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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 09-24-07, 12:58 PM   #1
davidmcowan
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Winter Commuting Bullet Points?

I'm writing an article about winter commuting and was hoping you all could pitch in your expertise. I need simultaneously convincing and equally informative/educational points about winter commuting. Any ideas?
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Old 09-24-07, 01:25 PM   #2
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staying warm isnt hard. staying DRY is hard.

finding clothes that insulate, protect from wind, rain and snow, but also transfer moisture away from the skin and out of the clothes so that you dont get soaked and freeze the first time you break a sweat is an ongoing challenge. usually theres some degree of trade-off, but if you plan smart and do your homework and look around you can find things that work.

personally i've got all my eggs in pearl izumi's basket this winter. i just bought a couple of PI channel jackets. and so far i've been hugely impressed with how waterproof and windproof they are as well as how dry they keep me even when i'm sweating and working hard.
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Old 09-24-07, 01:29 PM   #3
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also i keep two of every article of clothing in my bag. in particular i have 2 caps and two pairs of gloves, so that if i have to stop to get groceries or do mechanical work or something i dont have to put the clammy and cold articles back on. i have fresh dry ones in my bag.
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Old 09-24-07, 02:25 PM   #4
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ALWAYS pack an extra layer.
Have a Plan 'B'.
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Old 09-24-07, 02:54 PM   #5
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Have you gone to the IceBike website: http://www.icebike.org/

And this site talks a lot about commuting, but also give a few winter commuting tips: http://www.bicyclinglife.com/index.html

And MEC has a set of articles on all things sports related, including winter commuting: http://www.mec.ca/Main/content_text....34198673870729

Of course there's All Weather Sports (associated with the Iditasports): http://www.allweathersports.com/winter/winter.html
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Old 09-25-07, 11:35 AM   #6
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Keep backup lighting at hand.

I use two blinkies on the back in case one peters out; and I keep a LED flashlight with velcro on it with me so that if my headlight peters out, I can stick the flashlight on the helmet and at least get by somewhat safely.

Also, someone else said it, but I've always lived by the rule that if you are a bit chilly when you start your am ride (just a bit), you are probably pretty close to being dressed well. You will warm up. If you are toasty before you start, you are overdressed and you will get too warm.
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Old 09-25-07, 01:00 PM   #7
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Keep backup lighting at hand.

I use two blinkies on the back in case one peters out; and I keep a LED flashlight with velcro on it with me so that if my headlight peters out, I can stick the flashlight on the helmet and at least get by somewhat safely.

Also, someone else said it, but I've always lived by the rule that if you are a bit chilly when you start your am ride (just a bit), you are probably pretty close to being dressed well. You will warm up. If you are toasty before you start, you are overdressed and you will get too warm.
Lighting
- Lighting redundancy is key
- Multiple light sources front and rear will keep the waranty on your 3rd dimension valid
- Don't depend on one battery to run everything.
- A helmet mounted light is generally more useful than a bar mounted one. When in doubt, get two or more.
-Be seen lights are a waste of time, money and, possibly, your life. If you can see where you are going, people can see you. Go as bright as possible in all situations.
-Urban situations call for more light not less. You are competing with all of the other light sources...don't tie one hand behind your back.
-Know when the sun comes up and goes down. The US Navy has convienently calculated this for every place on the planet.

Cothing
-Start cold. End warm.
-Several light layers are superior to one heavy one.
-Hands, feet and ears get cold fast. And each person is different. Find which one bothers you first and cover it.
-The latest helmet with the most vents makes a crappy winter helmet. Plug the holes or get a cheap helmet with fewer of them.
-Ditto shoes.
-Bib tights are warmer than waisted tights.
-If it works for Cross Country skiing, it'll work for bicycling.

Other stuff
-Drink water. Winter is as drying as summer.
-Water bottles freeze. Camelbaks don't (get an insulator tube for them).
-Flats suck in the cold and dark.
-Suspension is great for riding on ice and snow...if it doesn't freeze up.
-Salts (in the chemical meaning) are the bane of any bicycle. Wash it off on a regular basis.
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Old 09-25-07, 01:05 PM   #8
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Keep the extremities warm. I suppose that's obvious but if you can keep the ears, toes and fingers warm, you're in business.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:00 PM   #9
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Is it a "how to do it" or is it about the advantages of doing it?

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