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  1. #1
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Northern Winter Riders ?

    I have been reading a lot of posts here and always find that when those southerners talk about winter riding they are often talking about something completely different... temperatures that hover just above freezing are still considered short weather here.



    So who else will be riding where it gets REALLY cold ?

    I'm in Edmonton, Alberta where winters are usually pretty dry but can also be freaking cold... I set up my winter gear to handle temperatures as low as -40 C which is the same as -40 F.

  2. #2
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    I'm in Anchorage AK. This is the sunny part of Alaska, so temps range from the 30's above to about -20f below. We're too close to the gulf to get much colder. Last year at it was 6 above, but we've got chinooks right now and it's in the high 30's which SUCKS because I've got my ice bike all ready to beta test but nothing to ride on but cold dry ground. The combination of high snowfall with periodic chinooks means we get amazing amounts of ice in an average winter. Inches thick on the sideroads sometimes.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I spent many years riding in Winnipeg, MB and am now doing my winter cycling in central Alberta (where it is a bit warmer than Winnipeg).

    I've done commutes at -40 ... and this was my coldest "long" ride: http://www.machka.net/brevet/Coldest_Century.htm

  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Machka - Mebbe we'll see each other one of these days... I'll be the guy dressed as a ninja and will probably be riding this.


  5. #5
    1coolrider arcticbiker's Avatar
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    I ride in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska. Temps get down to 60 below (or lower) in North Pole just south of town where I ride sometimes. I dress in layers, wear Lake boots w/ Sidi toasters and go slow (you don't have to adjust to go slow, you just do)
    Arcticbiker

  6. #6
    Banned
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    The North Pole is just south of where you ride? That's wild.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KLW2's Avatar
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    Riding for fun and commuting the same way all winter in Minnesota but..it just doesn't seem fun below 0 F. Especially with winds!! But then, I moved here from SW Arizona and am a cold weather wimp....

  8. #8
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jays View Post
    The North Pole is just south of where you ride? That's wild.
    North Pole is a town below Fairbanks Alaska

    I'm in Palmer Alaska, Matuanuska Valley. It is a drier than Anchorage as it's more inland and a little colder. We get to about 30 below sometimes. What makes it worse in my area is the winds off the Matanuska glacier. Windchill REALLY drops the temps.

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    Duluth, MN here.

    Love riding in blizzards and in the extreme cold. Also, a good freezing rain makes me grin from ear to ear.

  10. #10
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudSplattered View Post
    North Pole is a town below Fairbanks Alaska

    I'm in Palmer Alaska, Matuanuska Valley. It is a drier than Anchorage as it's more inland and a little colder. We get to about 30 below sometimes. What makes it worse in my area is the winds off the Matanuska glacier. Windchill REALLY drops the temps.
    "Winds" doesn't really capture it for an outsider, I suspect. For those who haven't had the pleasure, imagine standing in a NASA windtunnel with ambient air temp in the teens and then getting hit with 90 mph winds filled with razor sharp glacial sand. Back when I was doing a driving commute from Willow to Anchorage I remember one sideswipe gust out on the hay fields that picked up a fully loaded tote from the back of my pickup and tossed it far out into the frozen swamp. I can't imagine actually riding in that stuff. That was an interesting commute even by car. I'd start the morning at thirty below zero in the supercooled air around Willow, go through the brutal winds of Palmer and end up in the icy blizzards of Anchorage. Then back again at night! One of the few commutes around where one can drive through multiple red alert weather zones, each with a different terror in store. It was all fun till I flipped my truck at 45.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  11. #11
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    Cosmoline, that icy story made me put on a fleece jacket just reading it in the comfort of my home! That is absolutely wild and should give anyone a bit more respect for Mother Nature and her actions!

  12. #12
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    Spenard? Palmer? Fairbanks!! Holy clap!!

    I Google Map'd your locations and my screen froze.
    I only need to think of you guys to motivate myself when I find it difficult to pull on the winter gear before riding into the office.

    Stay warm.
    Cheers!

    T.J.
    Last edited by Tequila Joe; 11-05-07 at 01:07 PM.

  13. #13
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    Man, I thought Rochester was northern compared to some of the people who post for advice. But clearly I am one of the southerners as compared to you guys, if I had to guess I'd think the winter average around me is right around 20F.
    In the words of Einstein
    "And now I think I'll take a bath"

  14. #14
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I set up my winter gear to handle temperatures as low as -40 C which is the same as -40 F.
    Okay, you got me! I ride all year, but the best I've done thus far is -7F at night. I wasn't cold at all, and could have certainly gone colder. It's all about the dress, and the machine.

    If it ever gets to -40F, I'll probably just stay home.

    ... Brad

  15. #15
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    The Matanuska Winds are GREAT when they are at your back, no need to pedal. Into the wind is an excercise in pain and insanity.

  16. #16
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    -20 f. is about as cold as I care to ride in. Last winter my left eye froze shut during a downhill stretch in subzero temps. I made the mistake of prying it open, tore the skin and got a nasty infection. If both eyes had frozen shut I would have been really hosed.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  17. #17
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    did you have goggles on?? Don't go out without them. That sounds awful!! I had my contact freeze in my eyes this fall. I didn't really feel anything until I got into work, I took them out and had bloodshot eyes all day. That was my wakeup call that sunglasses weather was over.

  18. #18
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    I really need to get some nice skiing goggles. My current set are cruddy ones and just fog up.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  19. #19
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    I'll pack it in around -20*f. I'll stop riding for my own amusement (but continue commuting) somewhere in the single digits above.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    It looks silly when you have quotes from other forum members in your signature. Nobody on this forum is that funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    Why am I in your signature.

  20. #20
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    In my experience the universe colder than -20 f. starts to shift. Physics change. And they change again below -40f. and get even more surreal. I draw then line where body parts can start to fall off.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  21. #21
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    In Northern New York the cycling season is 10 months long, July and August is too damn hot to ride

  22. #22
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
    In my experience the universe colder than -20 f. starts to shift. Physics change. And they change again below -40f. and get even more surreal. I draw then line where body parts can start to fall off.
    Yeah, things don't work right in those temps, a geared bike becomes a single speed. People become Abominable Snowmen

    I have some may layers on in this picture, I could hardly pedal. Also, the slipper boots weren't good traction...they don't call them slippers for nothing! I don't recommend them for winter riding.


  23. #23
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad View Post
    In Northern New York the cycling season is 10 months long, July and August is too damn hot to ride
    I like cold better than hot. It's much easier to get/stay warm than it is to cool off.

    But when it comes to tubing, warmer is better



  24. #24
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    There's a good reason my winter bike (the Kuwahara) is a rigid fixed gear and has been lubed with synthetic grease...

    If the weather is above freezing I'll ride almost any one of my bikes.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad View Post
    In Northern New York the cycling season is 10 months long, July and August is too damn hot to ride
    Too hot in July and August? Dude, I grew up in Ballston Lake and I don't ever remember it being too hot in the summer. In fact, I don't remember it ever going above 80. Now, the black flies, that's a different story. We pretty much rode all year long, except when the snow got really deep. Really deep there is above six feet.

    I live in Milwaukee now, which is gets dammed cold in the winter. In fact, sometimes in January we are colder than Alaska. Windchills can go to 60 below farenheit here. To be fair, normal winters the temp ranges from about 10 below to the high 20s. The problem here is the wind. We had gusts of 55 mph today with a falling temp.

    What do you people do in high winds? they are a pain to ride in.

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