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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 02-13-04, 06:04 PM   #1
cdale56
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Winter Centuries

I was curious, and maybe this has already been discussed, but anyone doing centuries this winter? I mean cold weather winter centuries. What are some of the temps/road conditions you are riding long rides with?

I was thinking of doing my 50 mile loop twice one day this weekend, just to try it.
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Old 02-14-04, 02:37 AM   #2
naisme
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Yep, last year, I did two centuries in February. I rode from my place in St. Paul, MN to a little town called St. Bonifacious, it turned out to be 98.3 miles. So when I got home I rode around the neighborhood to get the 100 in. Then in late Feb. I rode to Northfield and back. It was a great ride all the way to Northfield, but the ride back was into the wind, and up hill. I got so discouraged I almost gave up biking completely. IT SUCKED! I persevered, and learned that where I was in the ride was a "normal" occurance, it all came together at 80 miles. That seems to be a "wall." At least for me. As I got in better shape and did more centuries the wall moved to like 90 miles. Go for it!
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Old 02-17-04, 08:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdale56
I was curious, and maybe this has already been discussed, but anyone doing centuries this winter? I mean cold weather winter centuries. What are some of the temps/road conditions you are riding long rides with?

I was thinking of doing my 50 mile loop twice one day this weekend, just to try it.
Both naisme's story and mine are here:
February Century

When I started that century last February it was -32C/-25F. It got a bit warmer but then dipped again before the end of that 15 hour ride. I have some cold weather riding tips in my story.

~~~~~~~~~~
And here are some cold weather clothing tips too:
If your "cold" temps are around 45F, all you'd need are a pair of tights, a long sleeved jersey and a jacket. If your hands tend to get cold even in warmer temps, you might consider a pair of mini-gloves (those one you can buy for $1 at Walmart) under your regular cycling gloves.

If it gets a bit colder than that, you might consider a sweatshirt over your long sleeved jersey, and possibly light nylon toe covers or booties.

When it gets below freezing, that's when you have to start to get serious about what you wear out there.

Last February I rode a century. The ride started out at -32C/-25F and reached a high for the day of -25C/-12F. Here's what I wore:

Head:
- balaclava http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_...D=1065145178773
- headband
- scarf
- helmet (Bell)

Body:
- sports bra
- longsleeved Coolmax jersey (MEC)
- longsleeved fleece jersey (Nashbar)
- sweatshirt
- "fall/spring" vented jacket (a fabulous jacket I got from Nashbar - but I see they don't sell it anymore . . . pity!)

Hands:
- mini-gloves
- windproof mitts or ski gloves (I had to change these every so often to let one pair dry a bit) (Canadian Tire - Where else! )

Lowerbody:
- cycling shorts (Nashbar or MEC)
- tights - fleece lined (Nashbar - very comfortable in cool weather)
- non-cycling knee length shorts
- windpants

Feet:
- "metallic" socks
- wool socks
- Sorel boots

I also used little heat packs in my boots to help keep my feet warm.

On less cold days, I wear my regular cycling shoes with neoprene booties. I did a 200K brevet in November 2002 that started at -12C/10F and peaked at 0C/32F with wool socks, regular shoes, and neoprene booties. I used those heat packs for the first 50K on that ride too.

I don't like to wear anything over my face - even in the cold temps I've mentioned above (and I've commuted to work in temps down to -40 too) - because scarves, masks, etc. cause my glasses to fog up, and I don't think that covering my face is really all that necessary. The skin on your face is pretty tough because it is exposed to the weather all the time. In the really cold temps, if I'm going to be out there for a few hours or more, I will smear my face with Johnson's & Johnson's Daily Protection Cream to prevent frostbite.

~~~~~~~~~~
I haven't been riding much this winter because the roads are too icy and therefore a little more dangerous than I'd like.
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