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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 12-22-04, 09:11 PM   #1
clevernamehere
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Insanity?

OK, I'm done work for the year (don't have to go back till Jan 4) but...
I find myself looking at the weather forcast for tommorrow (-33C, windchill around -40C) and wishing I had to ride to work!

This is the first winter I've biked. So far my record it -23C. I guess I just want to see how far I can push myself.... wondering at what point I would give in. I'd also kinda like to bike at < -30C just to be able to say I did it.

I might just get up at my usual time & go for a recreational ride tommorrow am for the experience.

So am I insane, addicted, both or what?
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Old 12-22-04, 09:43 PM   #2
Becca
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So am I insane, addicted, both or what?
Yeah, probably - but I've contemplated doing the same thing just for fun. I'd say go for it!
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Old 12-22-04, 10:14 PM   #3
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My record is -33F. I say go for it and enjoy the experience!
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Old 12-22-04, 11:45 PM   #4
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I love riding on the weekends etc. I haven't done as much this year unfortunately but I can tell you that one of my prime weekend pleasures in the winter is to take the bike through some singletrack that goes through woods and roughly parallels a winding river. Very beautiful and soul soothing.

As a bonous when the snow deepens and is packed down the trail becomes much narrower requiring me to learn new balance skills so that I stay on the packed down stuff. A slight bit of inattention quickly leads to a quick over the handlebar technique practice session! (grin).

~Jamie N
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Old 12-23-04, 04:14 AM   #5
andygates
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Commute rides in stupid conditions turn the workday into a Grand Adventure! Go for it!
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Old 12-23-04, 11:01 AM   #6
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There's a group of us at work who commute every day by bike.
A sort of "club" started last year to see how low we could go.....
one guy rode in during a cold spell (this is Winnipeg) of -50c with windchill!
My record was last night...-48c w/windchill !!
Insane?,yes!!!
Fun?....YES!!!!!
Bragging rights to insanity?...priceless!!!

Long Live the Kamikaze Commuters!!!

bert
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Old 12-23-04, 03:34 PM   #7
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It was -31C this morning without a windchill... unfortunately! Not sure what my windchill record is, but my air temp record is -38C.
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Old 12-23-04, 11:05 PM   #8
clevernamehere
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Unfortunately, by the time I finally got out on my bike today the -33C was long gone
It had warmed up to -16 by 10pm when I finally got out.

It was a lot of fun though - my first non-commute winter ride. I rode through a couple of parks. Fresh snow sparkling under the path lighting... it was great!

The sub-30 trek will have to wait for another day... somehow I'm pretty sure I'll have a chance before spring.
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Old 01-03-05, 06:12 PM   #9
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Well, tomorrow will be my first ride for 2005 & it looks like I'll get test myself at -31C if the weather forcast is right!

I have to admit I'm a tad nervous. The windchill is supposed to be -37... at these temps I really don't want to break down! I think I'll make sure I have money for a cab with me in case I run into trouble... probably change my route to bring me closer to businesses as well.

I'll post back in the am.
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Old 01-03-05, 07:00 PM   #10
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Just know that whatever you think is insane is pretty normal to someone else in the universe. Same with everything actually - intelligence, knowledge, beauty, strength, agility...
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Old 01-04-05, 07:27 AM   #11
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I Survived!
Old man winter didn't dissapoint this am... -34C, -43C windchill. My first day back at work in 2005.
I was pretty nervous starting out... not sure what to expect & well aware of the potential dangers of these temps. I made sure I had my cel phone & cab money for backup. Didn't need it though.

Surprisingly, it didn't feel that much different than -23 (my previous record). One side of my goggles fogged up at about the 1/2 way point. At about 3/4 of the way to work they were too fogged up & I had to remove them... wind was a little cold on the eyes at first, but I soon got used to it and it wasn't so bad.

My toes got pretty cold for about the last 1/4 of the trip. By the time I arrived at work they were starting to hurt a little - no frost bite though. My current boots are not great - no insulation & I can't fit more than 3 pairs of socks. I think I'll have to bite the bullet & buy some good boots tonight.

The rest of me was very comfortable... in case anyone cares, my getup was as follows:
- thin long sleeve wicking tee, fleece vest, fleece pull-over, cycling shell (this felt perfect)
- balaclava, neck tube, thin beanie, helmet - duct tape over vents, goggles (very warm... probably didn't need the beanie)
- cycling shorts, fleece long johns, thinly lined wind pants (very comfortable)
- thin synthetic socks, cotton sport socks, thick wool/synthetic socks, 23 yr old un-insulated hiking boots (not acceptable... should swap the cotton socks for another wool pair & get better boots)
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Old 01-04-05, 08:06 AM   #12
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Yay for you! About boots: better boots are probably in order, but do you have proper insoles in them? I find often a good insole will make my feet fare better than stuffing the boot full with layers of socks.

--J
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Old 01-04-05, 08:23 AM   #13
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Yay for you! About boots: better boots are probably in order, but do you have proper insoles in them? I find often a good insole will make my feet fare better than stuffing the boot full with layers of socks.

--J
Gee, I can't believe I didn't think of that... great idea! That should buy me some time to do some proper searching for new boots. I think I'll use the fact that my boots are 23yrs old to justify buying new ones. I think i payed maybe $25 for the boots, so a little more than $1/yr if I retire them now... not bad.
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Old 01-04-05, 08:33 AM   #14
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I say take them back to the shop or manufacturer and complain! If neither of them exists, that is.

--J
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Old 01-04-05, 01:37 PM   #15
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One thing to think about is are your boots to small for that many pairs of socks? If so you could be compressing your socks down to where they lose much of their ability to hold warmth. Remember air pockets aid in keeping you warm. Less can be better at times.
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