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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 02-26-14, 02:13 AM   #1
rdtindsm
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rant on winter

This has been a cold winter and most of us are waiting for some springlike weather. Here in Iowa, avg daily high first of March close to 40f, maybe a few degrees colder. This is warm enough for me to get out and get a decent ride in. I have been riding about 12 mi if weather is above mid 20's, but forecast for next 10 days shows only 3 days above 20. Every other day is forecast to have highs 15 or below with one day having a high of zero.

I've long observed and been frustrated because I think that March should be the beginning of spring, but is often merely the end of winter. The girl's state basketball tournament is a blizzard magnet and at least some snow is forecast for next week.

When I lived in Minneapolis, I enjoyed the fact that winter was cold enough to engage in winter sports. There are many groomed XC ski trails and the bar across the street had broomball leagues. I wasn't surprised that there was interscholastic high school ski racing, but was a bit nonplussed about the girls ice hockey. None the less, winter tended to be about two months longer than I really cared to endure, and I developed OCD about having outer wear calibrated to every 5 degree increment. No frozen fingers for me.

Anyway, I wanted to put the polar vortex weather into some perspective, so I checked historical data for two cities that should test any reasonable tolerance for cold weather: Edmonton, Alberta and Moscow, Russia. The upcoming 10 days will be 5-7 degrees f colder than either city at their coldest.
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Old 02-26-14, 02:24 AM   #2
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Forecast says it will be -27 F in Edmonton on Friday night which is way colder than it is supposed to be at the beginning of March... seriously.

It looks like we will get to see some slightly above average temperatures in a few weeks if the forecast holds... slightly above average means we will warm up to freezing.
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Old 02-26-14, 08:54 AM   #3
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It sure is dragging. We are back in the deep freeze around these parts. We hit -38c one night before windchill in January. I remember 2 mornings when I rode my bike to work in Jan. One morning it was -34c. The next morning it was -28c. I remember thinking to myself that it was sad that I could notice how much warmer -28c feels compared to -34c. At least the days are getting longer. I only need my bike lights so cars can see me in the morning now. Not to light my own way.
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Old 02-26-14, 10:50 AM   #4
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I'd gladly trade last winter's 6 feet of snow for this year's miserable weather. Stretches of very cold weather along with rapid swings between cold and warm. Whenever we would get into the temperature swing pattern it would be accompanied by winds 40-60km/h which makes riding no fun even on the warm part of a swing.
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Old 02-26-14, 02:30 PM   #5
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Not looking so hot here either (pun intended!)

BTW, 0C = 32F and the top dashed line (average daily highs for this period), not only is it below freezing for this period, also, the forecasted highs over the next 14 days don't even reach it. I haven't been out skiing yet this winter so it looks like I might have a couple more weekends to get in a kick at that can, as well as trying out my DIY studded tires (I'll be building them this weekend).

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Old 02-26-14, 05:41 PM   #6
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It's always darkest before the dawn. Right now it is extremely dark.
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Old 02-26-14, 11:58 PM   #7
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We're gaining 7 minutes a day of daylight! Only 2 months 'til we'll be wearing shorts.
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Old 02-27-14, 07:30 AM   #8
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We're gaining 7 minutes a day of daylight! Only 2 months 'til we'll be wearing shorts.
Unless you're a kid in Toronto (as I noticed on Tuesday), -8C (18F) and wearing basketball-style shorts to go to the city bus. Oh, to be an invincible teenager again.
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Old 02-27-14, 04:28 PM   #9
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-37C forecast for Friday night, -49C windchill.
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Old 02-28-14, 06:12 AM   #10
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-37C forecast for Friday night, -49C windchill.
It is current -28C with a windchill of -34C.
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Old 03-02-14, 04:32 PM   #11
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Weatherman says that the trough that has kept the Midwest and East in the deep freeze much of the winter doesn't look like its going to move anytime soon. They just dropped the predicted temps for the next week by 5 degrees and added snow to the forecast. We have been told to expect 15 to 20 degrees below normal for March and possibly longer. Well, at least 20F is ridable, the -20 to -40 windchills have been too much to ride far or often. Today we have an actual temp of -1F with a windchill of -18 for the high of the afternoon, right about now.
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Old 03-02-14, 11:00 PM   #12
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I thought you were posting this to a wrong forum, but even here you do get quite a few supporting voices. I, for one, throughly enjoy this winter. We do not get -28C often, but -20C every other day is pretty good . Sure my commute extended from 30min to 45, and at times even 60min, and at the beginning of the season I was getting exhausted, but now I am quite adapted. After this, spring and summer will be even more boring than usual - well, they have a few good aspects too.
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Old 03-30-14, 04:41 PM   #13
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I just had a conversation with some friends about the invincibility of youth to cold- what is it about being young that allows one to ignore the cold? For example, when I was in college, I wouldn't think twice about leaving my coat at home in January (in Minnesota) if I was going out for the night. Now, I make sure I have my winter coat, arctic hat and gloves, heavy boots, etc, and I still shiver. Sure there is a bit of hubris to it, but really, there has to be something else!

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Unless you're a kid in Toronto (as I noticed on Tuesday), -8C (18F) and wearing basketball-style shorts to go to the city bus. Oh, to be an invincible teenager again.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:18 AM   #14
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I just had a conversation with some friends about the invincibility of youth to cold- what is it about being young that allows one to ignore the cold? For example, when I was in college, I wouldn't think twice about leaving my coat at home in January (in Minnesota) if I was going out for the night. Now, I make sure I have my winter coat, arctic hat and gloves, heavy boots, etc, and I still shiver. Sure there is a bit of hubris to it, but really, there has to be something else!
My fitness is still good, but I don't do some of the stuff I did in my twenties. After about age 35, you can't abuse your body anymore -- it really, really complains.
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