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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 12-12-07, 08:33 AM   #1
twobikes
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Warm toes cheap

Homeless people use old newspapers to insulate themselves against the cold. My usual cycling footwear loses heat and my toes are often chilly by the end of my daily ride. I made booties from old newspaper to cover my shoes, and my toes were still warm at the end of my ride. On my test ride, I was out for an hour and fifteen minutes. The temperature was 23 deg. F. with a wind chill of 12 deg. F.

I placed a section of newspaper 12.5" x 22.5" on the floor. It was six sheets in thickness. I put my foot onto the newspaper a bit off center to rear of the fold. I pulled the front edge up over the toe of my shoe. I folded the front corners in and over the toe of the shoe. I taped them in place with a few inches of masking tape. I folded the back corners up and around my heel and taped them in place. I put my foot into a plastic grocery bag and wrapped it loosely around my ankle. Another piece of tape held it in place. Then I repeated the process for the other foot.

My pedals are metal rat traps with toe clips. I rode outside the clips with the clips hanging down. My feet never slipped on the pedals. If you want to clip-in, you could cut an opening on the bottom of the newspaper booties, but that could also increase the air exchange and make your feet cooler.

I was concerned that the plastic bags might get caught in my chain or on some sharp corner, but that was not a problem. The paper booties were moist at the end of the ride from perspiration, but still intact enough to use a few more times. For colder weather more sheets of newspaper could be used to make thicker booties.
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Old 12-12-07, 08:54 AM   #2
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I'm a pretty frugal do it your self kind of person, but this is way, way out there. Shoe covers don't cost that much, or you can get Wally World boots for like $30.
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Old 12-12-07, 09:04 AM   #3
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pics!
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Old 12-12-07, 12:31 PM   #4
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Did anybody call the cops and report a homeless person that stole a nice bike?
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Old 12-12-07, 09:50 PM   #5
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In response to Old Dirt Hill, step-by-step pictures are included below. You can imagine putting your foot into a plastic grocery bag and taping it at the ankle.

In response to biknbrian, I wanted to try this because it seemed like such a deliciously simple idea. I already spent $75 on some new boots I thought would keep my feet much warmer than they do, and wanted to see what I could do with a waste item, like old newspaper. So far I have not needed extra foot warmth but a couple of times this winter. I did not want to spend $30 more on something I may not use all of the time. And, I thought someone else who needs extra foot warmth infrequently might appreciate the idea.

In response to tpelle, The very few cars I encountered gave me a wide berth. Your question reminds me of a piece on The History Channel about the first USAF tests of jet aircraft. The test pilot would pull alongside a P-51 wearing a gorilla suit and a bowler hat chomping on a big stogie. The P-51 pilot would be aghast at a plane with no propeller flown by a gorilla wearing a hat. Then the test pilot would pull away and leave the P-51 "in the dust." When the P-51 pilot got back to the base, the military psychologist would convince him he did not see what he saw.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg a bootie.JPG (16.5 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg b bootie.JPG (16.8 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg c bootie.JPG (18.1 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg d bootie.JPG (19.2 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg e bootie.JPG (17.7 KB, 58 views)
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Old 12-13-07, 12:49 AM   #6
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I am not sure Gucci would approve but it looks like you have a solution, congrats!
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Old 12-25-07, 10:07 AM   #7
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Only once has it been so cold here that I needed the booties described above. More often, I have worn the same shoes in the pictures above, but needed just a little extra to keep my toes warm. I used a newspaper shoe insert 4" x 10" and three ply thick. Lightly crease the newsprint about 1.5" from one end. The ends of your toes will go into the crease. Hold the newsprint inserts over the opening in your shoe and put your foot into the shoe so it drags the newsprint in with it. Lace and tie your shoe a bit loose. When you are finished, newsprint should cover the underside of your toes where they meet the rest of your foot around over the ends of the toes and up your foot under the tongue of the shoe. This works very well for temperatures from mid-30 deg. F. down to the high teens. It is quicker and easier than the booties, too. On really cold days this could be used in combination with the booties.
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Old 12-26-07, 09:20 AM   #8
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Yow, that is seriously ghetto.

I'll bet the plastic grocery bag inside your shoe would have been just as effective.
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Old 12-26-07, 11:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
I'll bet the plastic grocery bag inside your shoe would have been just as effective.
Last winter I tried a pair of wool/synthetic blend sock covered by a second pair of cotton socks. Then I covered each foot with a plastic bag before putting on my shoes. My feet got cold in temperatures at which they were warm this year with the newspaper and plastic bag outside my shoe. The plastic bag inside the shoe is not as effective. Newsprint is very good as an insulating material.

All of us have access to newsprint. All of us do not want to spend extra money to keep our feet warm. Why not use what is available at no extra cost and is very effective?

Last edited by twobikes; 12-26-07 at 12:02 PM. Reason: clarify expression
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Old 12-26-07, 08:48 PM   #10
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WoW! some day maybe they will even use it to insulate a house and call it Cellulosic fiber or something,i think your on to something there!And if you have a break down somewhere at least you will have something to read! good idea!!
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