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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 01-15-09, 07:01 PM   #1
bcbcbc
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not cold enough!

I watched all the hype about the arctic air mass moving in and now I'm actually disappointed I didn't get to go out and play in anything below 8F.

6 mile ride at 8F, no problem.

Took a walk at 9f and in the third mile I was carrying my mittens for stretches.

Grocery run(short) on the bike at 10F didn't even merit the ski-mask.

Come on weather! IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?!
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Old 01-15-09, 07:45 PM   #2
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It was -24F (actual temp) here this morning, and it hurt!!!
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Old 01-15-09, 10:57 PM   #3
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It was -4 here this afternoon. It was a nice ride, with my toes getting a little cold, about 6 miles. On the way back I hit wind, and -19. I had everything cover, but my eyes. They hurt a lot. I wore ski goggles for 1/3 of the way, but frost built up on them. I wiped them down with rain-x, but the wind chill was to great.
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Old 01-15-09, 11:02 PM   #4
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gees guys
its 40degreesC outside
too hot to ride, im goin for a swim
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Old 01-16-09, 07:59 AM   #5
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COld Weather Nah

I haven't driven a car to work since 2002. Most years in Dec. Jan and Feb the temps hover around 5-10 degrees on my commute to work. I ride to work at 5 AM and really don't think the anything above 5 degrees is considered "cold".

However today I crossed a threshold.. I rode to work at -23. The only problem I had was my eyes kept freezing shut...otherwise it was an uneventful ride.

MOnday I had to ride through 8 inches of snow but it was a balmy 14 degrees.
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Old 01-16-09, 08:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bcbcbc View Post
I watched all the hype about the arctic air mass moving in and now I'm actually disappointed I didn't get to go out and play in anything below 8F.

6 mile ride at 8F, no problem.

Took a walk at 9f and in the third mile I was carrying my mittens for stretches.

Grocery run(short) on the bike at 10F didn't even merit the ski-mask.

Come on weather! IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?!
If it only got down to 8F then you must live in the south. It was -26 here yesterday and -23 today.

The average temp on my commute to work has been 4 degrees over the past 30 days. THings really don't get problematic until -10 or so...I will say at -23 this AM the only problem I had on the bike was my eyelids freezing shut a few times.
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Old 01-16-09, 08:14 AM   #7
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-31 F (actual) here this morning. Tooooooo coooooooooooold to ride!!!!!!!!!

At -24 yesterday, I did about 6 miles - ain't gonna do it today!!!!!!!!!

The windchill is an amazing -53 degrees F.

I sure am glad that it's not windy!!!!!
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Old 01-16-09, 08:50 AM   #8
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-13F actual -30F wind chill. 4.5mi and not as bad as I thought. This will probably be my limit though. The core and legs layers were good. Too many socks on the feet, they were pretty cramped and got real cold real fast about a mile from home, the inner pair may have been a little sweaty from work. Minor icing on the goggles, also the freaky feeling of ice on my lashes occasionally.
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Old 01-16-09, 09:53 AM   #9
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-22f was my new record this morning. No thanks to any repeats.

Wanderer, what the hell is your source for temps?
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Old 01-16-09, 10:30 AM   #10
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I watched all the hype about the arctic air mass moving in and now I'm actually disappointed I didn't get to go out and play in anything below 8F.

6 mile ride at 8F, no problem.

Took a walk at 9f and in the third mile I was carrying my mittens for stretches.

Grocery run(short) on the bike at 10F didn't even merit the ski-mask.

Come on weather! IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?!

It has been -42 here for the last week.
With the wind chill it was -53.
You are living in the banana belt as we northerners call it.
If you want some cold, come to Saskatchewan!
Exposed skin freezes in a minute or so and death comes quickly for those poor souls who venture out without proper winter gear.
10F? I would be suntanning................
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Old 01-16-09, 10:52 AM   #11
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-22f was my new record this morning. No thanks to any repeats.

Wanderer, what the hell is your source for temps?
I was a little bummed that today was colder than yesterday 'cause I couldn't ride today. I've got a broomball game after work over in St. Paul.

Well... only a little bummed

My record will have to remain at -21.
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Old 01-16-09, 12:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bcbcbc View Post
I watched all the hype about the arctic air mass moving in and now I'm actually disappointed I didn't get to go out and play in anything below 8F.

6 mile ride at 8F, no problem.

Took a walk at 9f and in the third mile I was carrying my mittens for stretches.

Grocery run(short) on the bike at 10F didn't even merit the ski-mask.

Come on weather! IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?!
Somewhere I read that the basic rule of thumb for cold weather riding -- that is cold weather riding for people (like me) who aren't particularly accustomed to cold weather -- is number of miles = degrees fahrenheit. So by that standard 6 miles @ 8f isn't particularly remarkable. Was there snow on the ground? Maybe a serious wind chill factor?
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Old 01-16-09, 09:26 PM   #13
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Somewhere I read that the basic rule of thumb for cold weather riding -- that is cold weather riding for people (like me) who aren't particularly accustomed to cold weather -- is number of miles = degrees fahrenheit. So by that standard 6 miles @ 8f isn't particularly remarkable. Was there snow on the ground? Maybe a serious wind chill factor?
Now that you mention it I'm not sure why I think it is remarkable. I guess because it is bicycling and I've allways thought of bicycling as a fair and warm activity sort of like tennis. I played a college tennis match that ended at below 40F and I thought that was remarkable. When I skied I taunted people who went back inside after only 45 minutes in 8F.

Also the people around me now are mostly not outdoorsy and treat cold weather as a toxic environment to be run thru on their way from the house to the car. Makes you feel studly to wheel the bike out of the apartment building while somebody else is remote-starting their car so it will be warm when they have to somehow survive the 50 yards from door to door. I grew up around farmers and snowmobilers and the idea of avoiding the weather just didnt occur. After I became a more urbanized desk worker standards have changed. To wussier. At one job coworkers actually thought it was remarkable that I would walk the 100 yards from our building to the cafeteria at 15F without putting my coat on.

I've lived in western NY most of my life. I guess the 2 lakes keep temperature relatively moderate but give us plenty of snow. I expect one or two spells of a few days of near 0F in the winter. Coldest temperature I've ever even experienced was -15F in Syracuse. I would actually kind of like to see minus twenty-something just as a new experience. -40 I dont miss!!
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Old 01-16-09, 09:50 PM   #14
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I've lived in western NY most of my life. I guess the 2 lakes keep temperature relatively moderate but give us plenty of snow. I expect one or two spells of a few days of near 0F in the winter. Coldest temperature I've ever even experienced was -15F in Syracuse. I would actually kind of like to see minus twenty-something just as a new experience. -40 I dont miss!!
It's similar here in the Lower Peninsula. I'm in Traverse City, near Lake Michigan. The lowest temp here lately has been around -10F. 50 miles inland, it was -27. And it's colder still on the other side of the lake, in Wisconsin. But we've had more than 6 feet of snow since the last thaw--and that's a different kind of intense!
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Old 01-16-09, 10:30 PM   #15
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It's similar here in the Lower Peninsula. I'm in Traverse City, near Lake Michigan. The lowest temp here lately has been around -10F. 50 miles inland, it was -27. And it's colder still on the other side of the lake, in Wisconsin. But we've had more than 6 feet of snow since the last thaw--and that's a different kind of intense!
I'm up in the Upper Peninsula, and because I'm in the Keweenaw Peninsula (The "rabbit" ear) we don't really get any "really" cold temps because Lake Superior never freezes, and acts like a temp buffer.. This week, the lowest it got was -10ish. However, this has been the snowiest winter that I've seen in the 5 years I've been up here at MTU. We've had over 13 feet of snow, and its only mid January.

However, this is the first winter that I've done actual winter training. Just got done with 22 miles in -5*F weather at a pretty good effort (a new record for distance/temp ratio)
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Old 01-17-09, 12:42 AM   #16
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I'm up in the Upper Peninsula, and because I'm in the Keweenaw Peninsula (The "rabbit" ear) we don't really get any "really" cold temps because Lake Superior never freezes, and acts like a temp buffer.. This week, the lowest it got was -10ish. However, this has been the snowiest winter that I've seen in the 5 years I've been up here at MTU. We've had over 13 feet of snow, and its only mid January.

However, this is the first winter that I've done actual winter training. Just got done with 22 miles in -5*F weather at a pretty good effort (a new record for distance/temp ratio)
The Keweenaw is the greatest! Although the Leelenau (the "pinkie finger") near here is nice too. Houghton is sometimes said to be the snowiest town in the US, although I'm sure a few places in New York State or the Olympic Mountains could compete for that title. I think it's pretty typical for you to get at least twice the snow we get in Traverse City, and TC gets about twice as much as my home in Lansing.

Even though they give us a lot of snow and cloudy days, I think we're lucky to have the Great Lakes. Our temperatures are milder in both the summer and the winter, compared to states to our west.

I was doing my everyday chore of shoveling the driveway this morning. I realized that I'm running out of places to put the snow. I'm going to have to start putting it in a wheelbarrow and and hauling it away. This is the most snow I've seen here in about 10 years.

Are you from Michigan or just here for college?
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Old 01-17-09, 06:40 AM   #17
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Yep, grew up in the Detroit area (livonia) we're we would get maybe 20-40 inches of snow a year, up here in houghton, we may get that in a few days, if not every week.
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Old 01-17-09, 07:15 AM   #18
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It has been -42 here for the last week.
With the wind chill it was -53.
You are living in the banana belt as we northerners call it.
If you want some cold, come to Saskatchewan!
Exposed skin freezes in a minute or so and death comes quickly for those poor souls who venture out without proper winter gear.
10F? I would be suntanning................
I am humbled. :deep bow:
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Old 01-17-09, 01:50 PM   #19
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It was -24F (actual temp) here this morning, and it hurt!!!
For me, I would bundle up, above the waist. But, I would have no problem wearing shorts to bike in that. I did that for four years, in Minnesota.

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Old 01-17-09, 04:14 PM   #20
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You wear shorts to cycle in -24F!!!!!!!! I get chastised for wearing them in 40-45 degree weather. Isn't MN like the coldest state? I must be such a cold wuss because I need a balaclava for anything below 30, and live in hoodies until 45-50, and consider less than 30 to be cold. That said, I have cycled 2 miles in just a t shirt and a hoodie in 24F and been uncomfortable.
Having read up on Icebiking I would be fascinated to experience some really Arctic conditions, like you've described such as less than 0. Just to experience it one or two mornings, then have a return to the more familiar 35-50F Winter weather I get. People panic if night time temperatures plummet below 30 and some people insist on wearing Michelin man coats in the 40's when walking briskly (as they are), a simple heavy sweatshirt or light jacket would be enough
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Old 01-17-09, 06:43 PM   #21
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Now that you mention it I'm not sure why I think it is remarkable. I guess because it is bicycling and I've allways thought of bicycling as a fair and warm activity sort of like tennis. I played a college tennis match that ended at below 40F and I thought that was remarkable. When I skied I taunted people who went back inside after only 45 minutes in 8F.
Hey it's a start What you lack in low temps you could always make up in distance
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Old 01-18-09, 10:13 AM   #22
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Personally, that's just what I do. I ride long mileages. In the temperatures I get, one can easily ride all day and be comfortably warm or even sweating without looking all that bundled up. The only hazard would be if you were to head out into heavy rain with a strong wind, which we do get a few times/ month through the Winter. That will lower the effective temperature considerably.
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