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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 12-09-10, 07:37 PM   #1
SimpleCycle
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Am I crazy?

This is my first winter commuting, and even though we've only had dustings of snow, everyone seems to think I am completely crazy. My co-workers are constantly offering me rides, telling me I'm going to freeze, and of course asking me if I am crazy.

How do you deal with the doubters and naysayers? How do I convince them I can handle a 3 mile round trip without any issue in the winter?
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Old 12-09-10, 08:35 PM   #2
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I ignore them.
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Old 12-09-10, 10:21 PM   #3
Wake
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Just "handle a 3 mile round trip without any issue in the winter". Teach by example.
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Old 12-09-10, 10:27 PM   #4
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You may be crazy, but not for riding in the winter! Give it a couple of weeks, I bet that after a little while people will get used to it and stop pestering...
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Old 12-10-10, 12:17 AM   #5
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One of the things that helps me is to tell people that in the winter I can burn 800 - 1000 calories a day by riding my bike to work. It's extra effective if people happen to be munching on holiday treats at the time.

The other thing that helps me is to accept the fact that riding my bike this time of year is well outside the norm of typical behavior for this part of the world, and that people will naturally make comments and ask questions. In fact if I'm being honest with myself, there's a lot of days where fanaticism plays a role in getting me on that bike in the morning.

While I wouldn't say you're crazy, there are a lot of pretty die hard commuters who put the bike away once the snow flies.

Last edited by tjspiel; 12-10-10 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 12-10-10, 01:18 AM   #6
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I get all the same questions. I just say that I like to ride my bike, which is true of course.
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Old 12-10-10, 08:12 AM   #7
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I was on my way to the store yesterday and cut through a local park. There was a lady walking and she said "You're riding your bike in the snow" in a bit of a disgusted tone. My response was "You're walking in the snow" and kept on riding.
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Old 12-10-10, 09:19 AM   #8
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In Michigan? Tell them it's like cross country skiing, just with different equipment. Here in Minnesota, I've seen the light bulb click on more than once with that comment.

And interestingly enough, it was a co-worker that got me into winter commuting. After a 6" Nov snowfall in '94, I'd parked the bike for the winter, only to hear a co-worker the next morning jokingly chide me for wimping out. I showed him the next morning and rode in, and haven't stopped. :-)
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Old 12-10-10, 10:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SimpleCycle View Post
How do I convince them I can handle a 3 mile round trip without any issue in the winter?
You don't have to convince them, you have to convince yourself. Once that's done, who cares?
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Old 12-10-10, 10:50 AM   #10
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If they ask, I tell people that I am crazy. Then I saw something to the affect of, "when I find a big kettle of crazy, I find it's best not to stir it". It was on Dilbert or something.

For the most part they just accept that I'm outside of social norms and leave it be.

One lady told me I was going to die the other day. I said that at least I'd have a smile on my face.
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Old 12-10-10, 10:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by MNBikeCommuter View Post
In Michigan? Tell them it's like cross country skiing, just with different equipment. Here in Minnesota, I've seen the light bulb click on more than once with that comment.

And interestingly enough, it was a co-worker that got me into winter commuting. After a 6" Nov snowfall in '94, I'd parked the bike for the winter, only to hear a co-worker the next morning jokingly chide me for wimping out. I showed him the next morning and rode in, and haven't stopped. :-)
Awesome.
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Old 12-10-10, 10:57 AM   #12
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It's my first year doing this and I hear that all the time, along with lots of questions..

I think I enjoy the attention..

I love it, its fun!
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Old 12-10-10, 10:59 AM   #13
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Yes, you are crazy. And so what?
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I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-10-10, 11:05 AM   #14
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If you need to ask an internet forum if you are crazy, you probably are.
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Old 12-10-10, 11:41 AM   #15
SimpleCycle
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I guess what makes it hard to ignore is that most of the comments come from a place of concern. People really do seem truly concerned I'm going to freeze to death. Never mind that I'm outside maybe 30 minutes a day.

I'm also car free, and it did seem like the lightbulb went off in my boss' head when I told her I turned down a free car - that maybe I just actually don't want a car!
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Old 12-10-10, 11:44 AM   #16
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I like to throw in their face that it takes me less time to ride in the snow than it does to drive in it (at least my route) Last week when we got our 7+ inches it took me 30 min to do my 4mile ride a coworker that live a little under 3miles took an hour to get to work in their car. Plus its fun to ride in the snow
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Old 12-10-10, 02:40 PM   #17
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You don't have to convince them, you have to convince yourself. Once that's done, who cares?
tsl is so right... Just keep it up. They will stop asking if it is too cold when you show up riding to work on a 0F day (without wind chill) day so when when you pull of your hat they will so that you are sweating... Now that I am starting my 4th winter people sometimes are still suprised to see me riding in when there is some snow falling, but mostly they are just in awe that I have managed to survive.

Today was a pleasant 25F, it actually felt warm comparted to yesterday's 12F... its funny how your perspective of "what is cold" actually means to you.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 12-10-10, 02:58 PM   #18
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Read this, then decide:

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/globe-d...ate=shareEmail
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Old 12-10-10, 03:09 PM   #19
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Just kindly explain it is not so bad but don't go into much detail.

I actually feel some of my coworkers would resent me a little because I didn't fit their idea of "normal". Some ways I felt ostracized and am kind of glad I don't work with them anymore.
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Old 12-10-10, 04:36 PM   #20
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It's the same here, but always in jokes. If I don't ride in one day for some random reason they'll jib me for wimping out... when I'm the only winter cyclist in the office. But they're just kidding. There were days of -45c last year (including windchill) that weren't pleasant at all to ride, but I got the "you're more man than I" comments and that made it all worth it
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Old 12-10-10, 07:10 PM   #21
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I sometimes wonder the same thing about myself.
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Old 12-10-10, 07:39 PM   #22
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Since it's my first winter with studded tires, I told everyone how I'd gotten snow tires for my bike. Wierd, huh? Occasionally I'll talk about my 3 pairs of gloves, wool tights, layers of shirts and sweaters, etc.
I talked to my dad this morning, and he seemed a little concerned, but then said: "I'd walk outside in this weather, so I guess it's about the same to bike in it."
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Old 12-10-10, 09:11 PM   #23
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We're all crazy. It's awesome. Embrace it.

Just like flying you're experiencing life from a unique perspective that few ever will. There are those who fear flying, and those who crave the thrill of an unnecessary risk. You can live your life out in a one room flat and never leave; but you won't catch me doing that.
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Old 12-10-10, 09:42 PM   #24
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We're all crazy. It's awesome. Embrace it.

Just like flying you're experiencing life from a unique perspective that few ever will. There are those who fear flying, and those who crave the thrill of an unnecessary risk. You can live your life out in a one room flat and never leave; but you won't catch me doing that.
Flying is one the safest forms of travel, statistically. People who are afraid of flying, and yet will blithely get into an automobile, are either crazy or stupid.

OP, you're not crazy, people are just idiots. Ignore them and their ignorance.
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Old 12-11-10, 02:30 AM   #25
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I'm the only manager where I work that gets near a bike. I have two other employees that have started biking since I have stopped driving almost two years ago. They think I'm a little nuts but when I go through the pros and cons of my situation as it pertains to transportation, they all agree I'm very smart. The biggest thing is how much money I'm saving. The second thing is how it's helping my diet (losing 60 pounds), it's no question whether it's helping. I would rather have time to enjoy my life verses having to work two jobs just to be able to have a car to get to two jobs. All my shopping gets done, I'm always on time (mostly early) to work, always have energy, always happy, and always in good health. Not everyone has the advantage of my situation so I always take advantage of it.
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