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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 11-27-07, 07:59 PM   #1
genesorjeans
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how far, how cold? : distance commuting

This has probably already been discussed, but I'm wondering how far you ride for winter commutes?

I live in Wisconsin and commute 16-18 miles (depending if the bike trail is snowed over or not) each way. Last year, I wimped out on most cold (below 15-20F) days, but really want to stick with it this year.

Do any of you commute that far in that cold weather? If so, inspire me!
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Old 11-27-07, 08:14 PM   #2
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For quite a few years I used to commute 13.4 kms round trip in Winnipeg year round. My coldest commute was -40C/F.

Now my commute is 300 kms round trip, so I don't cycle commute anymore.

However, I do a lot of other winter cycling ... this was my longest cold ride: http://www.machka.net/brevet/Coldest_Century.htm

A couple sites you might look at:
http://www.mec.ca/Main/content_text....34198673870729
http://www.icebike.org/
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Old 11-27-07, 08:24 PM   #3
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I ride in Madison Wisconsin, 2-3 days during the winter, 12 miles one way. This is my second winter and I keep adding to my winter kit.
Today 20's, (for the first time this winter I put on mitten shells and my thick fleece, later in the week the face mask my be used.)
Coldest day was last winter left at 5 degrees, I had my summer shoes with booties and man was that a mistake. Now I have extra large high top mtn. shoes and wear thick wool socks. I am going to look for some shoe heater pads for the coldest days.

It is all in the planning and layers of clothing that can be added or removed to keep warm but not overheated. I look forward to each ride. It is a little adventure each day. I park my bike by the back entrance near the parking lot and half the staff knows when I ride in during the winter. My tiny claim to crazyness at work.
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Old 11-27-07, 09:38 PM   #4
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I'm in Winnipeg, and my commute is 32km round trip. Rode to work yesterday at -14C, when I finished my after work meeting and got home after 9 pm, it was -23.

It's all about keeping the toes and fingers warm!!

I've cycled in every month but Feb. My coldest ever was -24.

I'm planning on going straight through winter this year.
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Old 11-27-07, 11:34 PM   #5
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I do 14 miles each way. I've ridden to well below freezing. Just be careful on the corners and remember that you can walk the bike if its too slick.
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Old 11-28-07, 07:42 AM   #6
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13 miles each way. I've ridden down to slightly below zero (Farenheit) conditions.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:35 AM   #7
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15 miles each way. ride everyday, no car.

most of the winter its in the teens in the morning when i leave, gets as low as -10F to -15F a few times a year.

below 20, i wear chemical foot warmers, and when it snows i use my schwalbe snow studs, and if its a blizzard, i'll take a snow day, but other than that, i dont find it that challenging or frightening.
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Old 11-28-07, 10:17 AM   #8
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15 miles each way in the winter. Temps range from -20 to 40 F, Anchorage
5 miles each way in the winter. Temps range from -60 to 25 F, Fairbanks (I wimp out at about -25F although I've ridden at -50F for short distances just to try it. Bike parts start acting wierd and you are really screwed if you have a breakdown in the middle of no where.)
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Old 11-28-07, 01:10 PM   #9
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5 miles each way in central WI. Last year I commuted 20 times in January but it was pretty mild. Coldest for me is -10F but yeasterday's 15F with 20 MPH wind sure felt cold. Still waiting for my blood to thicken.
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Old 11-29-07, 07:40 AM   #10
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hi
i'm also from winnipeg....
i commute about 12km roundtrip...
this is my 4th winter of cycling non-stop... 3rd with studded tires... my coldest day was last february where it was -40c and -50c windchill... (today was -23c -32c windchill) even if i leave my bike inside on those days i would have trouble with the freewheel freezing before i reach work.... overhauled and expect it to be better this year....
each year i add to my winterbiking "kit" and fall in love with winter cycling more and more... i have picked up lots of good clothes at 2nd hand stores and some cheap goggles on ebay...

biking on trails would be nice... travelling in the loose snow along the edge of the roads can be unnerving sometimes...

jB

Last edited by jimmibudd; 11-29-07 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 12-03-07, 10:03 PM   #11
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Winnipeg represent!

My commute is 40 km round trip, but I've never attempted it below -5*C (quite balmy, really) or in the snow. Hopefully, this winter, that'll change. After exams are done and my second term is paid for, I plan to winterise my bike and start in January.

I'm curious...say if the temperature is -25*C and you're doing 25 km/h in a 20 km/h headwind, would that count as a total of 45 km/h winds for a windchill of -42?
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Old 12-03-07, 10:12 PM   #12
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I commute sporadically in winter if the streets are clear. I don't like to ride on ice. Eight km/5 miles. My coldest so far is about -7C/21F. This is in Toronto. Never rode in winter when I lived in .....drum roll....Winnipeg!
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Old 12-04-07, 03:11 PM   #13
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My commute is exactly 11 miles each way. But I'm in New York City, so it's almost never down into the single digits here.

(Notice how I casually implied that I would be riding in 9F if only it ever got that cold here? Pretty clever of me, eh? In actuality I probably wouldn't bother getting on the bike if it were below 20F.)
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Old 12-04-07, 05:15 PM   #14
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Another from Winnipeg!!
11 km's into North wind.
4th winter in commuting.
Temps anywhere from 0 to -39+windchill.

LOVE IT!!!
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Old 12-04-07, 07:22 PM   #15
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Minnesota,
So far, 20 miles round trip..4 deg F with wind chills at -16 deg F. Just installed studs for snow/ice and man it is a different ride!!! Snow and ice needs some getting use to...
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Old 12-07-07, 04:37 PM   #16
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hey genesorjeans, is the 'trail' that you mention the hank aaron trail?

Either way, I'm in your boat. Last winter I completely wussed out, but this year I've been doing better. It was pretty cold this week in my opinion, and I've hit the road 3 out of 5 days. I'd like to keep that up throughout the winter, but I have a feeling on the below zero days I'll be getting to work another much more lame way.

Did you ride on wednesday with the snow on the roads? fun stuff!
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Old 12-07-07, 06:13 PM   #17
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3 miles in -3F
Yesterday, I rode more than 12 miles in the snow, but it was only in the high 20's.
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Old 12-15-07, 04:36 PM   #18
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i am in edmonton, my commute is not nearly as far as most of these posters but the temperatures beat all ya yanks. like the winnipeg folk i go through high winds in extreme cold skin freezing temperatures. for the amount of snow that we get 300 stud tires are minimum. with these ice is like pavement. riding fast is the safest way to ride so as not to lose your backend. warning you will learn to hate your city council for the lack of road cleaning. that curb crap is horrible on any kind of vehicle. i use clic goggles and balaclava. in these temps one has to not over dress as you will sweat too much. I wear not much more then fall wear in any temperature.
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Old 12-15-07, 04:56 PM   #19
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My commute is 13 km (one way) and to date the coldest temps I have ridden in have been -23 with the wind chills pushing the temperature down to just under -30 C.

We are getting more snow as I type this.
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Old 12-15-07, 07:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldcog View Post
Another from Winnipeg!!
11 km's into North wind.
4th winter in commuting.
Temps anywhere from 0 to -39+windchill.

LOVE IT!!!
Believe it or not, we get more south winds than any other. I was at a seminar a couple weeks back, and they showed the graphical breakdown of wind direction frequency. South winds were by far and away the most prevalent, followed by North East. Everything else was about the same.

Although on some days (like Thurs! ) it seems that it's always a north wind in the winter.

What's your commute? Mine's 17km straight up Pembina from S of the perimeter to Portage & Main.
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