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You Consistent Winter Commuters ...

Old 03-09-18, 09:32 AM
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WonderMonkey
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You Consistent Winter Commuters ...

I salute your badassery. I can handle cold weather down to a certain point but when the wind blows that kicks my butt. So there.
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Old 03-09-18, 09:52 AM
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I think the key is covering every bit of skin.
New York City 14F/-10C by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
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Old 03-09-18, 10:11 AM
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Thank you.
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Old 03-09-18, 12:38 PM
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I hardly think commuting in the SF Bay Area qualifies me as an official Bad Ass. I mean, my lowest temp is high 30's fer cryin' out loud.

The wind is a major bummer. Afternoon winds coming off the bay can be strong (~ low 20's mph) with some heavier gusts. The thing that really fries me is that I just can't ever seem to get a tailwind. It's always a crosswind or headwind. WTF?!


-Kedosto
(first world problems)

Edited to add: ChapStick FTW! It's all about the ChapStick.
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Old 03-09-18, 12:44 PM
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Yeah, I'm not very bad ass either. If the temps drop below 30 F then I'll most likely drive my car - just because for the few really cold days we get it's not worth it for me to buy all that stuff to completely cover my skin.
It's supposed to rain every day next week, so I'll be making use of my fendered Priority bike. The temps will likely be easily manageable.
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Old 03-09-18, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post

The wind is a major bummer. Afternoon winds coming off the bay can be strong (~ low 20's mph) with some heavier gusts. The thing that really fries me is that I just can't ever seem to get a tailwind. It's always a crosswind or headwind. WTF?!


-Kedosto
(first world problems)

Edited to add: ChapStick FTW! It's all about the ChapStick.
Maybe it is because you go so fast? If your bike speed is ALWAYS above the wind speed then you are always feeling it. That's what I'd go with.
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Old 03-09-18, 04:50 PM
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“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”
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Old 03-09-18, 04:56 PM
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Jim from Boston
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You Consistent Winter Commuters ...
Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
I salute your badassery. I can handle cold weather down to a certain point but when the wind blows that kicks my butt. So there.
Thanks. I refer to myself as a year-round commuter cyclist, and I’ll go out in virtually anything for my14 mile one-way ride (train home), but work often keeps me off the bike. Nonetheless, I also responded to this similar thread from last year on the Winter Cycling Forum, Kudos to you northern guys, with my own and others’ laconic comments
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Originally Posted by lenny866 View Post
Bottom line is if you want to ride, you adjust to your climate!!!!
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
basically we have 2 options. don't ride or ride thru it
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… I have extracted this slogan [about winter cycling] from a post by @scoatw of Ohio,"Gear and gumption." Always on bad weather days someone at work will ask me,"You didn't ride your bicycle today, did you?."

When it’s really bad out, my wife will chide me, You just want to ride your bike today, so you can write about it to Bike Forums."
BTW, regarding Chapstick.
Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
…The wind is a major bummer.Afternoon winds coming off the bay can be strong (~ low 20's mph) with some heavier gusts. The thing that really fries me is that I just can't ever seem toget a tailwind. It's always a crosswind or headwind. WTF?!

-Kedosto
(first world problems)

Edited to add: ChapStick FTW! It's all about the ChapStick.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Bicycling or not, what items do you take with you that you never leave home without?

I used to compulsively carry Chapstick after one windy ride long ago, but gave it up after a few years.
Washington Post
Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let's make a list of the important things you need before walking out the door:Wallet: Check. Cellphone: Check. Keys: Check. Lip balm?
You slap your back pocket. Nope. Rummage through your bag. Nada. Search the bedside table. Negative.

This is a problem. A huge, paralyzing problem. You are a lip balm addict, after all. And you are not alone.

Countless Facebook groups are dedicated to the "crackstick" in all its varieties: ChapStick, Blistex, Burt's Bees, Carmex. Any lip lubricant that comes in a tube or a tub. There are online quizzes that measure how addicted you are to ChapStick.

(Question: When you are wearing only a bathing suit, do you haveChapStick on you at all times?

And there is a self-help Web site, Lip Balm Anonymous (Lip Balm Anonymous), dedicated to helping lip balm addicts.


Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-09-18 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 03-09-18, 05:05 PM
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We just get mostly rain here, which I've had my fair share of.

A couple of weeks ago I did my ride up to Portland... A storm was following on my coattails. Occasional snowflake floating down... but while I normally get a headwind for my northward journey, I had about a 15 MPH tailwind.

Temps were cold enough that had it been a headwind, it would have been a miserable ride. But, with a tailwind... it was like riding in my own little bubble, and the perfect temperature out.

Of course, those occasional turns and crosswinds were wicked, and unfortunately the last 30 miles or so was in the rain.
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Old 03-09-18, 06:26 PM
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It's all about getting good gear. My current outfit will take me down to -15F. (Yes it can get that cold up in the High Country.)
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Old 03-09-18, 06:42 PM
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+1.
I'm a fair-weather bike commuter. I hold out for days where it's at least 10F and less than 4 inches of snow on the bike paths. I see lots of people around here commuting by bike when it's -10F or lots of snow. Good for them.
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Old 03-09-18, 06:43 PM
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For me, consistency is part of what makes it possible. If I ease into the low temps by sticking with commuting through the fall and early winter, then the inevitable week of really low temps isn't as much of a shock. Also, it gives me time to make sure all of my gear is in order and ready to go.

And when spring approaches, I get impatient, not so much because of the weather, but because I want to get my summer bikes back out.
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Old 03-09-18, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
For me, consistency is part of what makes it possible. If I ease into the low temps by sticking with commuting through the fall and early winter, then the inevitable week of really low temps isn't as much of a shock. Also, it gives me time to make sure all of my gear is in order and ready to go.

And when spring approaches, I get impatient, not so much because of the weather, but because I want to get my summer bikes back out.
I found that when I was able to ride more I was also able to further into Fall. Family activities took me out of the habit. My daughter will graduate this year and I hope to be able to ride as long as I can stand it, whatever that means. In my part of Ohio there are so many transitions that many times it's ice with water or snow on top, and it's lurking just to take me down. I may have to invest in a trike to reduce that to just sliding off the path into the ditch.
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Old 03-09-18, 08:08 PM
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It's not badassery -- it's just being pragmatic and lazy. Bikes are more practical than cars in the winter. You can run studded tires for ice, you can walk it through big drifts, you can always start at all temperatures, and there's no rot from all the road salt. The badass guys are the consistent winter cagers. They spend hours shoveling out their driveways, they slide into the ditch repeatedly, but they keep trying. They inspire me.
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Old 03-09-18, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
I found that when I was able to ride more I was also able to further into Fall. Family activities took me out of the habit. My daughter will graduate this year and I hope to be able to ride as long as I can stand it, whatever that means. In my part of Ohio there are so many transitions that many times it's ice with water or snow on top, and it's lurking just to take me down. I may have to invest in a trike to reduce that to just sliding off the path into the ditch.
Wisconsin's probably not as variable, and probably not as wet. When I was in south central Ohio last year, I was impressed by how lush and green everything was. And hilly.

I deal with the changing weather, at least in Wisconsin, by being over-prepared. I install the studs and leave them on until spring. My bike has a big basket so I can bundle up in the morning and doff a couple of layers if needed during the day. I could go faster without that stuff, but it's all a matter of tradeoffs.
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Old 03-09-18, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
It's not badassery -- it's just being pragmatic and lazy. Bikes are more practical than cars in the winter. You can run studded tires for ice, you can walk it through big drifts, you can always start at all temperatures, and there's no rot from all the road salt. The badass guys are the consistent winter cagers. They spend hours shoveling out their driveways, they slide into the ditch repeatedly, but they keep trying. They inspire me.
Or they have a Jeep Wrangler and just start it up and drive to there and back.
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Old 03-10-18, 09:30 AM
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On top of the many other reasons I cycle throughout winter, I can confidently respond to on-line naysayers who snicker about bike lanes being blocked with snow.
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Old 03-10-18, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Wisconsin's probably not as variable, and probably not as wet. When I was in south central Ohio last year, I was impressed by how lush and green everything was. And hilly.

I deal with the changing weather, at least in Wisconsin, by being over-prepared. I install the studs and leave them on until spring. My bike has a big basket so I can bundle up in the morning and doff a couple of layers if needed during the day. I could go faster without that stuff, but it's all a matter of tradeoffs.
Similarly, I have posted,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...The studs stay on the beater through most of March.

Carbide studs are reputed to last a long time. I ride studded tires all winter from December to March, nearly entirely on bare, wet, and/or salted pavement. However, now my beater bike is an aluminum Diverge Elite road bike and I have 30 C Schwalbe Marathon studded tires, the narrowest I know of.

I really like the Schwalbe tires because I don't seem to feel the increased rolling resistance many claim for more aggressively treaded studded tires.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
On my beater bike, one pannier bag contains my ever-present rain pants, Gore-tex wrap around shoe covers, a long-sleeved, adequate cycling jacket, and a billed baseball cap. if the rain is heavy enough; I would avoid a downpour if possible (as a commuter).

Wet feet are miserable in any weather, and I do use plastic bags inside the shoes.

IMO, the worst riding conditions I might encounter is rain at less than about 40 F, and I carry two pairs of relatively waterproof fisherman type gloves,one Neoprene and one rubberized, to get me to work. A shower and a large table fan await me there.
The other pannier contains various additional items of clothing, or is empty enough to contain items I doff en route.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-10-18 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 03-10-18, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
It's all about getting good gear. My current outfit will take me down to -15F. (Yes it can get that cold up in the High Country.)
I've ridden in as code as 7F and I was fine. I don't know that my current setup would 20 degrees colder.
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Old 03-10-18, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
I've ridden in as code as 7F and I was fine. I don't know that my current setup would 20 degrees colder.
I've been in the teens but there was no wind. Additionally, at the end of the ride, my toes were very cold, even with a light show bootie. If I was to want to venture into consistent colder weather I'd have to get gear more suited for it.
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Old 03-10-18, 04:20 PM
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I ride all winter here in the tropics of southern Ontario. That doesn't make me badass. I've worked in Yellowknife NWT in winter, and saw people riding there. Now THAT was badass!
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Old 03-10-18, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
I ride all winter here in the tropics of southern Ontario. That doesn't make me badass. I've worked in Yellowknife NWT in winter, and saw people riding there. Now THAT was badass!
That's something I tell people when they wonder how I can ride through the winter: There are people who work outdoors all day in much more extreme conditions, such as oil workers in Alaska, and Eskimos for that matter.
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Old 03-11-18, 08:46 AM
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0 F is my limit. i have probably missed 10 days this winter commuting. my commute is pretty short though. certainly not a bad ass.
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Old 03-11-18, 11:17 AM
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It's all relative. There are people who live in a high-rise who take the elevator to their heated underground garage, get into their heated cars, drive to their workplace, perhaps another underground garage, and take another elevator to their heated offices. They could go an entire week without breathing outside air. To these people, anyone who ventures outside when it's slightly cold or slick is a badass.
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Old 03-11-18, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
It's all relative. There are people who live in a high-rise who take the elevator to their heated underground garage, get into their heated cars, drive to their workplace, perhaps another underground garage, and take another elevator to their heated offices. They could go an entire week without breathing outside air. To these people, anyone who ventures outside when it's slightly cold or slick is a badass.
I knew a woman who lived in a highrise connected to the subway. It lead to her office building downtown also connected to the subway (or PATH).

Those are future Morlocks.
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