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Anyone else getting stir crazy from this weather?

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Anyone else getting stir crazy from this weather?

Old 02-20-15, 02:44 PM
  #1  
PatrickGSR94
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Anyone else getting stir crazy from this weather?

This weather sucks in the Memphis area. I haven't commuted by bike, or even ridden a bike at all, since Tuesday of last week. Granted I was out of town last Thurs-Sat but still. Last Saturday it was in the 60's. Then it dropped way down below freezing and hasn't been above freezing until now. We got a bunch of nasty ice on Monday that shut down almost everything around here. I drove to work Tues thru today, but the temperatures have been crazy. Single digits Wed night into Thursday morning. We just ain't set up for that 'round here!

I'm sure I could have managed a 5-7 mile, 20-30 minute commute with this cold. But my morning commute of 16 miles takes nearly 1.5 hours when it's real cold and/or wet. And being out in temperatures in the teens and below for that long is downright dangerous IMHO. I have quite a lot of winter gear, but it's just not enough to handle those temperatures for that time/distance. So I drove all week long, and I'm sick of it!
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Old 02-20-15, 03:05 PM
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Yes. I'm getting tired of gearing up to ride to work. Takes me more time to gear up than to ride the 3 miles to work. Tired of the cold weather and rounds of snow we're getting. I can commute in it though, and I just deal with it. That and all of the bugs/illnesses going around our area this year that have wreaked havoc on me and my little family.
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Old 02-20-15, 03:09 PM
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Where you live it may not be practical to try to adapt to the cold. I assume you don't get that much or that it doesn't last long when you do get it. Where I live the cold can start early. Late last November I remember feeling how great it was to ride home at 25F.
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Old 02-20-15, 03:13 PM
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Winter sucks!
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Old 02-20-15, 03:27 PM
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I'm in New York and have not been on the bike since around mid-November. All I do is THINK about Spring and the bike trips I am going to take this summer. It'll be here soon.
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Old 02-20-15, 03:38 PM
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I was bike commuting regularly all winter until we got hit by a sleet storm earlier this week, followed by record cold temperatures. Much of my commute route is on back roads and neighborhood streets that are still largely covered in ice, so I haven't been able to ride outdoors all week. I've been getting my exercise fix by going to the gym and riding a spin bike and lifting weights, walking a lot, and shoveling snow/sleet/ice. The past two days it was too cold to even walk outdoors for any distance, with windchill temps hovering around zero. I work in a very large building complex and have been walking indoors during my lunch break. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can do.
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Old 02-20-15, 03:41 PM
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Since i dress pretty much the same for going out or riding in cold, no biggie... only potential issue is road & MUP conditions.

- Andy
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Old 02-20-15, 03:49 PM
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I've had a similar feeling. I'll commute above 15F or so, but we've had a lot of days recently where it wasn't forecast to be above that for both legs, or I've had some other obligation that necessitated driving in. Of course, the right answer is that I need to work on my clothing.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:10 PM
  #9  
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I haven't biked into work in quite a while. In the mean time, I've got my bike set up in a trainer, and I've been watching commuter videos on you tube while I "work out" on it.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:12 PM
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Location, Location, Location.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Location, Location, Location.
Yeah. My biggest complaint is that I got new cool weather gloves a couple of weeks ago and it hasn't been cold enough since then for me to see whether they're any good or not. My second biggest complaint is that my new Sugoi Zap jacket is too warm when the temperature is above 45F.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:26 PM
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Cyclists must be some of the greatest whiners, wussies and complainers that I have ever seen, always finding something to complain about, always making excuses for this or that or the other ...I've been riding in temperatures and windchill a lot lower them most of you. My advice is: Leave your cycling kit at home until spring and dress up in proper winter clothing and shoes, it also helps to HTFU a little bit.
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Old 02-20-15, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Cyclists must be some of the greatest whiners, wussies and complainers that I have ever seen, always finding something to complain about, always making excuses for this or that or the other ...I've been riding in temperatures and windchill a lot lower them most of you. My advice is: Leave your cycling kit at home until spring and dress up in proper winter clothing and shoes, it also helps to HTFU a little bit.
I lol'd.

For real though, we're a lot more hardy than we think we are. Lack of deep pleasure and inability to do something are not the same thing. I really feel "i can't" has replaced "i don't want to" in a lot of ways, especially in the US.

Yesterday i refused a ride home from someone i'd just had a massive falling out with after they invited me out for breakfast. Sure it took 25 minutes to travel the 1.6 miles to get home, sure it was 14 degrees and 35 mph gusts and sure i wasnt dressed for walking in such weather, but guess what.. i'm here i'm ok i made it.. woopy effing doo. If you want a medal for riding in the "cold" you won't find me handing any out.

- Andy
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Old 02-20-15, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Cyclists must be some of the greatest whiners, wussies and complainers that I have ever seen, always finding something to complain about, always making excuses for this or that or the other ...I've been riding in temperatures and windchill a lot lower them most of you. My advice is: Leave your cycling kit at home until spring and dress up in proper winter clothing and shoes, it also helps to HTFU a little bit.
Or just get cold weather cycling kit. Thermal base layer + thermal long sleeve jersey + thermal bib tights + windproof shell + windproof gloves + thermal balaclava + winter shoes with insulated soles (booties/overshoes are useless at below freezing temps). Works for me until the windchill drops below 15F then my a** takes public transit. But really it's these icy roads that are my main deterrent at the moment. Its hard to spot ice patches at night until I wipe out riding over them . They've been around for weeks so I hope this weekend (should be above 40 on sunday!) they will evaporate.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:24 PM
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I've tried all manner of different solutions for my feet but just cannot keep them warm for more than about 60 minutes at the very most when below freezing, less than that when it's down in the low 20's. I don't really care to have completely numb toes when I get to work. That's not safe.

Yeah it was like this last year with the Polar Vortex thingy, but I think it was about a month earlier last year, in January. I couldn't commute at all that week, but outside of that week or so of super cold temps, I'm pretty good on commuting at least twice a week. I'll be glad when I can get back to commuting 3 days a week like I did last fall up until about the end of November.

It gets to a point where it's just not fun anymore. Getting geared up is a PITA, but I still enjoy the ride if it's not too windy and in the 20's or above. But below than that, no thanks. That's not for me. I'm driving.

I really need to get a trainer for days like these. Been feeling way too sedentary lately.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:54 PM
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With temps in the teens or lower I would have ridden anyway, though would have opted for my short route to work. As Tarwheel pointed out it's risky to ride on all of the hard, rutted ice on most of the roads on my route, so the bike stayed in the garage most of the week. 1 day out of 5 is hard on the psyche.
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Old 02-20-15, 07:03 PM
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I agree with the feet comment. I cannot keep them warm no matter what I try. My toes are always freezing if I am out for 50 minutes or so. My thumbs are the other thing that I have troubles with. At times I get to work and have a hard time just working by bike lock.

I cannot wait until I can wear shorts and cycle again. Still cycling all winter - but just wish I didn't have to get all that gear on.
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Old 02-20-15, 08:27 PM
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I had issues with keeping my feet warm as well. Winter cycling shoes and one pair of socks works well until below 40, then I had to double up on the socks. When the wind chill becomes a factor and/or the temp drops below 30, I throw on a pair of overshoes. I also found that spinning non-stop keeps the blood flowing and your toes from going numb, so resist the urge to coast for extended periods (especially going downhill!) and keep your cadence high. You may want to try winter specific cycling socks as well. This may not work for everyone but hopefully someone finds it helpful!
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Old 02-20-15, 08:54 PM
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My son was a boy scout and many local troops have monthly camping trips year round. They get a "Zero Hero" patch for sleeping outdoors in below zero weather.

If a bunch of pre-teen and young teenage boys can spend a weekend outdoors in that kind of cold, one can manage on a bike for an hour. It does take the right clothing however and feet can be tough. It helps to keep the rest of your body good and warm. If your core starts getting cold, your body reacts by not circulating as much blood out to the extremities.

For the feet themselves, make sure your toes have plenty of room. Wear wool socks and shoes/boots that will both block the wind and keep cold from getting transmitted up through the soles. There are replacement insoles that can help. Chemical toe warmers help too.

If your feet start getting cold during your ride, stand up and pedal or hop off your bike and stomp your feet for a few minutes. That will help a lot.

I guess I'm not sure how it is for people that live in normal climates but having fingers and toes go numb for short periods of times happens on regular basis during the winter and I don't think of it as dangerous.

For the most part cycling gear isn't designed for very cold weather with some exceptions. However, there are lots of other outdoor winter activities and suitable clothing isn't hard to find.

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Old 02-20-15, 09:11 PM
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If one has no choice but to bike then that's one thing. I would do it if the ride was short enough. But really, with the weather conditions lately (snow and extreme cold), I really don't feel inspired to do so. Plus, like someone said, getting on all that gear is a major PITA.

Also, with all these great TV series available to me any time I've more incentive to go on my treadmill in the morning. I"ll wait until the temperatures around here gets back to the minus single digits before embarking on the bike again.
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Old 02-20-15, 09:17 PM
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You people drive in weather like this? Hardcore! Winter cycling is way easier than winter driving.
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Old 02-20-15, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
You people drive in weather like this? Hardcore! Winter cycling is way easier than winter driving.
I do not understand why people refuse to acknowledge that driving even in our predictably snowy & cold and sometimes icy winters when storms hit is unsafe and should be undertaken with humility and caution. On a bike is A: far lower energy potential if a crash does happen, and B. if you crash you can carry your bike vs leaving an abandoned & possibly disabled vehicle where someone else might hit it.

Bicycles are an amazing transportation tool, far superior to automobiles, especially in severe weather.

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Old 02-20-15, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Location, Location, Location.
Yup,

Here in Seattle the trees are blossoming, rodies are blooming, and the Daffodils are up. Spring is here, and we hardly had a winter.

Its been so nice, I half expect a major earthquake or volcano eruption.
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Old 02-20-15, 11:13 PM
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I agree that it's not the cold, but road condition, that prevents me from riding. There are a lot ice that are covered by dusts, so I don't think it's worth risking accidents just for the sake of riding bike to work.

Maybe some can skate or ski to work? Has anyone attempted to skate across a frozen river?
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Old 02-21-15, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Maybe some can skate or ski to work? Has anyone attempted to skate across a frozen river?
River ice is never safe and I don't trust it, unless you live in an area that has long periods of deep freeze. Also it's hard to find rivers that have ice which is smooth enough to skate on. The river in my city would be impossible to skate on because the ice is so rough and uneven, due to the movement of water and freeze/thaw cycle there are huge big chunks of ice blocks the size of a huge boulder all over the surface of the river...It's safer to ride a bicycle with studded tires, then it is to take chances skating across frozen river.
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