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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 01-16-08, 06:17 PM   #1
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Weird... cold after I was back inside....

So, I was nice and warm riding today. No problem.

But when I came in, I was suddenly cold and could not warm up! I ended up being in sweats and a robe under 2 down blankets and a quilt in front of a fireplace and slept all day until 4:30. Now I'm up and about, not cold, except for my hands and feet. It's not just a sensation...they are literally ice cold.

Did I get cold and not know it? That seems like a bad deal. When doing other winter sports, I've always been able to judge my temperature, so maybe there's something different about biking?
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Old 01-16-08, 06:39 PM   #2
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That's normal. It happens to me every time I come in from a cool-cold ride.

I think what's going on is that while you ride your blood is pumping hard and keeping you warm, but you aren't dressed all that warmly, because if you were, you'd be soaked in no time. Then when you come in, and your heart rate returns to normal, and your body does this delayed reaction thing.

I usually take a hot shower after a chilly ride, and then I've got a space heater and a heating blanket to keep me warm or warm me up. It usually takes me about 2 hours to warm back up again. Put on some nice thick socks and slippers, and run your hands under warm water for a few minutes.

A nice hot cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate seems to help too.
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Old 01-16-08, 06:51 PM   #3
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I've never experienced exactly what you describe. But I have had a couple weird experiences in my 5 winters of riding. On two different occasions during the winter I have woken up in the middle of the night completely ice cold and shivering.

I remember one night i was shaking/shivering so bad that i could hardly walk into the bathroom to get into the tub of steaming hot water. I remember that the bath water i was running was almost as hot as i could set it and the water still felt cold to me. That was very surreal and i never will forget it.

The other time I just remember waking up freezing cold and soaking wet. A hot bath brought me around that time pretty quickly.

I never did understand why those things happened but i always attributed it to my winter riding with no real reason to, it's just my belief. I always suspected that my body's thermostat just got screwy and forgot how to regulate itself.
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Old 01-16-08, 07:00 PM   #4
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I've never experienced exactly what you describe. But I have had a couple weird experiences in my 5 winters of riding. On two different occasions during the winter I have woken up in the middle of the night completely ice cold and shivering.

I remember one night i was shaking/shivering so bad that i could hardly walk into the bathroom to get into the tub of steaming hot water. I remember that the bath water i was running was almost as hot as i could set it and the water still felt cold to me. That was very surreal and i never will forget it.

The other time I just remember waking up freezing cold and soaking wet. A hot bath brought me around that time pretty quickly.

I never did understand why those things happened but i always attributed it to my winter riding with no real reason to, it's just my belief. I always suspected that my body's thermostat just got screwy and forgot how to regulate itself.

Yah, well in your case I think it's the Kansas winds shaking up all your internal wiring!!!! The coldest I've ever been, bar none, was one November in Kansas. I must not have dressed warm enough, but that wind chilled me to the bone.
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Old 01-16-08, 07:38 PM   #5
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Were you dehydrated?
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Old 01-16-08, 08:09 PM   #6
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Were you dehydrated?
Maybe... there really wasn't a reason for it. It was warm today... mid 20's....
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Old 01-16-08, 08:26 PM   #7
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I have had the same thing happen to me from time to time. Usually when it happens I have been under dressed with no desire to stop or without extra clothes. Thus, I ride harder to generate more heat. My guess is this is partially successful but when I get home I pay a price for it.
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Old 01-17-08, 09:05 AM   #8
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So, I was nice and warm riding today. No problem.

But when I came in, I was suddenly cold and could not warm up! I ended up being in sweats and a robe under 2 down blankets and a quilt in front of a fireplace and slept all day until 4:30. Now I'm up and about, not cold, except for my hands and feet. It's not just a sensation...they are literally ice cold.

Did I get cold and not know it? That seems like a bad deal. When doing other winter sports, I've always been able to judge my temperature, so maybe there's something different about biking?
This has happened to me also. Last November, cold morning, in the low 40's it started raining hard and I got soaked. Did not really pay much attention to it and rode another 20 miles after that. After that, I had a mechanical problem I couldn't fix on the road, so I called my wife and made it to the nearest Quickie Mart. By the time she arrived 25 minutes later, I could not stop shaking, was shivering uncontrollably, trembling, and not matter what I could not get warm. The temperature of the store was in the mid 70's. Took me a little while to get over it.
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Old 01-18-08, 11:48 PM   #9
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I think the wind chill created by riding at 15 or so mph is a bigger factor in winter riding than some of us might think. Add any actual wind caused by weather and the chill factor gets pretty significant.
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Old 01-18-08, 11:56 PM   #10
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I found out what the problem was.

I came in and the house felt so hot I just stripped down to my long johns and let the dogs out, got a phone call, made a phone call, fixed dinner, etc. I must have been sweating more than I thought, and the sweat cooling off chilled me.

My internal temp gauge has been off ever since, though. It's been below zero, and I haven't had that "it's cold" feeling as I've been running errands. But once inside, I'm chilled. Very odd.
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Old 01-19-08, 12:40 AM   #11
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I found out what the problem was.

I came in and the house felt so hot I just stripped down to my long johns and let the dogs out, got a phone call, made a phone call, fixed dinner, etc. I must have been sweating more than I thought, and the sweat cooling off chilled me.

My internal temp gauge has been off ever since, though. It's been below zero, and I haven't had that "it's cold" feeling as I've been running errands. But once inside, I'm chilled. Very odd.
that's what i was thinking... i did the same thing tonight after getting home from work.. i didn't change out of my bike jazz quick enough and was freezing.
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Old 01-19-08, 01:01 AM   #12
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Oh yeah ... as soon as I get in from a longish ride in the cold, I'm in the shower, and then wrapped in warm clothes with my heating pad.
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Old 01-19-08, 01:22 AM   #13
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You are going to sweat no matter what the weather is like although you will probbaly notice it less when it is warmer... part of my post commute routine is to drink a great deal of water (at least four 10 oz glasses) to replenish my fluids.

I still wear a good amount of clothing after I strip off the riding gear as I don't want to end up being hypothermic and work on cooling down slowly.

The shower / bath always comes after my body temp has stabilized.

The body sweats and cold could also be a result of lowered blood sugar.
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Old 01-20-08, 02:21 PM   #14
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I think because you generate so much heat while riding and don't want to be wet from sweat that there is a tendency to wear a little bit too little. The blood pumping keeps your core warm but your body can become quite cool a little below the skin around your whole body.

I have had this problem before and I found the solution. The part about your bodies thermostat getting thrown off I think is true. I think the problem is your core is warm but the outer skin area is sending a signal that you are cold and the bodies feedback system gets two messages at the same time. The way around this is to wear just a little more insulation over your whole body when you ride and be just a small degree warmer. Enough so that your bodies defense system does not kick in by sensing danger of freezing.

You are going to sweat anyway if you are doing any kind of moderate to hard riding. Adding another thin wicking layer will make you seem a little wetter when you get back but your body will thank you for it. I think the open weave wicking long johns used by skiers work best on the top under your preferred jacket.

Now as soon as you get home strip off all your wet clothes. Even wicking clothing cannot wick fast enough in cold weather to keep you dry and at 70 degrees in the typical house your sweat soaked bike clothes are now acting as an evaporative air conditioner and cooling you off. Your core is still warm so you feel Ok, but your outer skin is actually cooling off. So you can actually take quite a chill if you are not careful and not realize that your body is cooling off much too fast.

Now you see why Machka's method of jumping right in the hot shower and getting warm dry clothes on is effective.

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Old 01-21-08, 10:26 AM   #15
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Might this be a blood sugar issue?
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Old 01-21-08, 10:37 AM   #16
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Well, I don't know. Wouldn't I feel blood sugar stuff in the summer, too?

I still haven't quite got a handle on this. I was out the other day and got chilled a couple hours later in a coffee shop, but I was sitting next to a big window. But pretty much, if I stop moving for very long, I get chilled now. I've never completely warmed up since that first ride, except when I'm totally bundled up and exercising.
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Old 01-21-08, 10:47 AM   #17
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The obvious answer is to go to the doctor. He can easily rule out the common causes.
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Old 01-21-08, 12:21 PM   #18
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It's not that big of a deal. I mean, hey! It's MN, it's -20 windchill and I'm riding my bike which makes MORE windchill, and I'm just learning how to dress for winter riding. Makes sense I'd be cold!!
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Old 01-21-08, 06:32 PM   #19
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It's not that big of a deal. I mean, hey! It's MN, it's -20 windchill and I'm riding my bike which makes MORE windchill, and I'm just learning how to dress for winter riding. Makes sense I'd be cold!!
Since we had coffee this weekend and you mentioned it, I thought I would pay attention and see if I felt cold after a ride but so far not. (Sunday ride and to/from work commute today.) In the morning when it's sub zero, I'm toasty on the ride and a bit sweaty by the time I get to work.The inside of my wind breaker is moist but my layers seem to move the moisture well. After stretching, I shower and dress for work. My temp seems to regulate pretty well.
Maybe you need intravenous coffee during the ride to keep the blood warm....
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Old 01-21-08, 06:37 PM   #20
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The only other advice i can give you is to listen to your body. If it says it is cold put on more clothes and/or raise the thermostat. I've done this in the past to ward off the chills and obviously it is nothing new. People have been doing this for hundreds of years. But still for me it was easily overlooked, i kept thinking "i don't normally need an extra shirt around the house, but had to eventually learn...screw "normal" do what your body says.

On top of that, don't let yourself chill, get ahead of it and start dressing warmer inside. I even use this principal when dressing to ride in the mornings. I never let myself get cold from the moment i get out of bed. I make sure the house is nice and warm via the programmable thermostat etc. Then when dressing for the ride, i put everything on inside the house even though some of it is stored out in the unairconditioned garage.

I make sure I am nice and toasty and then head out into the cold. I also dress a little too warm so I can remove stuff if i have to. I much prefer this to starting off cold like some advise.
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Old 01-21-08, 06:39 PM   #21
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solveg ... does the same thing happen when you walk in the cold, or not?

When I walk in the cold, and then come inside, I'm roasting ... right now I'm down to a tank top, trying to cool off.

But for some reason, when I cycle, I get cold after. It doesn't even have to be a particularly cold day ... I'll experience the same thing when it's +5C or +10C. It happens about 80% of the time, and I've just accepted it as normal.
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Old 01-21-08, 07:11 PM   #22
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I think all three of you are right....

Intravenous coffee: 'nuff said

Stay warmer in the house: That's a great idea. I have throw blankets laying around. I'll try to remember to put one on if I'm going to sit at the computer or watch TV.

Machka: exactly.... I dress warmer (down jacket, etc) for walking and I get really hot. I don't feel chilled after walking the dogs. I think it's probably normal (for me) when biking, but just new to me. I'm sure I'll pick up lots of little tricks in the next few years (like the intravenous coffee and the blankets!)
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Old 01-21-08, 09:05 PM   #23
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Well, I don't know. Wouldn't I feel blood sugar stuff in the summer, too?

I still haven't quite got a handle on this. I was out the other day and got chilled a couple hours later in a coffee shop, but I was sitting next to a big window. But pretty much, if I stop moving for very long, I get chilled now. I've never completely warmed up since that first ride, except when I'm totally bundled up and exercising.
It's possible you have caught a virus that is incubating but you haven't felt sick yet. But it might be weakening your immune system or effecting other systems. Also, you may have "over-trained" to some degree and your system has not yet recovered.
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Old 01-21-08, 11:01 PM   #24
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You are burning more energy in a cold climate. Part of your energy burn was to keep moving and the other energy consumption is to keep warm. This burns through glucose faster.

-5F showed a 502 calorie burn vs 454 in the same riding conditions at 68F. This isn't taking into account riding through snow either, just the temperature alone makes a 48 calorie difference in an hour.





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Well, I don't know. Wouldn't I feel blood sugar stuff in the summer, too?

I still haven't quite got a handle on this. I was out the other day and got chilled a couple hours later in a coffee shop, but I was sitting next to a big window. But pretty much, if I stop moving for very long, I get chilled now. I've never completely warmed up since that first ride, except when I'm totally bundled up and exercising.
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Old 01-22-08, 08:09 AM   #25
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I spent Saturday outside in 10F to 32F temps riding a century.
Once I finished my wife picked me up and I was overheating in the car on the way home. Maybe a 10 min drive.
At home I went the exact opposite and started freezing. Jumped in a nice hot bath and all was good.
I can not seem to make the transition between cold weather exercising to normal temps not exercising without some sort of issue. Heck, my issue with commuting to the light rail is the opposite. I have to cool down or I overheat.
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