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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 12-03-02, 02:41 PM   #1
Gojohnnygo.
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What was your coldest ride?

My cold ride was in Jan 2000 temp hit -14F with 10 to 15mph head winds it was a very cold ride, but after about 3miles I felt warmer but not much.
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Old 12-03-02, 03:04 PM   #2
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-20 F and windy. It was snowing hard. The fat flakes coming at me looked like the old star wars screensaver. I rode on a canal towpath and wore every bit of warm clothing that I owned. I rode about 3 miles, got scared ("If I flatted now, I would freeze to death trying to change the tire!"), and rode back. I gained two important things from this experience.

1. No matter what the weather is like, I can shrug and say, "I've ridden in worse.

2. I never have to do it again.
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Old 12-03-02, 03:11 PM   #3
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5 F and no wind....late night. Was a wonderful night of riding. Today was 14 F and 15-30 MPH gusts....I just could not convince myself to hop on the bike. Oh God...give me strength. :-)
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Old 12-03-02, 03:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by RegularGuy
-20 F and windy. It was snowing hard. The fat flakes coming at me looked like the old star wars screensaver. I rode on a canal towpath and wore every bit of warm clothing that I owned. I rode about 3 miles, got scared ("If I flatted now, I would freeze to death trying to change the tire!"), and rode back. I gained two important things from this experience.

1. No matter what the weather is like, I can shrug and say, "I've ridden in worse.

2. I never have to do it again.
More power to you that ride must have been a wild one.
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Old 12-03-02, 06:15 PM   #5
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12 degrees this morning, on the water with the wind against me the whole time. it royally sucked
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Old 12-03-02, 10:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by RegularGuy
-20 F and windy. It was snowing hard. .... I gained two important things from this experience.

1. No matter what the weather is like, I can shrug and say, "I've ridden in worse.

2. I never have to do it again.

A few other lessons I have learned from a similar experience:

3. Unless you are going on a long downhill, it's the blinding snow that is more of a problem. Safety glasses are a must.

4. By the time it's that cold again, you will actually want to ride it again.


P.S. Today was -15 C (a little above )F) and not snowing. I did a detour to see the partly frozen Rivière-des-Prairies. Gorgeous white smoke...

Regards,
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Old 12-04-02, 03:29 AM   #7
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With wind chill, the temperature was -40 degrees F (-40 C)It was terribly cold. I think the mercury was around -14 F (-26C). It was record cold.

It was frightfully cold when facing it head on.

My wife took the attached photo of me going to work that day. I was a little nervous taking off - and for good reason. I could literally feel the stitch lines in my jacket it was so cold. My feet froze about 1 mile before I got to work. If it had been two miles, I wouldn't have made it.

Now, if it gets below about 5 F (-15 C), I don't bicycle. Fortunately, we have not had those kind of temperatures in recent years.
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Old 12-04-02, 06:34 AM   #8
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OK, I'll give you my money.................
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Old 12-04-02, 06:49 AM   #9
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my coldest rides haven't been soo extreme...

i've commuted quite a few of times in -15 to -10 C (5 to 14F) in Massachusetts in 2000 and Munich in 2001. and then 2-3 days in Munich last year we had temps near -20C (-4F) during a very cold week in December 2001.

in Mass i did a few 2-3 hr rides in the 15 to 20F (-15 to -6C) range where my feet got super cold from wading in snow...

unless we get unusual weather here in Munich i probably won't ride in anything colder this year as it rarely gets below -15C here.

although i'm more prepared now with winter bike shoes (Gaerne Polar boots), neoprene overshoes, gore-tex wind/waterproof socks, windproof/fleece pants, multiple windproof jersey/jackets/vests, windproof headband, windproof fleece faceguard, ski goggles, snowboard gloves, etc. + my studded snow tires!

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Old 12-04-02, 07:18 AM   #10
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Somewhere around -30C, without the windchill effect.

I think you have mainly two worries at those temperatures, one of which is regulating your body temperature (wearing enough clothes to stay warm and yet not get sweaty). I usually get too warm, unless I ride r e a l l y slow. So I carry some dry clothing, take a break in a cafeteria, have a cup of tea and change clothes.

The other worry is your bike's mechanics. Gears and brakes work well at first, but develop an awkward delay later on. A flat in the summer is annoying, a flat in the winter is murder. Your light's battery (rated burn time impressive 120+ mins or whatever) runs out of juice pathetically after 15 mins or so. Your bike comp is pretty much useless.

Bright side: no mosqitoes!

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Old 12-04-02, 11:12 AM   #11
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My coldest ride was -24 F with winds at 15-20 mph. The bike was pretty stiff so I had to work a little harder but that kept my warmer. Over all I stayed fairly warm but my feet didn't fair well. Actually I've done a few of these over the years, it's not all that unusual here in Minnesota... it's not my favorite though.
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Old 12-04-02, 11:21 AM   #12
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~ -15F real temperature, some wind.

Around -10F a few times. Between 0F and -10F many times.

A significant difference between -15F and somewhere less than -10F. The additional cold really got my attention. I heard lines from Jack London stories repeated unbidden in my mind that morning.

Juha and I don't agree about everything, as posts on the Touring forum attest, but I agree with him about the pains of riding in those temperatures.

I had to change a tire once at somewhere around -5F. That was a drag.

I love riding in the cold. It's invigorating.

I don't think motorists have seen any cyclists at night around here except me, ever. In bitter cold they view me as some kind of extreme daredevil.
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Old 12-04-02, 11:36 AM   #13
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I'm sorry, I ment actual temp of -24 F, the wind brought it down lower then that .
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Old 12-04-02, 01:09 PM   #14
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Well, my coldest ever ride was only around -4C, and I had to go into the mountains for that one! (it's never got below zero here on the Gold Coast). It just simply never gets cold here. Heck, the "coldest" I've had this week would have been about 26C.
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Old 12-05-02, 11:39 PM   #15
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Coldest day was during the winter of 99/00 as a bike courier.

It was cold.
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Old 12-06-02, 04:29 PM   #16
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Jeez Mike, you and I are so much the same it's scaring me. BTW, whereabouts in the midwest do you live? I'm comin from Woodbury, Minnesota.

I'd have to say the coldest day I've ridden in was probably this last Wednsday. It was about 4 F and 10mph winds. Chilly, but I am expecting much worse over this coming winter. Luckily I only have about 5 miles to get to school, so I'm only out there for about 20 minutes. Plus I have all the necessary equipment to stay warm. I just wish my goggles wouldn't fog so much. Anyone know of a good pair I should buy?
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Old 12-06-02, 07:45 PM   #17
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Cool pic, MikeyC. I live about five hours away from you, but we share the same weather.

Maybe we do have a lot in common. My present helmet is white too and I wear a yellow jacket! Yikes.
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Old 12-06-02, 09:25 PM   #18
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I cannot remember the actual temperature but I rode once in the mountains of North Carolina during freezing rain. We had to stop from time to time and breath on our shifters and brake levers to thaw them so they would operate. Yes I actually had a friend who was insane enough to go along.
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Old 12-08-02, 01:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mikey C
I just wish my goggles wouldn't fog so much. Anyone know of a good pair I should buy?
You might try a search, as goggles have been discussed a lot here.

For what it's worth, I use cheaper-than-dirt plastic lab goggles. ~$5. Replacement lenses for like $3.

I got them at

www.labsafety.com

They're "visorgogs".

They are great. No fogging, but they keep my eyes warm and snow free.

After I bought one pair and a replacement lens, I got several thousand page glossy color catalogs. Labsafety lost money on that deal, I'm afraid.
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Old 12-09-02, 03:27 PM   #20
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It was -19F When I left the house this mourning at 3 am. But the road empty.
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Old 12-14-02, 09:18 AM   #21
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:thumbup: Thanks to everyone who has posted. It makes me feel better that I'm not alone.VERY COOL PICS TO.
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Old 12-14-02, 09:56 AM   #22
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All these stories sound like horror stories to me! I guess the coldest ride I have ever had was when it was right at freezing, and I was too much of a sissy to stay out in it long.

East Texas just doesn't get that cold. Has only snowed here twice in the last 15 years! Oh, and there was one really bad ice storm a few years ago..... It is pretty much great riding weather all the time here.
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Old 12-14-02, 11:00 AM   #23
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29 degrees (F). That's it. Just 29 degrees. Boring, I know.

I'd love to ride in the snow once. That'd be pretty cool. Just once, though.
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Old 12-14-02, 11:52 AM   #24
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My coldest was about -10C. The temp wasn't too bad, but the wind was about 30 km/h and went right through me. Oone descent home, I got up to about 60 km/h into the 30 km/h wind. It wasn't a long descent... but I couldn't feel my hands afterward, despite my winter gloves.
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Old 12-14-02, 12:22 PM   #25
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Mine is about -4 or -5C. Wasn't too cold on that ride though....
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