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Article - winter commuter from Winnipeg

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Article - winter commuter from Winnipeg

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Old 02-21-09, 06:19 PM
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Article - winter commuter from Winnipeg

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl.../lifeMain/home
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Old 02-22-09, 03:43 PM
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Nice.

The story is pretty close to the truth when he describes Winnipeg riding.
He makes it sound pretty bleak though...
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Old 02-22-09, 04:40 PM
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I lived in Saskatoon until I was in my early 20's. Did some winter commuting to and from University in the cold. -15 degrees C was the coldest I was willing to bike in since everything seized up way too quickly beyond that. However I wouldn't consider it bleak riding in the prairie winter. If anything it's amazingly gorgeous with the always blue sky. Here in SW Ontario the winters are extremely bleak. It's a lot warmer, however you never get to see the sun. It's always cloudy.
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Old 02-23-09, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
I lived in Saskatoon until I was in my early 20's. Did some winter commuting to and from University in the cold. -15 degrees C was the coldest I was willing to bike in since everything seized up way too quickly beyond that. However I wouldn't consider it bleak riding in the prairie winter. If anything it's amazingly gorgeous with the always blue sky. Here in SW Ontario the winters are extremely bleak. It's a lot warmer, however you never get to see the sun. It's always cloudy.
I agree whole heartedly, however the way he described the riding made it come across as bleak.
My folks live in SW Ontario (Sarnia), and while it's a heck of a lot warmer out there, you're right that winter seems grey and bleak.
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Old 02-23-09, 05:04 PM
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My reason for riding without a helmet is simply because it doesn't fit with my tuque on, and I'd rather have warm ears than protect myself from a fall that might never happen. I'll wear it again when things warm up a bit in March. Each season brings its own hazards, but winter is far and away the most gruelling.
The author of that article has decided on not wearing a helmet, because a fall might not happen, while riding in conditions that actually make a fall more likely. Before you start flaming, I am no "nanny state safety nazi." However, I just wiped out two weeks ago due to winter conditions, and I hit my head harder than ever before in my life. I was shocked at how well my helmet worked, since I had not a mark on my head nor the slightest twinge of headache. I am able to keep my head plenty warm with things that still fit under a helmet. I, for one, will always choose the helmeted path because of this experience, and I share it with you in the hopes you may benefit from it.
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Old 02-23-09, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
The author of that article has decided on not wearing a helmet, because a fall might not happen, while riding in conditions that actually make a fall more likely. Before you start flaming, I am no "nanny state safety nazi." However, I just wiped out two weeks ago due to winter conditions, and I hit my head harder than ever before in my life. I was shocked at how well my helmet worked, since I had not a mark on my head nor the slightest twinge of headache. I am able to keep my head plenty warm with things that still fit under a helmet. I, for one, will always choose the helmeted path because of this experience, and I share it with you in the hopes you may benefit from it.
I'm not sure if Chicago sees the same temps as Winnipeg. The Canadian Prairies see -5 to -20 degrees F on a regular basis in the winter with the lower end dropping down to -40 degrees F. At those temps you shouldn't be out on a bike, but there are some people, braver than me, who still go out. Good luck keeping your head warm under a bike helmet. You need some heavy duty toqueage.
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Old 02-23-09, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
Good luck keeping your head warm under a bike helmet. You need some heavy duty toqueage.
If I were starting over, I'd get two different sizes of helmets, the winter one large enough to accommodate lots of head-wrapping.
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Old 02-23-09, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
I'm not sure if Chicago sees the same temps as Winnipeg. The Canadian Prairies see -5 to -20 degrees F on a regular basis in the winter with the lower end dropping down to -40 degrees F. At those temps you shouldn't be out on a bike, but there are some people, braver than me, who still go out. Good luck keeping your head warm under a bike helmet. You need some heavy duty toqueage.
People vary in how cold affects them but I'm sorry, maybe he just doesn't know any better but I suspect not being able to fit a helmet over his toque is an excuse. He could just get a bigger helmet but I doubt that that is necessary.

We don't see -40 F here but -5 to -20 isn't uncommon. I've ridden in below 0 weather at least a dozen times this winter if not more. The coldest day I rode was -21. I wear a balaclava under my helmet. It's relatively thin but you have to remember that a helmet is made up of an inch worth of styrofoam, - an excellent insulator. The last thing I worried about keeping warm was my head. Add a pair of goggles and you're sealed up pretty well. My head is invariably sweating when I get to work.

There are all kinds of options. A helmet cover for example will keep you even warmer.

Maybe at -40 none of that will work but I got the impression he didn't wear a helmet all winter regardless of the actual temp.
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Old 02-23-09, 07:59 PM
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The author dude is a tad dramatic with the whole risking his life twice a day schtick.
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Old 02-23-09, 09:03 PM
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Thanks for offering that. Of course, I'm a total wimp in comparison. Years ago, I read "Pete Hickey's winter cycling tips" and I recently re-read it for laughs and inspiration.

I'm finally in a decent position to commute by bike, and I'm psyching myself up for it.

I live in New Jersey, and we get winter, though not like Winnipeg's or Ottawa's. I've ridden to work three times so far since I took my job in November. It's 10 miles (16 km) to work and uphill the whole way. So I've done it in the cold, windy weather, even during light snow, and it's not bad. I just haven't made it a routine yet. But I'm patting myself on the back for doing it at all. Yeah!
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Old 02-23-09, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Maybe at -40 none of that will work but I got the impression he didn't wear a helmet all winter regardless of the actual temp.
I doubt the bike would move in -40
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Old 02-23-09, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Thanks for offering that. Of course, I'm a total wimp in comparison. Years ago, I read "Pete Hickey's winter cycling tips" and I recently re-read it for laughs and inspiration.

I'm finally in a decent position to commute by bike, and I'm psyching myself up for it.

I live in New Jersey, and we get winter, though not like Winnipeg's or Ottawa's. I've ridden to work three times so far since I took my job in November. It's 10 miles (16 km) to work and uphill the whole way. So I've done it in the cold, windy weather, even during light snow, and it's not bad. I just haven't made it a routine yet. But I'm patting myself on the back for doing it at all. Yeah!
I'm a wimp as well when it comes to winter biking. It's been a long time since I've commuted in the winter. Well done on your commuting so far. 16 km's uphill is commendable ... let alone when there's snow on the ground. Keep it up!
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