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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 02-02-07, 04:14 PM   #1
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Oh jeez, here comes the cold

just looked at the weekend weather report for east lansing. the high is going to be around 10 F, until Saturday evening where it rapidly starts heading down to the weekend's low of 1 degree on Sunday.

Oh wait, I forgot about windchill. make the high -5F and the low -15F

sounds like a fun weekend!!! I might just attempt a ride or two when the wind dies down from 30mph
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Old 02-02-07, 06:28 PM   #2
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The good news is that you're dealing with wind chill anytime you're on your bike, so you can ignore the wind chill forecast

It's been cold here in Toronto too. My brother in Winnipeg has no sympathy
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Old 02-02-07, 07:30 PM   #3
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The good news is that you're dealing with wind chill anytime you're on your bike, so you can ignore the wind chill forecast

It's been cold here in Toronto too. My brother in Winnipeg has no sympathy
You can never ignore windchill.
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Old 02-02-07, 10:09 PM   #4
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I have two recovering knees (minor tendonitis) so my usual top speed is maybe 10mph. if the wind speeds were lower, I could more or less ignore it. however 30mph gusts with an average around 15mph is hardly something to shrug off. hot shower off though? I think so

nah, I'll be sure to play it safe and layer like no other
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Old 02-04-07, 07:28 AM   #5
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This is my first winter commuting & tomorrow will put me to the test. I'll be coming home 7.5 miles in 10F with a -9F wind chill with 20-25 MPH winds. I'd say I'm excited but I'd be lying.
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Old 02-04-07, 07:41 PM   #6
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Yep, tomorrow will be a challenge. Wednesday wasn't a problem at -2F, since there wasn't much wind. Tomorrow is forecast to be -15F, with windchills of -30F. I'm not sure I can handle that.

It's to my advantage that I'll have a tailwind for the 8.5 mile ride in. I may wimp out and take the bus home, rather than face headwinds all the way home, when it will still be about -5F.
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Old 02-04-07, 10:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Portis
You can never ignore windchill.
I can and I do.... well the forecast version at least.

I need to know the wind direction and speed compared to where I'm going, and do the estimation myself. For instance, a dead-on tailwind, no matter how strong, means no windchill at all.

My answer is never expressed in watts per square meter.
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Old 02-04-07, 10:38 PM   #8
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You ignore the forecast windchill because when you're on a bike you're generating your own. Dress for the temps and windchill based on the speed you're planning on going.

Vicious headwinds like we've had in Toronto lately are a whole other problem. My solution is to take out the cross country skiis and head for the forest
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Old 02-05-07, 02:05 AM   #9
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Unbelievable day here in Southern California. Mid 80's, beautiful sunshine, riding around in shorts and a t-shirt.
If you're thinking it's on the account of global warming, it's actually very typical for Southern California in the wintertime to have a spells of warm weather.
We have had a colder than typical winter, though. There were a couple of weeks where neighbors reported sub-freezing temperatures on their backyard themometers.
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Old 02-05-07, 04:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
For instance, a dead-on tailwind, no matter how strong, means no windchill at all
Art major or business school?
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Old 02-05-07, 07:23 AM   #11
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Art major or business school?
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Old 02-05-07, 07:25 AM   #12
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Art major or business school?
As an MBA, I resemble that comment!
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Old 02-05-07, 07:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Portis
You can never ignore windchill.
Reading to the END of the sentence tends to help.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:49 AM   #14
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unfortunately I never got around to going for a frigid ride over the weekend. however, I woke up this morning to find that it's 6*F (-13* windchill) 16mph winds with over 20mph gusts. Nice little 3 mile trip, all straight into the headwind

I wasn't sure how warm to dress with my usually high body temps. feet: 2 pairs of socks with boots. legs: jeans over flannel pajama pants over nylon shorts over boxers. torso: cotton t-shirt, snowboarding jacket. head: helmet over thin cotton skull cap over thick head of hair. unfortunately I could not find my second pair of gloves, so I lined my thinsulate ones with mylar and it worked great!
I stuffed a backpack with a sweatshirt, extra socks, a balaclava, and more t-shirts, just in case.

A few really strong gusts of wind sent me ducking my face (below my nose) into my jacket and pushed me to a near stop. The constant headwind kept progress very slow and very laborious, but the overall journey was not too bad.
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Old 02-05-07, 12:54 PM   #15
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Art major or business school?

If you must know, I have a BSc in atmospheric science.

I also rode 75 km yesterday at -16C with a 40-50 kph west wind. And you know what, when I was riding east, I could not feel any windchill. Perhaps this makes means I should give my degree back, since clearly I have no idea what I am talking about.

If you have ever ridden a bicycle outdoors in the winter, I think you know exactly what I mean, but please, keep on attacking people's intelligence from the comfortable anonymity of your chair.

Youre a great asset to the winter cycling community that way.
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Old 02-05-07, 01:53 PM   #16
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Windchill is fuzzy math. No self-respecting Alaskan ever quotes the windchill factor.
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Old 02-05-07, 01:59 PM   #17
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You couldn't 'feel it? Wow, I'm impressed, perhaps if I would have not fallen asleep all through college I would have learned more of these scientifically advanced wind-chill measurement techniques. I didn't feel my nose when I got to work in -6F temps this morning...OMG, you mean I don't really have a nose?
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Old 02-05-07, 02:25 PM   #18
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Chip, seriously, when the wind is at your back you don't feel the windchill because the air is moving in the same direction that you are travelling in. When the wind is behind me at 40 kph it helps me up to around the same speed, my airspeed drops to almost zero, and the windchill becomes negliable. You can't feel it because there is no windchill.

You guys ride in the winter and you know this, you're just bustin my chops.

It's important though, as when a panic-stricken voice on the weather channel yells "OMG, the windchill is -35C this morning, stay indoors, OMG" (or words to that effect) and you dress for the -35C and set off with the wind at your back, you will almost certainly be too hot and get sweaty. Setting off into the wind, VERy different story.
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Old 02-05-07, 02:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
...You guys ride in the winter and you know this, you're just bustin my chops.
...
Yep...its the technicality thing. Technically there is still wind to the extent that you are not traveling exactly at the speed of the wind when it is exactly at your back. Practically you are right, it's much warmer riding with the wind than into it.
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Old 02-05-07, 03:13 PM   #20
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My problem with windchill is there's a HUGE difference between true forty below and "windchill" forty below. The wind only impacts uncovered areas, whereas the true deep cold not only sucks your core temp down, it changes physics. Antifreeze burns you like liquid notrogen, propane flow slows down, heaters seem to stop functioning, sounds start to change and the moose stand perfectly still. None of this happens because of the "wind chill factor."
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Old 02-05-07, 03:41 PM   #21
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You guys ride in the winter and you know this, you're just bustin my chops.
Of course we're bustin your chops, that's what we do around here.
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Old 02-05-07, 05:11 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
If you must know, I have a BSc in atmospheric science.

I also rode 75 km yesterday at -16C with a 40-50 kph west wind. And you know what, when I was riding east, I could not feel any windchill. Perhaps this makes means I should give my degree back, since clearly I have no idea what I am talking about.

If you have ever ridden a bicycle outdoors in the winter, I think you know exactly what I mean, but please, keep on attacking people's intelligence from the comfortable anonymity of your chair.

Youre a great asset to the winter cycling community that way.
You should. And I am.

And just to match dick size, -16C is about 10 to 20 degrees warmer than my typical winter riding temperature.
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This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
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Old 02-05-07, 05:54 PM   #23
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And just to match dick size, -16C is about 10 to 20 degrees warmer than my typical winter riding temperature.

You might want to keep it in your pants at that temperature.

Especially factoring in windchill.
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Old 02-05-07, 06:20 PM   #24
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Now let's not drag poor ole Dick into this...he feels tiny and shy enough at these temps.
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"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
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Old 02-05-07, 06:31 PM   #25
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Now let's not drag poor ole Dick into this...he feels tiny and shy enough at these temps.
Tiny turtle, In my lycra

Hum along if you don't know the words......
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This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
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