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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 10-18-05, 09:46 AM   #1
aerodave
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When do get tiem to ride in the winter?

I want to try to keep in the cycling groove during the winter months. I'm not terribly concerned about the temperature--I can dress appropriately.

My real concern is over the one thing I can't control: the daylight. The bikeable evening light is already too short now. I'm getting caught in the dark around 7:30, expecially if it's cloudy. Once we go back to standard time and the days get even shorter, I'll be leaving work in the dark.

Surely I'm not the only person who holds a 9-5 and wants to bike in the winter. I'm not fond of night riding, but that seems to leave just the weekends as possibilities. So how do you manage it?
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Old 10-18-05, 12:12 PM   #2
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I do not mind riding in the dark. For some odd reason I have wonderful night vision and overly sensitive eyes during daylight.
The more you bike at night the more comfortable you will become. Purchase a good set of rear and front lights, plenty of reflective materials (there are plenty of choices), and a nice bright jacket and you should be fine.
Personally, I am still working at increasing the variety of my reflective gear. Replacing my black jacket would help also.
Anyhow, I need a second job to pay for everything I need.
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Old 10-18-05, 12:57 PM   #3
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I don't have time during the summer to ride after (or before) work, so I commute. Still the shorter days and the time change mean that I soon will be commuting in the dark. Lights, reflective tape and bright clothes become neccessary. I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
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Old 10-18-05, 03:41 PM   #4
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Look in the commuter forum and elsewhere to learn about bike lights and night cycling. There are tons of threads if you search. There is a cost involved, but it will keep you riding safely if you don't skimp. If you can't shell out a couple hundred bucks for lights, etc. than I wouldn't ride. You need good equipment to stay safe.
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Old 10-18-05, 04:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerodave
I want to try to keep in the cycling groove during the winter months. I'm not terribly concerned about the temperature--I can dress appropriately.

My real concern is over the one thing I can't control: the daylight. The bikeable evening light is already too short now. I'm getting caught in the dark around 7:30, expecially if it's cloudy. Once we go back to standard time and the days get even shorter, I'll be leaving work in the dark.

Surely I'm not the only person who holds a 9-5 and wants to bike in the winter. I'm not fond of night riding, but that seems to leave just the weekends as possibilities. So how do you manage it?

Welcome to My World

I leave the house about 5:00am to get to work by 6:00am
I leave work about 7:20 pm by the time I get home after errands... pitch black both ways.

I don't mind it at all, as long as the Battery is Charged!!!
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Old 10-18-05, 05:00 PM   #6
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I get home after midnight at the end of my weekly century about half the time. Sometimes 2:00 am. I have 8 hours of very bright light, and a taillight that is brighter than one of my car taillights. If you want to ride after dark all it takes is the right gear and learning what to do.
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Old 10-18-05, 07:39 PM   #7
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During the winter, I cycle on the weekends ... and I use lights to make night riding more enjoyable. You've just got to make sure to protect the batteries from the cold.
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Old 10-18-05, 07:47 PM   #8
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I bought fenders, lights, panniers, and cycle to work.

I get an hour of high intensity exercise in the morning, with the added bonus of ending up at my works doorstep.

Then another hours exercise in the afternoon, with the added bonus being that when i get home from work, ive already done my 2 hours exercise for the day and still have all evening
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Old 10-18-05, 08:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
I get home after midnight at the end of my weekly century about half the time. Sometimes 2:00 am. I have 8 hours of very bright light, and a taillight that is brighter than one of my car taillights. If you want to ride after dark all it takes is the right gear and learning what to do.
You ride for 8 hours in the dark? Or did i misunderstand you?
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Old 10-18-05, 08:57 PM   #10
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Some of my team rides start at 5:30am, still dark at this point but not for long and the streets are mostly empty. Good lights (I need better) required. With the time change that'll get better. I'm lucky tho, I live, ride and work in the same city, never far from anything. Someday I'll get stuck out on the road and be late for work, but so far so good.
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Old 10-18-05, 09:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
You ride for 8 hours in the dark? Or did i misunderstand you?
I've done it ... cycling right through the night. And in the winter, it's not hard to end up riding close to that much in a day, just in early mornings or late afternoon/evening rides.

I'm curious what lighting system he uses though. Mine is decent, and my Cateye will last through several nights, but it isn't as bright as I would like.
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Old 10-18-05, 09:12 PM   #12
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You ride for 8 hours in the dark? Or did i misunderstand you?
You have it right, I do that.
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Old 10-18-05, 09:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
I've done it ... cycling right through the night. And in the winter, it's not hard to end up riding close to that much in a day, just in early mornings or late afternoon/evening rides.

I'm curious what lighting system he uses though. Mine is decent, and my Cateye will last through several nights, but it isn't as bright as I would like.
The Lupine Edison 10. From Germany. 8 hours on low (10w HID) 5 hours on high ( 16w HID) I have never made it to the 8 hour shut off time. It does have circuitry to prevent battery damage.

In the summer around here if I turn it on at the latest possible time, that's long enough to run until the light just starts to come up.
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Old 10-19-05, 07:52 AM   #14
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I ride all the time in the dark. I have never thought of trying to avoid it. About 5K of my commute is on streets, and about 10K is on semi-lit bike paths. Some bits are totally black, but not much. My $20 blinkies and the reflective strips on my MEC jacket and pants have me lit up like an X-mas tree. Been doing it for 5 years. No problems.

Don't stop biking because of the dark! That just doesn't make sense - at least on a commute that is anything like mine.

--- Real men wear tights? BWAHAHAHA! ---
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Old 10-19-05, 08:35 AM   #15
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--- Real men wear tights? BWAHAHAHA! ---
*Scratches head*
*mutters and wanders off*
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Old 10-19-05, 09:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
The Lupine Edison 10. From Germany. 8 hours on low (10w HID) 5 hours on high ( 16w HID) I have never made it to the 8 hour shut off time. It does have circuitry to prevent battery damage.

In the summer around here if I turn it on at the latest possible time, that's long enough to run until the light just starts to come up.
LUPINE EDISON 10

Yikes! $899? No wonder you ride all night, i think i would have to as well, to justify that baby. Damn, that cost more than any of my bikes. I am sure it is a good light and probably worth it if you ride that long in the dark. I usually only ride about 45 minutes every morning in total dark, and then the sun comes up and gives me LOTS OF FREE LIGHT.

I run two halogen night rover systems, which gives me 4 lamps and a total of 32 watts. Total cost around $125. THis setup gives me plenty of light for my backcountry early morning adventures.
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Old 10-19-05, 10:45 AM   #17
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I commute, that's how I find time to ride. It's real easy to do, and justifies spending on bike parts. One commute I had was 25 miles for a second shift job so I was riding in the dark on the way home all the time. I had a cateye, they're bright, but really can't ride safely by. I had the light more to be seen than to see. That's really the problem with night riding, being seen. I've been on the bike paths around here and come up on people riding without light or reflectors, it's sort of unnerving, like riding up on a deer. For the Cateye I bought rechargeable batteries, cheaper in the long run, and with 2 sets one can be charged while riding.
I have had the rechargeable lights, but have lost the chargers, or the lamps in a move, so I'm still doing the Cateye.
I have a couple friends who use two Cateyes.
One thing about riding at night, you remember where the bumps and potholes are, you only hit them once.
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Old 10-19-05, 12:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ranger
LUPINE EDISON 10

Yikes! $899? No wonder you ride all night, i think i would have to as well, to justify that baby. Damn, that cost more than any of my bikes. I am sure it is a good light and probably worth it if you ride that long in the dark. I usually only ride about 45 minutes every morning in total dark, and then the sun comes up and gives me LOTS OF FREE LIGHT.

I run two halogen night rover systems, which gives me 4 lamps and a total of 32 watts. Total cost around $125. THis setup gives me plenty of light for my backcountry early morning adventures.
So far about 5,000 miles on it. When I get to 10,000 then it's justified!
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