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One more excuse to skip riding when it's cold

Old 12-05-22, 12:23 PM
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One more excuse to skip riding when it's cold

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
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Old 12-05-22, 12:29 PM
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My cardiologist loves that I ride but cautioned me about riding outdoors in the cold weather. He said it can actually do more harm to my heart than good.
Once the temps drop, I move indoors on the trainer. I've had one heart attack already, not looking forward to any more.
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Old 12-05-22, 12:32 PM
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How do the Scandinavian/Nordic people manage to not die?

I go to the gym and ride a stationary bike/class or do something else. The gym always has good scenery.
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Old 12-05-22, 12:41 PM
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Precisely why, during this time of year, I drive my Hummer a half a mile to my warm. cozy local bar to watch football. Preferably the team with the best record in the NFL.
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Old 12-05-22, 12:51 PM
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any idea what they consider 'cold'? I rode in 40F weather last week and was fine, except the tips of my fingers froze almost immediately. Thicker gloves would probably solve the issue.
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Old 12-05-22, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Precisely why, during this time of year, I drive my Hummer a half a mile to my warm. cozy local bar to watch football. Preferably the team with the best record in the NFL.
Cold weather is also bad for your Hummer. You should let it warm up for 15 minutes before you drive to the bar, and leave it running while you're there.

Last edited by tomato coupe; 12-05-22 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 12-05-22, 01:07 PM
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For me there is cold and there is cold/wet. In places with high humidity, the humidity compounds the temperature.
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Old 12-05-22, 01:11 PM
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What temperature is considered "cold"? In So Cal, anything less than 50, and the natives are bundled up with thick jackets. In MN, that's t-shirt weather.
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Old 12-05-22, 01:17 PM
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Whatever. They can pry my bike from my cold dead fingers.
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Old 12-05-22, 01:20 PM
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Challenge is one thing. Strain is something else. Damage, beyond that.

Can sometimes be hard to know which is which, with a given activity. One nice thing about conditioning and fitness, though, is that (in general) it helps raise one's threshold and guards against such threats better than if one is less fit.

Back in the day, I used to run distances. Often quite hard. But in the colder times of the year, it'd be with appropriate clothing only, and it'd be at a pace and intensity more-suited to the situation. While at the time I'd never heard of cold weather being any more of a threat to heart, lungs or anything else, it made sense that the added stresses cold could impose would, at some point, be an unwarranted risk. And so I'd typically ratchet-down the intensity on such days. If for no other reason than avoiding the icy-cold part of the impact on the lungs, cardio-heavy that running is. Nicely, such overall fitness stood me in good stead during back-country hiking, ocean swimming and a host of other outdoor activities in less-than-hospitable conditions. I doubt I'd have survived half of the bad days, on such excursions, had I not been that fit and trained in anticipation of such days.

Pros and cons, as with anything we do.
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Old 12-05-22, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Precisely why, during this time of year, I drive my Hummer a half a mile to my warm. cozy local bar to watch football. Preferably the team with the best record in the NFL.
My daughter is a freshman in college and plays in the band. I've been to 4 games this year.
50's, sunny but windy.
50s, rainy/windy.
40s, sunny and windy.
60, overcast and windy.
I couldn't get the clothing right. I was cold at every one of them wishing I was watching on TV. The wind is what makes it hard to dress for.
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Old 12-05-22, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat
My daughter is a freshman in college and plays in the band. I've been to 4 games this year.
50's, sunny but windy.
50s, rainy/windy.
40s, sunny and windy.
60, overcast and windy.
I couldn't get the clothing right. I was cold at every one of them wishing I was watching on TV. The wind is what makes it hard to dress for.
It's the wind. I hate the wind. Especially when I'm on a bike....unless it's a tailwind. It's never a tailwind.

What part of the world is your daughter's school?
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Old 12-05-22, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
It's the wind. I hate the wind. Especially when I'm on a bike....unless it's a tailwind. It's never a tailwind.

What part of the world is your daughter's school?
The 50s, rain game was brutal. It was a 3:30 start. We had to stay for the after game performance. By that time, it was cold! The daughter is a James Madison University MRD in Harrisonburg VA. If you want to march in the band in college, JMU is one of, if not the best places to go. The band is going to Italy this year to perform for the Pope. ESPN Game Day has been there twice when they were an FCS school. They were thinking about going there again this year, but Appy State lost the week or two before the JMU game.


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Old 12-05-22, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
What temperature is considered "cold"? In So Cal, anything less than 50, and the natives are bundled up with thick jackets. In MN, that's t-shirt weather.
Things are relative. Back in my 50s Id go out on dawn patrol with our teenage sons and their friends. There would be frost on the roofs.

Those days are gone, but it was so weird for the water, in the dead of winter, to be warmer than the sand.

John
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Old 12-05-22, 02:12 PM
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I sweat a lot, so the only thing that keeps me home is the risk of having to stop (for a puncture, especially). After the first 5-7 minutes of the ride, I'm warmed up, but I know I have to keep pedaling or the sweat will freeze on me. In the cold, an uphill, just ahead, can be a welcome sight. I breathe slowly, to keep the air warm in my nasal passages, upper lungs. This gets back to what Clyde1820 was saying about limiting the intensity. (I'll add duration to that equation).
Moreover, if I was to experience a mechanical difficulty that I could not remedy, I'd be walking back whatever distance I rode, because I do not carry any wireless devices.

Last edited by 1989Pre; 12-06-22 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 12-05-22, 02:20 PM
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I will say this like in any situation do things in moderation and know your limits. If it is colder than maybe don't go as hard but saying it is harmful is silly because there are tons of winter sports and activities that people do and thrive on.

Just be aware of your own body and if you don't feel comfortable being outside don't and if you do, do it, you will be OK.

Last edited by TMonk; 12-07-22 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 12-05-22, 03:05 PM
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You are too funny. There is nothing wrong exercising in cold weather.
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Old 12-05-22, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
I am not saying cold dry air is good for you it isn't but I think framing it in a way that it is totally bad is not fair. It is fine in moderation. Obviously athletes take a greater toll on their bodies but if you are just having a nice ride and not going crazy or trying to hit the KOM things on a daily basis in the weather there isn't a ton of harm.

I also don't mean to attack Mirkin the quip I made was a joke. I wouldn't compare him to Oz (and I know you weren't suggesting that and were responding to someone else), Oz is a medical fraud and complete quack. Plus he is another denier of the Armenian Genocide but this could devolve into P&R quickly so I will stop on that.

I think you just have to take his advice with some usage of the brain and make sure you are doing what is right for you. If you have a lot of health conditions then yeah don't go out if you don't be smart about your body and you will be fine.

I think it's pretty obvious that these factors are going to affect some people pretty badly and others pretty much not at all. I've noticed that as I developed some health issues in the last couple years that are directly related to the issues on that list, I was a lot less enthusiastic about riding in sub-50 degree weather. Having seen this article, I now think my body was telling me something, and I should listen to it rather than trying tp "tough it out".
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Old 12-05-22, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
What temperature is considered "cold"? In So Cal, anything less than 50, and the natives are bundled up with thick jackets. In MN, that's t-shirt weather.
Heh. When I did Cycle Oregon in 2002 we camped on a cattle ranch in eastern OR the first night. I was in the beer garden when it was probably upper 40s. People used to that weather were sitting around in shorts, sandals and mid weight tops. Didnt seem to phase them at all. Being from the east coast, I thought they were nuts. That night it got below freezing. When I awoke, there was ice on my tent poles and fly.
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Old 12-05-22, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
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
The article is absolute nonsense...and BTW we just had a thread about a guy who died on his indoor trainer.
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Old 12-05-22, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
What temperature is considered "cold"? In So Cal, anything less than 50, and the natives are bundled up with thick jackets. In MN, that's t-shirt weather.
One of the funniest things I saw when living in So. Cal. was someone putting a dog sweater on their Malamute when it dipped below 50. It was probably the only time that the dog actually would have been comfortable.
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Old 12-05-22, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
What temperature is considered "cold"?.
Cold is an illusion that plays tricks on human mind and prevents them from getting outdoors and enjoying life....I live in Canada and I have never yet encountered a temperature that was too cold to ride.
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Old 12-05-22, 04:58 PM
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As I read the article, it seems that cold weather is dangerous to people who already have heart or lung problems. I've always exercised in winter.... skiing, both alpine and x/c, snowshoeing, skating, pond hockey when I was young, etc. As far as biking in cold weather, a few years ago minus 10 Celsius or 14 Fahrenheit, was my limit. Now it's about 0 Celsius, or freezing.

Dress warmly.

Last edited by ironwood; 12-05-22 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 12-05-22, 05:09 PM
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I have been riding bicycles, skating and skiing in the winter for well more than a half century and I’m going to continue to as long as I can.
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Old 12-05-22, 06:30 PM
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It appears that some here did not read the article. Specifically, the Tips for Outdoor Exercise in Cold Weather:

​​​​
  • If you have heart disease, your doctor probably will recommend that you should not exercise outdoors in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Exercising in cold weather can cause chest pain in some people who have no problems when they exercise in warm weather...Cold hands will not cause chest pain, but a cold face can.
  • Wear a silk or loosely-woven polyester inner layer that wicks sweat away from your body...The outer layer material should be tightly woven so it blocks the wind...Winter jackets do not need to be heavy, they just need to provide insulation and a barrier from wind and rain.
  • You feel cold most in your fingers, ears and toes, so be sure to cover these areas.
  • To help keep your hands warm on cold days, wear mittens that do not let wind or water in...If your hands still feel cold, swing your arms around rapidly from your shoulders with your elbows straight.
And the My Recommendations section:

If you suffer from heart or lung disease, you should be very careful about exercising in cold weather. Breathing dry cold air constricts arteries and increases clotting to increase heart attack risk, and constricts bronchial tubes to reduce oxygen intake through the lungs. When the temperature drops, people with known heart disease or lung disease are safer exercising indoors where they can breathe warmer air.
Seems to be pretty sensible, reasonable, and science-based advice.
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