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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 01-14-09, 10:27 PM   #1
Lebowski
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the one thing you hate the most about winter cycling

i cant go into banks anymore
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Old 01-14-09, 10:55 PM   #2
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The same conversation at the end of each workday:

Employee: "Can I give you a ride somewhere?"
Me: "No thank you."
Employee: "Are you SURE I can't give you a lift?"
Me: "Yes. No thanks."
Employee: "It's awfully cold out there. It would be no problem."
Me: "I'm prepared for the cold."
Employee: "I could fit your bike in the back."
yahda...yahda....yahda.........
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Old 01-14-09, 11:13 PM   #3
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I also hate the cold doom talk. Everyone wants to give you a ride or, a stare. I had a co-work call winter riding stupid. Of course he was trying to get his car battery jump, after work. I rode and smile. Do you get that question; don't you get cold? Why are you riding? I just say, nothing, smile, and enjoy my ride. I enjoy the freedom. I really see mother nature's work. It is grand!
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Old 01-14-09, 11:13 PM   #4
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That it's not summer. I know it sounds whiney and not funny.

To me winter cycling is certainly rewarding, it's challenging for sure, and because I'm riding it's fun. But a honestly every day I think to myself "man, I wish it was summer!"

I never wish for winter in the summer. Never. I live in the wrong climate I know. I'm gonna be here for a while too. I'll ride on.
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Old 01-14-09, 11:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnbikeguy View Post
the same conversation at the end of each workday:

Employee: "can i give you a ride somewhere?"
me: "no thank you."
employee: "are you sure i can't give you a lift?"
me: "yes. No thanks."
employee: "it's awfully cold out there. It would be no problem."
me: "i'm prepared for the cold."
employee: "i could fit your bike in the back."
yahda...yahda....yahda.........
+1
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Old 01-15-09, 12:16 AM   #6
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The getting dressed part.
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Old 01-15-09, 01:31 AM   #7
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looking like a giant green marshmallow
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Old 01-15-09, 04:46 AM   #8
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I hate road salt. They just started using it in my town this winter. It turns the streets that before were hard packed to something like mashed potatoes and there's no way to ride in it. I hate that.
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Old 01-15-09, 05:08 AM   #9
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The getting dressed part.
I feel like I am dressing for battle...and I guess I am.
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Old 01-15-09, 06:22 AM   #10
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What do I hate?
not being able to wear shorts most days for several months
having to wear a balaclava every time it gets it below freezing. This is sooo constricting.
often windier than the Summer so I can get blown about.
Rains more regularly. It's always mild when it rains, but the house is still chilly, so I end up boiling in jeans, sweatshirt and waterproof coat to get to class, when it's actually warm enough for a tshirt
Always having to bring lights-In late December the sun sets as early as 4:00 for several weeks.
People's reactions: How can you ride in a cold snap. "How can you ride? It's like -5 (23F) outside. And your in just a hoodie!" When you're actually warm enough and enjoying the ride home.
black ice, when it occurs
What do I like:
Not getting hot and sweaty
shocking people by wearing shorts when it's mild
not having to be burdened with a million litres of water.
crispness of the air on a nice day
getting sick less often than everyone else.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:14 AM   #11
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*Having a bike that weighs 30lbs
*Putting on 15, yes 15 extra pieces of clothing
*My max speed for the ride is equal to my average summer speed.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:35 AM   #12
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1. Deciding what to wear for a 1 hr commute for the given temperature.
2. Worrying about how dirty my bike will get- both practical and vain.
3. Always making sure that my batteries have a full charge.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:36 AM   #13
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the thing I hate about winter riding is,

it doesn't last all year. it sucks that summer arrives and ruins it.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:49 AM   #14
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I hate the fact that I don't have 20-20 vision, and all the complications that flow from the fact that I wear glasses.
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Old 01-15-09, 09:09 AM   #15
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The getting dressed part.
More importantly, the getting dressed at work part, when one's pants are refrigerated from the ride. Yow!
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Old 01-15-09, 09:14 AM   #16
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Deciding you have to pee after getting all this crap on.
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Old 01-15-09, 09:51 AM   #17
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Icy goggles. Never used to have the problem and now I do. It sucks when you're all warm and toasty but can't see a damn thing.
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Old 01-15-09, 10:31 AM   #18
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Deciding you have to pee after getting all this crap on.
+1.

Rushing to get dressed in the morning.

Having to continually recharge batteries.

The fog and the air pollution created by the inversions.

When the red air days are declared, the valley smells like I'm always downwind from the dump with a diesel truck alongside me with its exhaust pointed in my general direction.
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Old 01-15-09, 10:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBikeguy View Post
The same conversation at the end of each workday:

Employee: "Can I give you a ride somewhere?"
Me: "No thank you."
Employee: "Are you SURE I can't give you a lift?"
Me: "Yes. No thanks."
Employee: "It's awfully cold out there. It would be no problem."
Me: "I'm prepared for the cold."
Employee: "I could fit your bike in the back."
yahda...yahda....yahda.........

I've managed to avoid that simply by alienating all my coworkers to the point where none of them would even consider offering me a ride.
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Old 01-15-09, 11:13 AM   #20
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Definitely salt. Salt, and sand.
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Old 01-15-09, 11:26 AM   #21
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To quote the immortal words of Private Judy Benjamin...

"I WANNA BE NORMAL, I WANNA GO OUT TO LUNCH!"
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Old 01-15-09, 11:32 AM   #22
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drive train wear and tear.
brake pads and chains don't last very long in this weather. it would help if it was IGH and disc brake.
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Old 01-15-09, 11:41 AM   #23
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Definitely salt. Salt, and sand.
+1000

The last few days have been very snowy and cold. The worst is seeing your chain coated in brown salty road slop that you know is going to cause you grief with your chain. There is no way I'll get to washing the bike this week till at least Sunday (how can you wash a bike at 2F outside... just not practical... around 22F it may work). I'll just have to slather on some more oil today. So far Synlube is working MUCH better than any of the other lubes I've tried before.

As far as clothing goes here are a few things that have made this winter MUCH easier to deal with:

- Climmits from SideTrak - no more heavy gloves are needed. Just wear a thin pair of full fingered gloves and you are all set. I can still open and close zippers, etc with these gloves on. No problem down to 2F
- Toe Clip covers also from SideTrak - I can now wear my comfy Merril Ventilor shoes down to 2F for 5 miles without any problems. Much more comfortable than winter boots. For longer outings I have full shoe covers. The full covers work, but are a minor pain to put on and take off.
- E-Vap coat from Foxwear - One coat keep me comfy from around 50F all the way down to 0F... modern wind-proof yet breathable soft shell fleece is amazing stuff. All I need are a T-shirt and the coat down to 12F below that I just add a long sleeve jersey as an extra layer
- Polar Shield pants from Foxwear - Again one set of tights me comfortable from from 40F down to 0F.

Therefore a change at work involved swapping pants for tights and a dress shirt for a breathable T shirt. Put on my coat, add a hat and the gloves and off I go. No more 2 layers of pants, and two layers of coats as I had to do my 1st winter.

I did buy a balaclava at Christmass and have found it to be nice for those days where the temps are below 15F... otherwise a hat that covers my ears works just fine.

Happy riding and stay warm.
André
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Old 01-15-09, 12:35 PM   #24
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Recharging.
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Old 01-15-09, 11:24 PM   #25
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1. Salt & sand on the roads.

2. Poorly plowed streets.

3. Having to put on layer upon layer of clothes.

4. Having to turn on my bike lights when it's only 4 PM!!

Only thing I do like about Winter... It's not Summer! (In NYC isn't miserable riding a bike in 103 degree weather with insane humidity and smug like nothing you've ever seen...)
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