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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 10-26-09, 07:46 AM   #1
baron von trail 
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Why I Ride

Like many of you, several of my friends are huge bike nuts. They have all these tracking devices for speeds and heart rates and what-not. The dudes are so into their performance, most of them don't even notice their surroundings as the ride. For them, it's all about how far, how fast.

Tonight, I'm standing on an old railroad trestle staring down into utter darkness. The bicycle trail I am riding on crosses over many rivers and creeks. Bellow me now is a small river. I hear it flowing.

Crystal clear out here tonight, the bright light of the half-moon, shining brilliantly high in the sky, illuminated the trail ahead of me as I rode. It's dark, but for the moon. I ride in isolation, currently engulfed in the forest, lying between two small Ohio towns. Owls hooting, on occasion, can be heard up above; the softest, most delicate little splashes are heard below.

It's chilly tonight. However, I am dressed for it: hat, gloves, booties covering my shoes, leggings above them and several warm layers covering my torso. I am feeling energized by the onset of winter. I look forward to the months ahead.

Bike riding in winter weather is awesome! Snapping cold on skin, body nice and toasty, it just doesn't get any better.
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Old 10-26-09, 08:09 AM   #2
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Way cool! Wish I could be there.

I'm a low-tech rider. I love exploring out of the way places. I'm not so much into computers and heart-rate.

I guess I'm not "low-tech" when it comes to bike parts themselves, but I don't really get into heart-rate and cadence and that sort of thing. I don't even run a computer on my bikes. I just ride and explore.
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Old 10-26-09, 08:20 AM   #3
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My only real technology is the PDA I carry everywhere I go so that I can jot down my various notes, or send one off to a loved one, whatever, just like what I wrote while up on top of that bridge I mention above.

The op is heavily edited of course. The words I peck under the the light of my hand held widget are always in need of heavy editing....but the PDA actually gives me inspration to write, and writing a scene live like that is uncomparable to anything I could ever do an hour or two later.

In short: I don't ride to write. I write to share the awesome experiences of riding.
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Old 10-26-09, 08:27 AM   #4
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I love this time of year because the cold and rain scares off all of the crowds and I can just enjoy my rides through town.

The only thing that really puts a drag on the fall cycling for me is the deer. I nearly smacked one in the middle of the road last night on my way home from a friends house, she was just standing in the middle of the road and since I have no roaring engine she didn't even hear me coming.
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Old 10-26-09, 09:33 AM   #5
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Deer can indeed be a hazard. A big buck chasing some tail almost barreled into me last year during a night ride in mid-November. The doe ran across my path, right in front of me, and instinct (or experience) told me to slam on the brakes. I just knew a second deer was on its way.

The second deer was a huge buck. From my perspective, it looked to be the size of an elk. His rack was so big you could have hung the jersys of an entire football team on the antlers.

Had I not stopped. That big boy would have definitely slammed right into me, killing me most likely. I would not have been a welcome sight.

A man simply should not get in way of Buck trying to get himself some.
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Old 10-26-09, 11:48 AM   #6
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I love winter cycling too. It is like cross-country skiing on two wheels.

Unfortunately, I'm incapacitated by an injury right now. I'll have to keep myself occupied helping other people enjoy safe winter cycling.

It's great to read evocative stories like the baron's, who obviously enjoys the bracing experience of a winter ride as much as I do.
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Old 10-26-09, 11:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I love winter cycling too. It is like cross-country skiing on two wheels.

Unfortunately, I'm incapacitated by an injury right now. I'll have to keep myself occupied helping other people enjoy safe winter cycling.

It's great to read evocative stories like the baron's, who obviously enjoys the bracing experience of a winter ride as much as I do.
nice. Thanks, man. And, I hope you heal up soon.
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Old 10-26-09, 11:56 AM   #8
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I've already commuted in single digits and couldn't have been more comfortable. You are right, this year round riding thing rocks big time.
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Old 10-30-09, 09:46 AM   #9
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Last night, I saw what I believe is the same buck that almost ran me down last year. He was in roughly the same area.

I popped out of some underbrush on my MTB. It was not yet quite dark. The noise must have startled him. He looked up; we made eye-contact. He flicked his head, huge antlars pointed at me. A second later, he took off, running into the woods.

His fur was very dark. That big buck disappeared instantly. It left me awestruck.
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Old 10-30-09, 09:49 AM   #10
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Old 10-30-09, 11:07 AM   #11
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Thanks, ^

.....I think.

Peace & ride on!
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Old 10-30-09, 11:51 AM   #12
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Riding in the winter can give certain experiences and pleasures that you can't get in the summer. People ***** about how cold it gets, but once you get conditioned to the cold--with the help of good clothing--it can be awesome. I much prefer cycling in the colder months. No need for sun screen, no sun burn, no bugs. Less people at parks and MUPs, giving one more space and isolation, if that's desired. The daytimes are short, but if the skys are clear and the ground is blanketed in snow, you often don't even need to your lights on.

After a ride one can then arrive home, put some warm comforting soup on the stove, relax, and feel great.
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Old 10-30-09, 03:15 PM   #13
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I'd like to see that big buck in my part of Ohio and put an arrow in him. Riding and bow hunting/archery, probably my two favorite pastimes. Plus, some good lean venison does a body good.
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Old 10-30-09, 04:02 PM   #14
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Baron:
What trail in Ohio are you riding ? I ride the Little Miami River Trail.
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Old 10-31-09, 05:33 AM   #15
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In the running world, we call it the difference between an athlete and a zen-runner. When the season's over, athletes quit. For zen-runners (and bikers), there is no "season." Nice post.
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Old 10-31-09, 08:48 AM   #16
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Baron:
What trail in Ohio are you riding ? I ride the Little Miami River Trail.
I'm Lucky, being up in Greene County, I have up to 5 rails-to-trails paths from which to choose. The farm I live on borders the LMRT. So, that's my main paved trail. I usually blaze through our woods to get to the MUP. I've ridden that, by now, well-worn route to that bike path so many times that I created my own little access trail not much unlike a small deer path to a water source.
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Old 10-31-09, 09:13 AM   #17
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I bought a co
Liter when I bought my bike. But I never installed it as I didn't want the temptation to ever be it's slave. Maybe one day I'll buy a garmin 705. Shrugs.
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