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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 05-14-08, 10:53 PM   #1
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curious

I am thinking about going all year not this year but next.

how many miles do you ride in the winter on a single ride?

Do you cumute (sp) as well?
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Old 05-14-08, 11:16 PM   #2
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Do you cumute (sp) as well?
I made it through this last winter, 20 KM round trip commute. I was really fortunate that that the weather worked out for me. I did skip 5 days over the winter due to weather. It gets pretty cold here, I am in Edmonton, AB, but usually not too cold or too snowy to ride. I noticed that anyything below -17C wasn't really that much fun.

Heres a pic from January(I think).
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Old 05-14-08, 11:35 PM   #3
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I soooo need to man up i dont ride now if it is below 55F or 10 C
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Old 05-15-08, 12:58 PM   #4
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I soooo need to man up i dont ride now if it is below 55F or 10 C
I hope I don't offend anyone but commuting in the winter is not nearly as much fun as commuting in the summer. If only I was Hawaiian instead of Canadian.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:14 PM   #5
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I commuted through the winter this year. 10 miles each way.

It took an hour most mornings instead of the 45 minute summer ride.

I rode in one morning at -15F/-26C, then add some wind. It was not bad! You just need to dress right!

I did not mind riding through the winter. It was better than the mornings I drove.

If you want to know what I wore that morning, let me know...
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Old 05-15-08, 06:24 PM   #6
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My miles drop from 500-600 per month to 200-250 a month in winter.

I commute year round. My commutes are pretty short though. I try to keep my habit of taking a long loop to work on Saturdays, but there are days when three miles sounds better than thirteen.

There's an all winter, all conditions group ride here every Tuesday where I can get about two hours of riding in, at however many miles we do. Speed varies widely with conditions.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:01 PM   #7
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When I lived in Winnipeg, I commuted year round for 6 years. My commute was 13.4 kms round trip, so it wasn't far at all. If there was a lot of snow, I'd wait the day or so for them to clear it, but those were usually my only days off.

I also participate in Century-A-Month challenges, and I've successfully completed at least one century (100 mile ride) each month in 2003, 2005, and 2006. I'm going for it again this year. January, February, November, and December are usually the most challenging months because of the snow and cold. I've never done more than 100 miles in one day in what I would call truly winter conditions.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:04 PM   #8
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I soooo need to man up i dont ride now if it is below 55F or 10 C
Yep ... or perhaps "woman up" ... because what I call "truly winter conditions" as I mention in my post above are temps well below freezing with lots of snow etc. This was my coldest century: http://www.machka.net/brevet/Coldest_Century.htm

+10C is a balmy spring day!!

Why won't you cycle year round this year?
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Old 05-15-08, 08:47 PM   #9
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[quote=Intheloonybin;6701005]I did not mind riding through the winter. It was better than the mornings I drove.[quote]

This is true, even on the real cold or snowy days, I would rather ride than drive.
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Old 05-16-08, 05:18 PM   #10
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I am getting anew bike soon s my raodie was KIA'd and I think i want a tru winter bike. unless you dont think 1 season of snow and salt sand will kill my new machine.

I live in SE MA winters can be bad but most days are just chilly. low 30's to low 20's
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Old 05-16-08, 07:55 PM   #11
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I am getting anew bike soon s my raodie was KIA'd and I think i want a tru winter bike. unless you dont think 1 season of snow and salt sand will kill my new machine.

I live in SE MA winters can be bad but most days are just chilly. low 30's to low 20's
Well, you have to have two bicycles, of course.

One can be your nice roadie, the other can be something like a thrift store bicycle or inexpensive mtn bike or whatever for your commutes.

I used a Walmart mtn bike when I commuted for 6 years in Manitoba, and that bicycle lasted 6 years just fine. The only repairs I made to it were one set of new tires, new cables, and a new chain.
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Old 05-16-08, 10:48 PM   #12
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I work from home So my longest trips would be to my dojo which has a fairly big climb both ways. but i cant ride there on one of my nights.
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Old 05-16-08, 10:51 PM   #13
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I work from home So my longest trips would be to my dojo which has a fairly big climb both ways. but i cant ride there on one of my nights.
Dojo?

And why can't you ride there on one of your nights?
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Old 05-17-08, 02:53 PM   #14
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Becuase that night is our fight night. and i cant guarentee that i will walk out of the dojo without a major injury. worst soo far was a tourn rotor cuff but just a few weeks ago i was went down wrong and hurt my foot.. strained ankles and wrist are par for the course.
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Old 05-17-08, 06:35 PM   #15
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I commute year round. This winter in Calgary we had an unusually cold snap, and sure enough I had to make a trip about 8 or 9 miles each way on a day when it was -33C. I did warm up for about half an hour at the place I was going to, and stopped at a supermarket about halfway back to get something warm from the deli. It was slow going because there was a lot of snow that hadn't been cleared. There was one point near the end when I realized that I could go home, get some ice cream out of the freezer, and it would warm me up if I ate it. But when I got there I did settle for a hot drink that would warm me up a little more.

The interesting thing was that for the rest of the winter, all the -20 temperatures didn't seem cold at all, so there was even something really nice and positive about that ride. I certainly am wimpy enough, but don't want to get into that territory more than I have to.
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Old 05-18-08, 09:43 AM   #16
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The interesting thing was that for the rest of the winter, all the -20 temperatures didn't seem cold at all, so there was even something really nice and positive about that ride. I certainly am wimpy enough, but don't want to get into that territory more than I have to.
Yes, there is a period of adjustment to go through. If I were you, I wouldn't get to disappointed if you can't ride ALL Winter this coming Winter, but if you keep it up, you'll find you ride more and more.
You will also have to experiment a little, to find what clothing works for you and your conditions.
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Old 05-19-08, 08:52 AM   #17
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Yes, there is a period of adjustment to go through. If I were you, I wouldn't get to disappointed if you can't ride ALL Winter this coming Winter, but if you keep it up, you'll find you ride more and more.
You will also have to experiment a little, to find what clothing works for you and your conditions.
Yes I agree, I have been doing it for a lot of years, but just this winter came up with a couple of adjustments that made that ride possible. I have a couple winter Russian type caps (they might have a better name, but can't think of it right now) with ear flaps that tie under your chin. One of them was a little too large and didn't get worn until just before this ride when I realized that it had just enough room to fit a toque under it. My head stayed warm and cozy. Before if it got a little cold once in awhile that seemed normal but I just crossed 60 this winter, and warm and cozy sounds a lot better to me.

A second adjustment followed really quickly after. I had a pair of mittens that were too big, and had room for another pair inside. Both of these might seem a bit extreme to people but of course so does riding under these conditions. Same story, my hands used to get cold, my attitude was what do you expect, and now that doesn't happen either.

I still do like winter commuting in plain simple working or hiking type boots (about 10 inches high) big enough to accommodate winter socks and my feet are the last part left that do get cold, but so far I'm happy to leave it right there. They do fit really well and aren't the least bit loose like overshoes, and I can run in them if I have to.

My commute is just about 6 miles each way. The ride in has a really long downhill stretch and my shifts start early, so I do avoid traffic. It is just about ideal, with some exercise on the way back. Even in winter, I guess I have to say I enjoy it. More detail in sig site winter biking article.
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Old 05-19-08, 01:09 PM   #18
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I ride much less in the winter. I still do the same utility riding (errands, shopping, etc.). I commute much less frequently. And my recreational riding goes way down.
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Old 05-19-08, 05:26 PM   #19
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Last winter, I rode if the roads were clear of ice. That meant I didn't ride much at all, since there were *very* few days with even low ice. Even if *I* were good at handling ice, that doesn't mean car drivers are. And on a bike, I'm not good at ice. Yet.

30F or so was the lowest I rode in, and it was fairly comfortable. I'd need some adjustments to get down to 0F, but that should be doable. If I didn't ride when it's below 55F I'd only have ridden about 7 days so far this year. Today's high was supposed to be 62F, but if it hit more than about 55 during my riding today, I'd be surprised. When I went out this morning, it had hit the 40s. Barely. So I wore a long sleeve T shirt, jeans and a wool sweater. It was fine.
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Old 05-19-08, 06:11 PM   #20
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My usual in winter is up to 15 miles each way, hilly terrain, rural paved roads (speed limit 55 mph, average traffic 65 mph, two lanes, mostly "no passing") at -5f. Below -5f I usually didn't ride, because I still haven't worked out how to keep my feet warm well enough at that temperature.
As far as snow and ice intensity - if it was too snowy to ride the bike, it's way too snowy and icy to drive a car. Cars can't handle ice like a bike can.
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Old 05-19-08, 08:16 PM   #21
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OK i am trying to figure out how to convince my wife that i want another bike and can i get the funding I figure my first ICE machine will be a hardtail off craigs list.
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Old 05-21-08, 12:11 PM   #22
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OK i am trying to figure out how to convince my wife that i want another bike and can i get the funding I figure my first ICE machine will be a hardtail off craigs list.
This was my third year of winter commuting in WI, 10 mile round trip. I slogged through 3 inch snow falls and a low of -20 F. I drive on days when I fear I may become snow plow fodder and only missed about a half dozen this winter, which was near record for snow totals (over 75"). A basic yard sale hard tail, with nashbar studded tires, has served me well three years now. A thorough overhaul is reccommended at the end of the season as the salt takes a toll on cables, brakes, chains etc.
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