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  1. #1
    tsl
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    End of the season

    Not that I rely on it too much, but the 15-day forecast calls for only one night of below-freezing temps, so it looks like the winter riding season is over for me, even though there's still snow on the ground.

    And not a moment too soon, AFAIC.

    March really got to me. I've logged fewer miles overall in March than I did in either January or February. As the month ground on I found increasingly lame excuses to stay home. I never did a single one on the Tuesday night rides, and rode only for commuting and shopping.

    I had no regrets the other night when I zipped the studs into the wheelbags for the last time until December, I hope.

    Summarizing the 2007-08 season:

    Nov & Dec
    17 Rides
    94.65 Miles
    7:14:16 Ride time

    Jan - Mar
    53 Rides
    364.17 Miles
    27:38:08 Ride time

    Season Total
    70 Rides
    458.82 Miles
    34:52:24 Ride time

    Those figures include only rides where the bike was wearing studs. [Edit: It represents about half of my total winter riding.]

    Lowest temp ridden: -4°F, -20°C. That was also the lowest temp ridden in the 2006-07 season and about the coldest it got here in both years.

    Falls: Two, both minor.

    One night on the Tuesday night ride when the leader took us down a sidewalk that was more luge run than sidewalk. The bike slid out to the left, bending the RD hanger, I fell in the snowbank.

    The second was a week ago Saturday on the way to work when either leaving the studs on, or different routing or different headspace would have prevented the fall. (Actually, they're all different manifestations of headspace.) An inch long tear in the bar tape was the only damage to the bike, I had a few bruises from rolling on the asphalt and the frozen ground (there wasn't much difference) and I cracked my helmet. Long story here: Look Ma! No studs!

    The Portland turned out to be everything I'd hoped for in transportation for the winter. And it exceeded my expectations on rec rides. I never expected to chase MTBers off-road through the snow, and to out-climb some of them, but we did it several times. Skinny tires rule!

    The only winter wear and tear seems to be to the rear cables (both shifter and brake) and the rear brake caliper seems a little rough. Then again, that caliper has never seemed as smooth as the front one, so it may just be the problem, not the salt.

    Cables I expect to replace anyway, so I'll only have to sort out the rear caliper.

    Oh, and I also took a chunk out of the rear fender one night after a particularly long and cold ride when I wasn't as gentle as I should have been standing the bike up on it in the shower stall. I picked up a new set yesterday and will put them on today or tomorrow.


    At the top of Cobb's Hill, Sunday March 2


    Arriving at work, Saturday March 8
    Last edited by tsl; 04-05-08 at 09:11 PM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  2. #2
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    Well, you did better than me. I was riding fairly frequently until Christmas then it was the same story. The roads were really bad for most of the winter so I only went out when it was clear enough to fight in traffic. I was enjoying the winter riding at first but I'm really glad that we are getting to the end of the snow and ice (although it will take some time for it to melt away).

  3. #3
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    I was getting a little sick of winter riding as well. I don't need to to be hot, but some sun shine and non snowy/slushy weather would be nice. I just took off the Snow tires last night as well. You'd figure todays ride would be quieter and smoother... 20+ MPH wind and driving rain put an end that that beautiful idea. At least it has been sunny for the last few days, and the rain this morning wasn't cold enough to sting like little daggers when it hit my face... oh how I enjoy Spring! I just bought a road bike last week and I can't wait to take it out for a ride. That will be my fair weather only bike as I already have one heavy duty commuter bike.

    Happy riding,
    André

  4. #4
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
    I just bought a road bike last week and I can't wait to take it out for a ride. That will be my fair weather only bike as I already have one heavy duty commuter bike.
    That's what I thought when I got my first road bike last year at this time. It wasn't long before I stopped riding the other bike completely. Then, with winter coming, I found I couldn't go back. Hence, the Portland (pictured above.) Road bike, disc brakes, and my Nokians fit. Yahoo!

    Now I have two road bikes and don't miss the old heavy-duty commuter.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

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    Speaking on nice weather & bikes. How long before the last salting of the roads before you start riding your fair weather bike?

  6. #6
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    tsl Awesome! Hey, looks like your weather is even colder there. Our season is still hanging on. Snowed another 15" at the pass (Cascade Mts) last night

    Hey Tsl that lid looks airy for your kind of riding. I'd like to recommend the Giro Fuse Snow Board helmet if you have problems with keeping heat under the lid. Last week was snowy here and around 28F...the lid opens and closes with a flick of a finger.

  7. #7
    tsl
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    Actually, I rode my fair weather bike at least once a month all winter. Each month we had couple of days where the roads dried out, then the sun broke through and the temps rose into the 30s. Rather than break out with a hula skirt, I broke out with Yellow Bike.

    Everything melted earlier this past week, and we had good rains mid-week. All the salt's been washed away.

    As for my noggin, it was never cold enough for me to think about a different helmet in the winter. When I got the Decibel, I was worried about it and was prepared to get a winter helmet if necessary. I wore a winter-weight cycling skullcap under about 35°F. I rode as low as -4°F and was just fine. In the usual teens and 20s, my head would still sweat. So no need for snowboarder's helmet.

    The only problem temperatures gave me was after riding. In that second photo above, my work clothes are in the trunk bag. Changing into refrigerated pants was the worst part about winter commuting.
    Last edited by tsl; 04-05-08 at 09:16 PM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  8. #8
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    Hey I was just about to post on the end of the season. My ride today convinced me that winter is over!!!

    My totals were: Nov-Dec, 32 rides, 479 miles; Jan-Mar, 47 rides, 903 miles.

    Total season: 79 rides, 1,382 miles. That included a century every month except December.

    This is the first winter I toughed out and rode the entire season. Commuting in snow/ice wasn't bad at all with my studded tires (thanks for the advice on that!).

    I really challenged myself by going out for longer rides in colder weather including snow (though not when the roads were icy/snowy, since my road bike doesn't have studs), and found that doubled plastic bags plus chemical warmers seem to do the trick for keeping my feet from turning into icicles.

    I am also finding that I appreciated today's sunny warm (60) weather so much, I felt great despite not having ridden for the past week due to a really bad cold.

    I'm convinced that the cold weather -- cold temperatures -- does make it harder to bike and really slows me down. And I never knew how windy it gets around here in the winter!

    Anyway, I'm happy spring is here. Today I had my fastest speed since early November, it was nice.

    Now to get those studded tires off of my commuter...

  9. #9
    Senior Member sumguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    snip

    At the top of Cobb's Hill, Sunday March 2


    Arriving at work, Saturday March 8
    so what temps and what kind of torso layers up top for these two pictures? I am happy with everything but my torso layers. I'm sweating too much unless its subzero and I feel my winter jacket is too bulky compared to the warmth to thickness ratio of my tights.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy View Post
    so what temps and what kind of torso layers up top for these two pictures? I am happy with everything but my torso layers. I'm sweating too much unless its subzero and I feel my winter jacket is too bulky compared to the warmth to thickness ratio of my tights.
    I had a serious problem with sweating as well. I would wear a sport T shirt (the breathable kind), then I'd wear a Polar Fleece cover. I liked the fleece for its warmth, but it had 0% wind blocking so while riding I would have to wear a shell. I then wore a cheap Quest wind shell that claimed to breath. I would get to work and have to turn the shell inside out because it was soaking wet from sweat.

    Here was my solution: Foxwear E-Vap coat (www.foxwear.net). Luo was great to deal with. I told him my hight and weight and what temps I tended to ride in, and discussed my seat issues. I wanted Yellow so that limmited my choices of materials, but that was no problem. I have a medium weight nearly wind-proof outer shell. The sides of the coat (and also along the arms) I have a contrasting black material that is very thin and extreamly breathable. By combining the two materials. I end up with a coat that is warm, yet lets all my extra body heat out. I was comfortable wearing it plus a T shirt down to about 15F. Below 15F I'd put on the extra shell for a little extra warmth. The jacket is so amazingly flexible, I can still wear it at 50F. Right now the mornings are still too cold to go without some cover. I don't have any long sleeve Jerseys and don't want to spend any more money getting a coat that I'll only use for a short time because we tend to go from Winter into Summer like conditions fast, very little inbetween.

    The way I look at it, I may have been able to locally or on the web find a coat for $80 that would have worked, but none would have been custom made to my exact needs. Foxwear is great. Next year I am definitely getting their Winter pants.

    Happy riding... enjoying the truely LOVELY Spring weather.
    André

  11. #11
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy View Post
    so what temps and what kind of torso layers up top for these two pictures? I am happy with everything but my torso layers. I'm sweating too much unless its subzero and I feel my winter jacket is too bulky compared to the warmth to thickness ratio of my tights.
    Yow! Winter coat? No wonder you're overheating.

    I find that heat management presents the same problem at all but the single-digits and lower. That is, I have to dump heat to stay cool. The only difference between 20°F and 90°F is how much heat I need to retain. Even at 20° I have to dump plenty.

    First, the stuff that stays the same from about freezing on down. Feet get ordinary crew socks and Lake winter cycling boots. Hands are double-gloved with summer-weight long-finger cycling gloves inside Cannodale Windfront gloves. That's a winter-weight cycling skullcap from SweatVac under the helmet.

    In the upper photo, that was a nice, long Sunday ride. I recorded in my BikeJournal ride log, "Weather Conditions: Mostly sunny-->Mostly Cloudy, 34-->32, winds calm-->ESE @ 5" Meaning it clouded up, got cooler and the wind picked up as I rode that day.

    On the upper I was wearing a baselayer, then my BikeForums.net Great Lakes Region jersey tops it all off. To provide the second layer on my arms, I wore armwarmers. I was doing hill repeats that day, so I knew I'd be working up a sweat (and I did). For just noodling along, I'd have put on another layer.

    On the lower I wore cycling shorts with kneewarmers and a plain old pair of uninsulated, non-windproof Nashbar tights over that.

    My wardrobe changes only a little bit for commuting. That day, my BikeJournal says, "Weather Conditions: Snowing, 32, winds N @ 6" So it was pretty warm that day too. I would have had a short-sleeve t-shirt over a long-sleeve one on top, and the hi-viz windbreaker/rain jacket from AlertShirt.com topping it off.

    The 30s are the toughest for me. I need an extra layer--another t-shirt--in the 20s. In the 30s, I don't, unless it's windy or damp. Plus conditions change. It's hard to tell until I get out on the road. Also my commute is short, 10-15 minutes, so I really can get by with less usually when I'm commuting. This sort of throws me off on longer rides.

    But winter coat? I haven't worn one in two years.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sumguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Yow! Winter coat? No wonder you're overheating.
    <snip>
    But winter coat? I haven't worn one in two years.
    short commute of 20-30min depending on lights, wind, road conditions. I have one of those 3 in 1 jackets and wore the inner shell because it was very good at blocking wind and rain compared to my other jackets. Wore that with a wicking long sleeve shirt and a sweat jacket because the wind goes right through the coat zipper. Over 20F and I leave the sweat jacket off. Next year will try a rain jacket, long sleeve shirt, and fleece pullover as needed to minimize bulk.

    andrelam thanks for the foxwear link. will decide between J&G, showers pass and foxwear within the next week or so.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy View Post
    s<SNIP>
    andrelam thanks for the foxwear link. will decide between J&G, showers pass and foxwear within the next week or so.
    I can't speak to any J&G coats, but I can tell you that I use the J&G pants the enire winter. These are great rain pants. I bought them because the cheap ($15 rain pants) tore after only a few uses. The J&G paints I bought the replace them only cost around $40 and I ended up using them the ENTIRE winter. There is still no sign of wear and tear in the croth area (where my other ones ripped). I probably should have upgraded to the more breathable kind, but figured for rain use, the breathable feature is pretty much a moot point. I ended up wearing the rain pants over my Illuminite Tights once the temps dropped well below 40F. I once rode without the rain pants on with 18F outside. Certain critical body parts got way too cold. The stuff from J&G is well made and for the money is was a MUCH better deal than the "cheap" pants... live and learn. As I stated in my previous message, now that I have made it through my 1st Winter I can easily justify buying a good set of Winter pants. The foxwear pants will breath much nicer than the rain pants and are pretty well water proof as well. As a side note, I would wear the E-Vap coat in heavy snow as well and stay prefectly dry. I could not believe how water resistant that fleece is. It doesn't like like it would repell, but it works great. Even in light rain I've been fine.

    Happy riding,
    André

  14. #14
    Blasted Weeds Tude's Avatar
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    BTW y'all - I've been running into Mr. Santa (as he may like to be called) and a part of his new winter ensemble was to grow this "growth" on his lower face that he called a beard which eliminated the actual wearing of a full face shield. Of course I did see a few FBI agents tracking behind him as he rode down the road ... as they tried to prove that Santa does exist.

    hehe.

    Signed, fellow (non bearded) commuter

    Tude

  15. #15
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    A lot more snow in the forecast and winds also. I replaced some worn thermal tights and thought they wouldn't get much use until fall. Beeeeeep! WRONG Answer!

  16. #16
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley View Post
    A lot more snow in the forecast and winds also. I replaced some worn thermal tights and thought they wouldn't get much use until fall. Beeeeeep! WRONG Answer!
    I wore a wind shirt this morning. I'm gonna have to lose the wind shirt and put on shorts and a T for the commute home. Y'all pixs of snow make me feel like a southerner...We got some serious flowers cranking in Maryland.
    I like the Fox jacket idea, still gotta do some research. I think the fabric is made in the US(Malden Mills??) and Lou makes the stuff in Idaho. SO: Low carbon footprint and helps our country, which needs a serious boost right now. Charlie

  17. #17
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    Still snowing....2more inches Thank God for Global Warming...or it would be worse? heee hee...they'll have to change their theory!

    The Malden Mills is one of the top fleece makers in the world. He's using good materials unlike that cheap Ch#na stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
    I wore a wind shirt this morning. I'm gonna have to lose the wind shirt and put on shorts and a T for the commute home. Y'all pixs of snow make me feel like a southerner...We got some serious flowers cranking in Maryland.
    I like the Fox jacket idea, still gotta do some research. I think the fabric is made in the US(Malden Mills??) and Lou makes the stuff in Idaho. SO: Low carbon footprint and helps our country, which needs a serious boost right now. Charlie

  18. #18
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    We got two days of summer. 10 days ago, I was on a patio enjoying frosty pints in the sun, wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Last Friday, the temperature dropped and it started barfing snow. It's still snowing. I want summer back!
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  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe View Post
    We got two days of summer. 10 days ago, I was on a patio enjoying frosty pints in the sun, wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Last Friday, the temperature dropped and it started barfing snow. It's still snowing. I want summer back!
    Yeah, I'm with you. Up here in Edmonton we're right in the middle of ANOTHER heavy snowfall warning. This has been going on for 5 days now!! I've had enough!

  20. #20
    Hauja
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    Snow ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Yeah, I'm with you. Up here in Edmonton we're right in the middle of ANOTHER heavy snowfall warning. This has been going on for 5 days now!! I've had enough!
    Wow ,don't send any our way.

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James H Haury View Post
    Wow ,don't send any our way.
    Well, the wind has been a very, very strong north-west wind all day ... so it might be heading your way!!

    We ended up with about a foot of snow in total, I believe.

  22. #22
    tsl
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    Sorry to hear about the continuing snows in Alberta.

    We breached the 80s F, upper 20s C, here over the weekend.

    Although on my Sunday night ride I rediscovered the best thing about winter riding. No bugs. Inhaled one pretty deeply. Had me hacking and cacking for the next three miles...
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  23. #23
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    It's still snowing. WTF! We're getting into warmer temperatures on the weekend, but that just means it will be sloppy.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  24. #24
    ǝıd ǝʌol ʎllɐǝɹ I JeanCoutu's Avatar
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    We got lotsa snow this winter, it was good.




    Now there's almost none left and it's getting warm out. Yay? Well, not as much fun as I recalled, seeing how the water is now falling from the sky in non-solid form. As in: it's liquid, so it makes me wet. This sucks, do not want. Can it be winter again now, plz?




    Reasons beyond my control had me completely stop riding my bike for two months this winter, getting started again was hard and unpleasant. It took about two weeks to get back in reasonable shape. To think some people willingly go through that every year... ugh!
    Last edited by JeanCoutu; 04-29-08 at 01:40 PM.

  25. #25
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    And ... it's supposed to snow again tomorrow.

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