to wall human flesh.

On average, it's just not as cold here as you think. Especially coming from San Fransisco. Look at it this way, if you get through a winter, you'll have a summer to look forward to that's actually warm!
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Old 10-16-06, 09:47 AM   #16
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Plus, spring is the best thing ever.

I come from a place with no seasons (San Diego) and I have to say, winter's almost worth it for the loveliness of spring and fall.
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Old 10-16-06, 09:53 AM   #17
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haha yeah, all my friends from this area who have moved to cali say that the winters are definitely worth it for spring, summer, and fall as opposed to this one, luke warm year-around non-season
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Old 10-16-06, 09:58 AM   #18
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For the longest time I thought that Spring started in January. You know, when Spring semester starts at school.
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Old 10-16-06, 09:59 AM   #19
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it is very cold here sometimes. be prepared. those winds from Canada can be brutle sometimes.

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Old 10-16-06, 11:40 AM   #20
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check out this thread:
*Winter Gear Survey*

plenty of good info re: clothing and such.
the benefit of nyc is that you can always fall back on the subway while you're getting your kit together & figuring out when you're willing to ride.

Commuting is fun even in the worst weather, with the right gear. In boston, i've gone through -10 temps, blizzards, and ice storms with nary a problem. Roll in looking like the abominable snowman, and regale your coworkers with stories of cars sliding through intersections.
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Old 10-16-06, 12:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hankNYC
On average, it's just not as cold here as you think. Especially coming from San Fransisco. Look at it this way, if you get through a winter, you'll have a summer to look forward to that's actually warm!
Agreed. This past winter was my first back up here after living in South Florida for 12 years. I had grown up in Pennsylvania and remembered evil, evil winters. But within the city itself, it is surprisingly mild. The city is always a few degrees warmer than the surrounding areas and the snowfall is usually less severe. Maybe its the heat from 8 million packed in bodies, haha. I kept waiting for it to get severely cold but it rarely got below the thirties and almost never below the 20's. I was very impressed with how fast the snow is cleared, even in Brooklyn. Gloves, really warm socks (I learned this the hard way with my pant leg rolled up on the Williamsburg bridge), and something for the head/face. On really cold days I used one of those full face deals with the slit for your eyes, but most days I just used a ski hat and a bandana to cut the wind. I also switched to a bigger bag, as I found myself shedding layers throughout the day on long rides...
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Old 10-16-06, 12:16 PM   #22
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the biggest mistake i make when it gets cold is over dressing. i end up sweating my ass off on most rides early in the winter until i remember how to dress for riding in cold weather.
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Old 10-16-06, 12:51 PM   #23
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Thanks. I'm really looking forward to this, it sounds fun. I lived in Portland briefly and gearing up for and riding in the rain was great. It also got pretty cold there. Seasons? Awesome. For me, the weather in SF made me feel like time wasn't passing. It just felt like the same month the first 3 years I was there. I guess for some reason I had the impression that New York winters were sub-zero and constantly snowy. I saw myself in multiple balaclavas and yellow arctic expedition gear frantically trying stop but just unintentionally skidding clumsily through intersections.

I'm assuming when it snows people use tires with a little bit more tread? and maybe put on a brake?

Also the reality of me needing a sh*ttier bike for city riding, esp. winter city riding, is something I've become aware of. Oh man you guys are getting me excited. I cant wait.
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Old 10-16-06, 12:54 PM   #24
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it may seem really cold to be out riding a bike, but don't let that stop you. once you get out and start riding it won't be so cold.
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Old 10-16-06, 12:56 PM   #25
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The worst part for me is dealing with the cold once I get to my office. I'm usually underdressed when I go out for lunch since you can't wear too much when you're biking (I know, bring/leave clothing at the office, but that only takes you so far into the winter unless you have two winter coats).
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