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Extreme condition challenges--winter

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Extreme condition challenges--winter

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Old 01-29-19, 07:32 AM
  #26  
mcours2006
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Tons of snow this morning. It would have been impossible to ride. I didn't try. Side streets would have been impassable.

Tomorrow might be difficult as well. That would mean three consecutive days of driving. I haven't done that in two years.

Winter sucks!
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Old 01-29-19, 04:06 PM
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Any chance that your nose will fall off?
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Old 01-29-19, 04:55 PM
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Might if you don't cover up.

As stated in OP, a 'perfect storm' type scenario where the extreme low temperature combined with high winds and dicey road conditions makes it a no-go day for me. The only factor that is somewhat tolerable, meaning safe to ride, is the low temperature, but it is not without its challenges. For me it means trying to keep my fingers and toes from getting numb on the latter half of the journey. Chemical warmers are helpful but it's far from perfect.
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Old 01-29-19, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Might if you don't cover up.

As stated in OP, a 'perfect storm' type scenario where the extreme low temperature combined with high winds and dicey road conditions makes it a no-go day for me. The only factor that is somewhat tolerable, meaning safe to ride, is the low temperature, but it is not without its challenges. For me it means trying to keep my fingers and toes from getting numb on the latter half of the journey. Chemical warmers are helpful but it's far from perfect.
What do you wear for boots? When it gets cold I wear the Wind River Yukon XL, and my feet are always toasty, with room for a chemical warmer if I ever needed it. I usually use wool mittens with a warmer inside them when cold/windy enough - my hands don't get wet that way.
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Old 01-29-19, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
What do you wear for boots? When it gets cold I wear the Wind River Yukon XL, and my feet are always toasty, with room for a chemical warmer if I ever needed it. I usually use wool mittens with a warmer inside them when cold/windy enough - my hands don't get wet that way.
I have Specialized Defroster SPD-SL shoes. They work well when the temp is about, say, -10*C, but below this the toes still get cold near the end of an one-hour commute.

Wool mittens inside regular mittens are a good idea. I might give that a try.
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Old 01-29-19, 07:33 PM
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Socks, thick wool socks in keen shoes + neoprene overshoes are doing the job for me. I add the overshoes around -15C or when it's very windy.

My bar mitts experiment on flat bars is still going strong. So far, I have barely had cold hands when they were warm going into the ride. And that is with a single layer of gloves. For the next few days (forcasts are -22C with feels like below -30C), I'm expecting that I may have to add mitten to stay comfy warm. For me, this is a completely different world than using 2 layers of wool/fleeze gloves/mittens. It's not about being numb or just cold, it's about comfy warm or cold. Downside though: sweat management. I have had sweaty gloves a few times which means frequent glove washing and being careful outside after a ride, if I stay out.
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Old 01-30-19, 04:55 PM
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I rode today, some sections of my commute were very hard to ride through because snow wasn't cleared very well. In the afternoon the temp was minus -18 celsius with 42km/h wind.
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Old 01-30-19, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I rode today, some sections of my commute were very hard to ride through because snow wasn't cleared very well. In the afternoon the temp was minus -18 celsius with 42km/h wind.
Kudos!

I got about 3 km before I decided that the road conditions weren't good enough to ride in. Plus the prospect of strong headwinds on the ride home with -18*C just was not appealing. If my commute was substantially shorter than the 19 km that it is I might have braved it. Ten km I would have done it regardless.
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Old 01-31-19, 08:09 PM
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Finally, an end is close. It looks like next week could still end in a melt/freeze/snow mess, but at least the temperatures will go up!
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Old 02-01-19, 12:25 PM
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I rode in today. Took a lot longer due to parts where I had to dismount and walk the bike. Not long walks, but perhaps 20-50 m, as well as some snow banks that are waist high that I had to traverse. Those were the two biggest challenges today.

Temperature wise it was still -19*C but the wind had died down considerably from the previous two days, and road conditions have also improved with the fairer weather.
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Old 02-04-19, 11:27 PM
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Stay safe

You guys are awesome! Troopers in all weather if possible. I felt bad today as I was concerned about fresh fallen snow combined with freezing weather. When I got home the roads didnít look to bad. I took the bus to work

I wish I had winter tires this week.

Hopefully back on the bike tomorrow to work. But very carefully. Iím sure my weather isnít nearly as bad as what you ride through.

stay safe.
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Old 02-05-19, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
some snow banks that are waist high that I had to traverse
wow, good on you! cue waist high drifts from storm "Juno" 1-20-15. I think this was the first of several blizzards but this one was so surprising going from bare ground to 30+ inches of fresh snow. there would be no cycling that day



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Old 02-05-19, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I rode in today. Took a lot longer due to parts where I had to dismount and walk the bike. Not long walks, but perhaps 20-50 m, as well as some snow banks that are waist high that I had to traverse. Those were the two biggest challenges today.

Temperature wise it was still -19*C but the wind had died down considerably from the previous two days, and road conditions have also improved with the fairer weather.
good for your guys who are still riding. that sounds like an adventure @mcours2006 . @wolfchild Be safe and stay warm!
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Old 02-05-19, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
wow, good on you! cue waist high drifts from storm "Juno" 1-20-15. I think this was the first of several blizzards but this one was so surprising going from bare ground to 30+ inches of fresh snow. there would be no cycling that day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srukybas6tE
That was the "Snowpocalypse" in 2015. These photos are from the President's Day weekend, after a second hit of snow.

The drifts on the side walk are just a backdrop, not passable. I did ride down well-tended Tremont St, with hardpack snow, a perfect condition for studded tires.




Boston is internationally known for its intrepid Winter cyclists.

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Old 02-05-19, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
That was the "Snowpocalypse" in 2015. These photos are from the President's Day weekend, after a second hit of snow.The drifts on the side walk are just a backdrop, not passable. I did ride down well-tended Tremont St, with hardpack snow, a perfect condition for studded tires.Boston is internationally known for its intrepid Winter cyclists.
intrepid football fans too, hehe & we had a Patriots parade that year too ... but that parade was postponed 24 hrs for yet another storm!
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Old 02-05-19, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
nice pic of my son's freshman dorm at Emerson. his room overlooked Boylston. as a journalism major, he had to cover the parade & interviewed ppl on snow drifts lining Boylston St. now he's working a Lexington beat. wish they had sent him in today to cover this year's parade. temps in the 60s & ppl are shirtless!
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Old 02-05-19, 04:48 PM
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Sleet, freezing rain and snow in the forecast for tomorrow. I will definitely be riding my studded tire bike.
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Old 02-05-19, 06:15 PM
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3rd
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Old 02-06-19, 01:35 PM
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That's beautiful Bob! While I've been to Cannon beach many times, I've never seen it in the snow.
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Old 02-06-19, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Sleet, freezing rain and snow in the forecast for tomorrow. I will definitely be riding my studded tire bike.
Did your ride look something like this:





The challenge today was that most roads were not plowed. Two-lane roads like the one above is not bad for me to stay on the street, but I didn't want to be on four-lane roads with traffic buzzing by at much faster than they should under these road conditions, so I rode on the sidewalk, which also wasn't plowed, but it was a heck of a lot harder with 2" of ice pellets covered with a layer of freezing rain--similar to the first pic. Joy.

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Old 02-06-19, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Did your ride look something like this:









The challenge today was that most roads were plowed. Two-lane roads like the one above is not bad for me to stay on the street, but I didn't want to be on four-lane roads with traffic buzzing by at much faster than they should under these road conditions, so I rode on the sidewalk, which also wasn't plowed, but it was a heck of a lot harder with 2" of ice pellets covered with a layer of freezing rain--similar to the first pic. Joy.

Yeah that's exactly what it looked like. My commute today was on roads, sidewalks and MUPS, I was using 700x32mm Schwalbe Winter tires.
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Old 02-07-19, 08:19 AM
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Unless it was completely untouched ice pellets, I had huge troubles going in a straight line. The 2 in wie SMWs run slightly below minimum pressure give me very good traction on bare ice. But this ice pellets stuff was much harder to manage than 5-10cm of snow regarding being pushed around on the streets.
How was it on the much narrower tires you guys are riding?

Fun fact: riding with a heavily loaded single-wheel trailer seems to help staying upright, so far.
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Old 02-07-19, 09:08 AM
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I'll bet narrower tires would do better getting down to that pavement. wider is better "sometimes"
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Old 02-07-19, 10:19 AM
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@mcours2006 , that's rough. Sorry for asking, but why do you keep doing it? By some measures, I'm tough, but I have my limits.
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Old 02-07-19, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@mcours2006 , that's rough. Sorry for asking, but why do you keep doing it? By some measures, I'm tough, but I have my limits.
A fair question, Tom. Despite the challenges, and they are quite numerous, I still prefer it to driving. It's probably part of my mental/emotional make-up or personality that I do what I do. Part of it is pushing the limits of what is comfortable/sustainable/tolerable physically, but to some degree, mentally/psychologically. Simply put, it toughens you. Part of it is getting exercise at the same time. Two birds... I'd be doing something else early in the morning before driving to work if I weren't riding anyway. This way seems more efficient.

Yesterday's round trip took 2.50 hours. Today's will likely be the same if not more. Seems like a lot of time to devote to commuting, but I just treat it as bike rides that I would have done anyway if it was any other season. And besides, winter is temporary. It's not always going to be this way.

I do have my limits. If at any point I didn't feel safe riding I'd stop. Extreme cold (like below -25*C), high winds, and poor road conditions would be the main factors. Despite looking pretty bad, road conditions were actually quite manageable yesterday, and I'm not above walking sections if it is necessary to do so.
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