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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 01-03-14, 01:20 PM   #1
Dagmar
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First Day Commuting in Snow

Today was my first day commuting into work in snow (second day commuting into work!). Commute is 7.5-8 miles, New England flat. Exhilarating! The bike I'm using has fenders, but is otherwise unmodified for weather. It wasn't bad... Slow. Slippy. Reminds me of skiing.

I am considering grabbing a studded tire from the local bike shop for the front wheel before heading home, but am also entertained at the prospect of another 7.5 miles of feeling out all 50 different kinds of snow/ice with the same raw hybrid tires I rode in on. Long-term plan (i.e. next week) is to change out the tires, though.

In any case: neat.

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Old 01-03-14, 01:53 PM   #2
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Excellent, it's always good to hear another person has taken up the challenge of riding in the snow. Sounds like you've got some experience skiing, so presumably you simply borrowed your cold weather gear from that sport for your ride?
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Old 01-03-14, 06:15 PM   #3
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Hi, lasauge.

Yes, I have some leftover winter gear (I haven't skied or snowboarded in over ten years) that is coming in handy. The most helpful item are my goggles, which fit over my glasses. I also still have my neck gaiter and some knee-high smartwool socks. That's about it, though.

Last winter I did a series of short winter rides out to breakfast eateries with friends. I was pretty comfortable in my rain coat/windbreaker, yoga pants, and my old ski mittens. Various parts would get cold, but not for long. Bike commuting has to be a bit more serious, as I need to be able to manage all weather. So I knit a thin wool hat to put under my helmet and purchased lobster claw mittens, wool army surplus gaiters and rain legs (which work well to warm my thighs--I'll find out Monday how they are in rain).

I did swing by the local bike shop on my way home and grabbed the last studded tire in stock for my front wheel. The ride home was a piece of cake with that. Very few problems.

My biggest issue is that almost every shirt I own is 100% cotton or a dress shirt, so I sweat like the dickens and then it just sits on me until I change out my clothes. That is not fantastic. I need to look into an alternative. I do have a wool vest I was wearing on top of the cotton to keep my core warm. I removed that for the ride home today and was very cold with minimal sweating. I am generally not someone who sweats at all, so I don't have a lot of self-awareness or experience around managing this, but I do know I need a different shirt material.

In any case, I love winter bicycling.

Best,
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Old 01-03-14, 09:14 PM   #4
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Excellent, it's always good to hear another person has taken up the challenge of riding in the snow. Sounds like you've got some experience skiing, so presumably you simply borrowed your cold weather gear from that sport for your ride?
Another fan of winter commuting in Colorado Springs! Lets hope we get some snow tomorrow!

Well done Dagmar! A studded tire on the front can make a world of difference. After you fill your cotton shirt with sweat, are you at least changing out of it when you get to work into something dry? It is surprising how much of a difference simply changing into a dry shirt makes through the rest of your day.
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Old 01-03-14, 10:05 PM   #5
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In any case, I love winter bicycling.
Be careful...it is addictive!
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Old 01-04-14, 08:55 AM   #6
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Chris:

Yes, I am changing when I get to work, and then changing back into a slightly slimy shirt to ride home. Yuck. I am going to bring two shirts with me next time, but even so, getting a flat and being stuck on the side of the road shivering in sub-zero temps, trying to change out a tube doesn't sound like a great idea. So, this is still an area in which I would like to improve.

Glad to meet another winter commuter!

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Old 01-04-14, 11:48 AM   #7
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Be careful...it is addictive!
Wipekitty:

You're not kidding! I've never experienced an endorphin high before and it was really lovely! I tend to have a dark cloud hovering over my head at all times, and it was like someone blew that thing away and hung rainbows up in my sky. Very cool! I am not sure why I haven't experienced this with summer cycling, but I very much want to figure out how to reproduce it regularly.

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Old 01-04-14, 02:06 PM   #8
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You might want to check out the selection of long underwear at Sierra Trading Post. Although I haven't looked lately, in the past I have found smashing great deals (like $10 - 12 per item) on Wickers brand stuff. It works great for cold weather cycling. Wear a long sleeve polypro undershirt under a coat or jacket, and leave the cotton clothing in your bag for changing into at work.
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Old 01-04-14, 03:58 PM   #9
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You might want to check out the selection of long underwear at Sierra Trading Post. Although I haven't looked lately, in the past I have found smashing great deals (like $10 - 12 per item) on Wickers brand stuff. It works great for cold weather cycling. Wear a long sleeve polypro undershirt under a coat or jacket, and leave the cotton clothing in your bag for changing into at work.
Will do. Thanks for the advice.

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Old 01-05-14, 12:26 AM   #10
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I do this every time I have to go somewhere and Thursday it was for groceries. Not really exhilerating, more like a two hour nighttime marathon and bed at nine.
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Old 01-05-14, 12:49 AM   #11
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Chris:

Yes, I am changing when I get to work, and then changing back into a slightly slimy shirt to ride home. Yuck. I am going to bring two shirts with me next time
climalite>>>

http://www.adidas.com/us/product/wom...z13071Z1z11zrf
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Old 01-05-14, 12:21 PM   #12
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Needed to leave my car at work, so drove there yesterday and rode home. Temps were around 30 F, which kept the C&O towpath frozen. 30 miles, 26 of which were offroad. Definitely needed the studded tires for the long stretches of ice. Beautiful ride. Had to warm up the iPhone to keep it from shutting down to take a couple pics.

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Old 01-06-14, 09:06 PM   #13
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Needed to leave my car at work, so drove there yesterday and rode home. Temps were around 30 F, which kept the C&O towpath frozen. 30 miles, 26 of which were offroad. Definitely needed the studded tires for the long stretches of ice. Beautiful ride. Had to warm up the iPhone to keep it from shutting down to take a couple pics.
This made me smile to read. Great inspiration! Thanks for sharing!

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