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One more excuse to skip riding when it's cold

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One more excuse to skip riding when it's cold

Old 12-07-22, 10:08 AM
  #101  
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yikes, I might start popping a baby aspirin before my coldest winter rides from now on
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Old 12-07-22, 10:16 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Let no good thread go unpunished.

Seriously. There's sure a lot of "from my cold dead hands" posts going on here just for posting some reasonable health advice.

Relax everybody. OP is not trying to take away anyone's fat bikes, snow shoes, skis or whatever .
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Old 12-07-22, 10:29 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
What would this audience think of A Modest Proposal?
Did I just hear a jet flying overhead?
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Old 12-07-22, 11:07 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
So it's cold out, do you take an outdoor ride or stay indoors?

Well, if you're looking for excuses to stay cozy and warm indoors, cold weather reportedly can:
  • cause heart attacks
  • damage your lungs
This is from an article by Dr. Mirkin, Exercising in Cold Weather:
  • causes your body to produce adrenalin which constricts your arteries and raises your blood pressure
  • thickens your blood and makes it more likely to clot
  • causes the liver to make more fibrinogen that increases clotting
  • raises cholesterol levels
  • may reduce your body temperature, which weakens your heart muscle
  • may induce exercise-induced asthma
Okay, but does it ever get cold enough here in the Bay Area to cause any of that?
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Old 12-07-22, 11:15 AM
  #105  
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Commuting today in -25c.
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Old 12-07-22, 11:16 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I knocked off a hilly 80 miles in 90+ degree heat twice this year, and I think my particular lung issues make cold weather cycling a bad idea. I'm betting you don't have the data to back up the first sentence of your post.
Sorry about the lung issues, which I don't have. Well, I used to have exercise induced asthma, but lots of long, hard rides made it go away. I'm a great believer in exercise-based rehab. I've done long hard pass climbs, during either centuries+ or 150 mile rides, some of them in 105 heat. Hydration and occasional rests in the shade made those rides possible. It's not possible (for me anyway) to drink enough to replace lost water during constant hard exercise in extreme heat. I have to stop and drink once in a while, maybe once every 15-50 miles depending. I can tell when I need to stop because my HR just keeps going up.

So the Google does exist. Anyone can look things up quite quickly. The first website which came up for me was:
https://newsroom.heart.org/news/a-wi...snow-shoveling
which contained this excellent link:
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/epub...00000000000749
and this statement (quoting a quote):
"Among the many findings of our research, we saw that the cardiac demands of heavy snow shoveling, including marked increases in the heart rate and systolic blood pressure, could equal and exceed the upper levels achieved during maximal treadmill testing in sedentary men. In one study, we found that after only two minutes of snow shoveling, study participants’ heart rates exceeded the upper limit – 85% of maximal heart rate – commonly prescribed for aerobic exercise testing. The least fit subjects demonstrated the highest heart rates during shoveling.”
This was the 2nd link on my google page:
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topi...scular-disease

My WAG is that more people suffer cardiac stress while snow shoveling because of overheating than by hypothermia. Overheating IME puts more stress on the heart than does being cold, hence I prefer to ride in the cold being just a little chilly. Riding indoors, I use box fans to keep my HR down.

A couple little anecdotes come to mind: Yesterday I was at the gym. Part of that day's workout is doing dumbbell deadlifts, 4 sets of 10, all same weight, 1.5' rests between sets. I was only using 50# dumbbells because I'm avoiding extra heart stress right now. Anyway, I looked at my HR after each set. And after each succeeding set, it was about 10 beats higher. If I were to have kept doing that, my HR would have become quite high. There's also the old story: A second lieutenant is supervising solders digging a trench. After a while, frustrated by their slowness, he jumps in, grabs a shovel, and tosses 3 quick shovel loads. "Do it like that!" he says. Right. Don't shovel snow like that.
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Old 12-07-22, 11:44 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Okay, but does it ever get cold enough here in the Bay Area to cause any of that [cold weather health problems]?
Well, I've seen 32F when riding on Calaveras Road. Mt. Hamilton is down into the 30s much of the Winter.

The Mirkin article said people with heart problems should avoid temperatures below 50F.
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Old 12-07-22, 11:44 AM
  #108  
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I enjoy riding in the cold, occasionally. I find it quite invigorating. I am talking about down to the high 20's F. Here on Delmarva, it is not that often that the daytime temperature stays below 20. I have lived here for 46 years, I probably have not seen below zero more than a dozen times, with the coldest being -7 F. That extreme usually does not last more than a day or two. When the wind is really blowing, like above 15mph, even in the low 40's, I am likely not going to ride. Much more likely to go for a walk in one of the park/refuges that are near me.
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Old 12-07-22, 11:59 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
I enjoy riding in the cold, occasionally. I find it quite invigorating. I am talking about down to the high 20's F. Here on Delmarva, it is not that often that the daytime temperature stays below 20. I have lived here for 46 years, I probably have not seen below zero more than a dozen times, with the coldest being -7 F. That extreme usually does not last more than a day or two. When the wind is really blowing, like above 15mph, even in the low 40's, I am likely not going to ride. Much more likely to go for a walk in one of the park/refuges that are near me.

I used to enjoy winter biking. I still find walking in the cold invigorating, as you so aptly put it,
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Old 12-07-22, 12:15 PM
  #110  
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Doesn't seem like there's any consensus on what "cold" means in this context. It's strange to me, for instance, that someone would stop riding when it's in the 40's Fahrenheit. That's still risk-of-overheating temperature IME. Impactful or unpleasant cold doesn't come into consideration until it's below 20, and the cutoff for riding at all for me is closer to zero (-18c). There is usually a spell of a couple weeks a year when it doesn't get into double digits here in New England.

There's also no standard for what the article considers exercise. Going out for a walk is exercise, after all. Is the article implying people shouldn't walk in the winter? It's possible to ride a bicycle without exerting much more than a walk (if you have access to level terrain).

I dunno. The article just seems like click bait.
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Old 12-07-22, 01:10 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Well, I've seen 32F when riding on Calaveras Road. Mt. Hamilton is down into the 30s much of the Winter.

The Mirkin article said people with heart problems should avoid temperatures below 50F.
Yet, where I live the lowest mortality rates are at 53F. I'm guessing you'd need to start going exponentially lower to start getting meaningful increase in mortality.

However it needs to be kept in mind that the suggestion to limit activity during cold (actual cold, not 50F) only applies to people who have serious coronary conditions (such as congestive heart disease which causes loss of oxygen in the heart muscle) Limiting exercise in individuals with no or only minor conditions is probably going to be counter productive. Being sedentary increases risk of all the mentioned conditions affected by cold.

So no, cold isn't an excuse to stop riding. It is a reason however to potentially modify healthcare regimen and medication to suit the conditions if one is using blood pressure medication for example.
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Old 12-07-22, 01:40 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Well, I've seen 32F when riding on Calaveras Road. Mt. Hamilton is down into the 30s much of the Winter.

The Mirkin article said people with heart problems should avoid temperatures below 50F.
I'd assume it's a sliding scale, where the worse your heart problems the higher the temp where it become's problematic.
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Old 12-07-22, 02:39 PM
  #113  
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& then there's shoveling snow & roof raking. we can't always "choose" when we have to do this. I may not ride in 15F degree weather but I might be out there for 3 hours, with the snow storm chores. I believe there are stats for deaths whilst doing so
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Old 12-07-22, 03:01 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Limiting exercise in individuals with no or only minor conditions is probably going to be counter productive. Being sedentary increases risk of all the mentioned conditions affected by cold..
It really doesn't have to be a question of limiting exercise. I just do most of my exercise indoors in the winter.
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Old 12-07-22, 08:41 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post

Relax everybody. OP is not trying to take away anyone's fat bikes, snow shoes, skis or whatever .
Yes he is, and he is using an article written by a doctor as a scare tactic to discourage people from going outside and being active in the cold.
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Old 12-07-22, 10:56 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
It really doesn't have to be a question of limiting exercise. I just do most of my exercise indoors in the winter.
But it is indeed question of limiting exercise. If you confine yourself indoors during the cold season your daily activity levels are going to plummet. Actual exercise is of course important but having high level of activity outside actual exercise is far more important and cannot be replaced by an elliptical machine. By that I mean walking or cycling to places instead of driving, climbing the stair instead of using the elevator, walking the dog and the dreaded shovelling snow (it's a skill not to over do it). You get the idea.
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Old 12-08-22, 06:17 AM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Yes he is, and he is using an article written by a doctor as a scare tactic to discourage people from going outside and being active in the cold.

You're either a liar or you have no reading comprehension.
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Old 12-08-22, 06:37 AM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
But it is indeed question of limiting exercise. If you confine yourself indoors during the cold season your daily activity levels are going to plummet. Actual exercise is of course important but having high level of activity outside actual exercise is far more important and cannot be replaced by an elliptical machine. By that I mean walking or cycling to places instead of driving, climbing the stair instead of using the elevator, walking the dog and the dreaded shovelling snow (it's a skill not to over do it). You get the idea.

That's ridiculous, you're arguing with a straw man. No one is saying that people shouldn't go outside. Literally, the article makes very clear in its conclusion that this is about where people with heart and lung issues should get their "exercise". I do my aerobic exercise on an elliptical machine in the winter and there's a small drop off in the number of hours I put into it as compared to my 8-9 months of riding, but I can definitely say that the elliptical is a very intense workout comparatively by virtue of being a whole body workout. In the meantime, I do as much or more walking in the winter (probably more as I'm more likely to walk a short hop than bike it as I would do if the weather was warm and the street not sloppy). And what the hell is the taking the stairs vs. taking the elevator bit about? Where do you encounter a lot of outdoor stairs and elevators?

Am I supposed to rent a dog? You have no point here whatsoever except to make an obviously false claim about indoor machines.
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Old 12-08-22, 06:45 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're either a liar or you have no reading comprehension.
I think at this point he's trolling us.

IT'S A CONSPIRACY!!!!!!
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Old 12-08-22, 07:00 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
That's ridiculous, you're arguing with a straw man. No one is saying that people shouldn't go outside. Literally, the article makes very clear in its conclusion that this is about where people with heart and lung issues should get their "exercise". I do my aerobic exercise on an elliptical machine in the winter and there's a small drop off in the number of hours I put into it as compared to my 8-9 months of riding, but I can definitely say that the elliptical is a very intense workout comparatively by virtue of being a whole body workout. In the meantime, I do as much or more walking in the winter (probably more as I'm more likely to walk a short hop than bike it as I would do if the weather was warm and the street not sloppy). And what the hell is the taking the stairs vs. taking the elevator bit about? Where do you encounter a lot of outdoor stairs and elevators?

Am I supposed to rent a dog? You have no point here whatsoever except to make an obviously false claim about indoor machines.
Do you have trouble understanding examples. Or rather do you have trouble understanding the concept of what an example is? Walking the dog, taking the stairs etc. were just that.

Also I though (falsely apparently) that you understood what the whole point of this discussion was. It's not the exercising in the cold that's the supposed issue. It's the cold itself. If you go outside when it's (actually) cold, ie. near or below freezing your systolic blood pressure can spike 20 mm hg just by stepping out the door. If you get cold your blood pressure can further increase and then you can start getting those aforementioned clotting issues. Just by being outside you breathe the cold dry air. There are other effects as well, but those are a bit on the nitpicky side

When properly dressed and exercising outside you'll unlikely to be cold. Probably the opposite in fact. Exercise raises blood pressure for the duration of said exercise but the effect is slightly different as it also trains the vascular system. You'll still be breathing the cold dry air and doing it more frequently. However it takes a lot lower temps than freezing and quite high intensities for long durations to damage the lungs in the cold (it is possible though).

But if you're an old out of shape male and going out doing zone 4 or 5 work (shovelling snow like you have something to prove) you're potentially gonna have a bad time.
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Old 12-08-22, 07:15 AM
  #121  
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I have my own 2 "excuses" for not riding in cold weather: 1. I used to live in an area which was usually colder, and I'm not as acclimated to cold weather as I used to be and 2. that was 20 years ago, so my 20 year older body seems as if it's less tolerant of cold than it used to be.
I don't know if either is actually true, do know that I'm not a fan of riding in colder weather (45 F, give or take a few) is not too bad-depends on wind and humidity as well). You can call me a "fair weather rider" and I won't be insulted. I do feed a horse and make sure all is OK with him in whatever the weather is, do have the clothes suitable for whatever temp gets down to, just prefer to not bundle up for a bike ride.

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Old 12-08-22, 08:34 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Do you have trouble understanding examples. Or rather do you have trouble understanding the concept of what an example is? Walking the dog, taking the stairs etc. were just that.

Also I though (falsely apparently) that you understood what the whole point of this discussion was. It's not the exercising in the cold that's the supposed issue. It's the cold itself. If you go outside when it's (actually) cold, ie. near or below freezing your systolic blood pressure can spike 20 mm hg just by stepping out the door. If you get cold your blood pressure can further increase and then you can start getting those aforementioned clotting issues. Just by being outside you breathe the cold dry air. There are other effects as well, but those are a bit on the nitpicky side

When properly dressed and exercising outside you'll unlikely to be cold. Probably the opposite in fact. Exercise raises blood pressure for the duration of said exercise but the effect is slightly different as it also trains the vascular system. You'll still be breathing the cold dry air and doing it more frequently. However it takes a lot lower temps than freezing and quite high intensities for long durations to damage the lungs in the cold (it is possible though).

But if you're an old out of shape male and going out doing zone 4 or 5 work (shovelling snow like you have something to prove) you're potentially gonna have a bad time.

First of all, your examples sucked because they basically ran counter to the point you were trying to make (I can run up and down the stairs all day if I want exercise), but otherwise, wow, that's some pretty good sophistry you got going on. You are actually telling me that the main concern of an article entitled "Exercising in Cold Weather" is not exercising in cold weather but the effects of cold weather itself!? That's just utter nonsense.. So no, it's not about just going outside, it's about exertion in cold weather which will clearly exacerbate those CV/respiration effects endemic to breathing in cold air, exposure, etc. Absolutely no one has stated that you should not go outside as merely taking a walk or similar exertion is not going to have those add-on effects. As far as hypothermic effects, this is obviously a much bigger concern when one is exerting oneself. News flash, people exerting themselves breathe in more cold air and exhale more of their body heat and moisture than people just walking leisurely and their heart rates and blood pressure are also going to increase more than just the increase in baseline effects of the cold air on non-exerting people.

The recommendation that people with heart and/or lung problems should probably prefer warmer environment exercise does not seem at all controversial . My only point was that you set up a false dichotomy (straw man) where that meant being sedentary vs. exercising outdoors, and now you're going through the mental gymnastics above to try to avoid your obvious logical fallacy. To do that, you've had to completely fabricate an elaborate argument that absolutely no one has made. Please show me where ANYONE has said that these effects are so pronounced that some people shouldn't go outside for any purpose whatsoever other than exercise.

As to my own case, I already have lung damage. I'm not particularly interested in testing the exact boundary where the intense inhalation of cold air causes me discomfort or worse, thank you. I'm perfectly comfortable breathing below freezing air for hours at a walking pace, but I don't enjoy cycling at such a low intensity and I'm able to be much more intense indoors without having to play with these factors.


I really don't think I should have to explain that winter cycling presents particular issues with dressing just warm enough to deal with increased wind chill due to the speed and balancing that against the hazards and discomforts of over-dressing, that seems rather obvious and well besides the point I was making.

Last edited by livedarklions; 12-08-22 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 12-08-22, 08:43 AM
  #123  
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Old 12-08-22, 08:45 AM
  #124  
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If you have cardiac or respiratory issues and are using internet articles for exercise advice you are receiving inadequate medical care. If your care providers haven't given you an okay to exercise in "cold" weather either you haven't told them you exercise in "cold" weather or you need a new care provider.

For me this is first-hand knowledge - I had a triple bypass over a decade back after an MI on a bike ride. My cardiologist and cardiac therapist have placed few limits on what exercise I can do. Winter weather and sub-freezing temperatures have NEVER been a concern from them. And I know the cardiac therapist is aware of my exercise regime - he follows me on Strava and regularly gives and comments. Lately he is suggesting I break one of the few limits they gave me and start training so I can ski the Birkie with him.

That article is okay for what it is intended for (raising awareness) but no one should be making any exercise changes based on it.
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Old 12-08-22, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
First of all, your examples sucked because they basically ran counter to the point you were trying to make (I can run up and down the stairs all day if I want exercise), but otherwise, wow, that's some pretty good sophistry you got going on. You are actually telling me that the main concern of an article entitled "Exercising in Cold Weather" is not exercising in cold weather but the effects of cold weather itself!?
Well, yeah.

I'm assuming you didn't read the article. Or if you did you didn't pay attention. The title and end conclusion aren't actually based on the science the article refers to. The actual studies do not discuss exercise at all. They study the effects of cold weather to mortality and other health indicators and outcomes. The actual conclusions of said studies are that cold weather increases mortality. But no mention of exercise.

​​​​​​​That's just utter nonsense.. So no, it's not about just going outside, it's about exertion in cold weather which will clearly exacerbate those CV/respiration effects endemic to breathing in cold air, exposure, etc. Absolutely no one has stated that you should not go outside as merely taking a walk or similar exertion is not going to have those add-on effects.
The science does. It's all about the cold weather. It's unclear whether exercise has an added effect because the studies referenced in the article do not discuss that. But perhaps you know better as exertion clearly exacerbate or whatever..


​​​​​​​As far as hypothermic effects, this is obviously a much bigger concern when one is exerting oneself. News flash, people exerting themselves breathe in more cold air and exhale more of their body heat and moisture than people just walking leisurely and their heart rates and blood pressure are also going to increase more than just the increase in baseline effects of the cold air on non-exerting people.
Umm... so uuh.. people heat up when they move. The more they move the more they heat up. So if breathing during exercise was actually going to cause hypothermia you'd need to be A) severely under dressed and/or B) it'd needs to be extremely cold out. Like, insanely cold.

I'm getting the feeling you're not well versed with cold weather.

​​​​​​​The recommendation that people with heart and/or lung problems should probably prefer warmer environment exercise does not seem at all controversial . My only point was that you set up a false dichotomy (straw man) where that meant being sedentary vs. exercising outdoors, and now you're going through the mental gymnastics above to try to avoid your obvious logical fallacy. To do that, you've had to completely fabricate an elaborate argument that absolutely no one has made. Please show me where ANYONE has said that these effects are so pronounced that some people shouldn't go outside for any purpose whatsoever other than exercise.
I feel that you wanted believe I wrote something that you could slap away so hard that you didn't actually comprehend what I wrote. But having seen some of your other "discussions" here that wouldn't be the first. Or perhaps you just got triggered by the elliptical. But the fact remains that if you have a serious cardiovascular condition then you should be careful during the cold season. If you don't you should NOT limit your outside activities and daily active lifestyle just because it's cold out. That decrease in daily activity will have a larger negative impact than the cold will. Partly because being active and exercising directly combats against the health risks cold weather increases.

Now if you're a freezy kitten (it's a direct translation of a saying) and don't like the cold, well then you don't. Just don't use "health concerns" as an excuse why you can't go winter cycling or running or whatever. You just don't want to. And that's fine too.

​​​​​​​As to my own case, I already have lung damage. I'm not particularly interested in testing the exact boundary where the intense inhalation of cold air causes me discomfort or worse, thank you. I'm perfectly comfortable breathing below freezing air for hours at a walking pace, but I don't enjoy cycling at such a low intensity and I'm able to be much more intense indoors without having to play with these factors.
Haven't damaged my lungs yet even pushing zone 5 at -40. Can't really avoid the zones 4 or 5 when XC-skiing.


​​​​​​​I really don't think I should have to explain that winter cycling presents particular issues with dressing just warm enough to deal with increased wind chill due to the speed and balancing that against the hazards and discomforts of over-dressing, that seems rather obvious and well besides the point I was making.
Eh. Only if you want to be aerodynamic. I don't so dressing warmly enough but not too warmly isn't at all difficult. Layering and swapping layers helps. I usually sligthly overdress when going out so I'm not at all cold when I start moving and remove a layer after I start feeling just a tiny bit hot. That has worked fine for rides up to six hours.

Back on the topic of the article I did have a good laugh about the mention that up to 50% of top level XC-skiers, hockey players etc. have exercise induced asthma. I mean, of course they do. Salbutamol is a fantastic doping drug so of course you want to use it if you can (XC skiing is just as dirty as cycling). The naivete of that statement in the article was almost endearing.
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