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First Road Cycling Winter

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

First Road Cycling Winter

Old 11-13-19, 08:37 PM
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500lbman
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First Road Cycling Winter

Hey y'all I'm new to road cycling this year. I'm totally addicted and think about riding all the time. BUT, the cold weather just got here. I've been ramping up my riding all summer. Now with daylight savings time gone and colder temps outside my opportunities to ride once or twice during the week are gone.

All you 9 to 5'ers: When do you find time to ride during the week? I try to ride every Saturday and Sunday, but I want to fit in 1 or 2 rides during the week.

Also, I'm realizing I'll need a lot more layers to ride in the cold. Any recommendations for keeping your feet warm?
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Old 11-13-19, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 500lbman View Post
Hey y'all I'm new to road cycling this year. I'm totally addicted and think about riding all the time. BUT, the cold weather just got here. I've been ramping up my riding all summer. Now with daylight savings time gone and colder temps outside my opportunities to ride once or twice during the week are gone.

All you 9 to 5'ers: When do you find time to ride during the week? I try to ride every Saturday and Sunday, but I want to fit in 1 or 2 rides during the week.

Also, I'm realizing I'll need a lot more layers to ride in the cold. Any recommendations for keeping your feet warm?
You'll find lots of information in the Winter Cycling subforum.

Also, it's quite possible to ride in the dark. Excellent lights are available. Usually the simple lights that you find in the LBS are not good enough, though some shops stock the better brighter varieties. There are lots of options available online.
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Old 11-14-19, 05:52 AM
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I've worked at home for over 20 years, easy to sneak in lunch time bike rides. But, when I worked in an office, I was able to do so at some jobs (the onces with a shower/locker room and cultures where lots of people exercised at lunch) once or twice per week.

For a few years I bike commuted and tried to do so in the winter when there was no precipitation in the forecast. I bought a pair of Sealskinz socks that kept my feet toasty - too warm for me it turns out, but my feet almost never feel cold.

I did not like biking in the dark on the roads I had to use to get to work, so stopped commuting once the clocks changed. For weekend biking, I've found that those socks are too warm for me - I pretty much found I don't enjoy biking around freezing or below and my feet are fine with regular socks down to that point, too warm with the those socks on.
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Old 11-14-19, 07:03 AM
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[QUOTE=500lbman;21207928
All you 9 to 5'ers: When do you find time to ride during the week? I try to ride every Saturday and Sunday, but I want to fit in 1 or 2 rides during the week.

Also, I'm realizing I'll need a lot more layers to ride in the cold. Any recommendations for keeping your feet warm?[/QUOTE]

I commute 25 miles/day. Keeps me fit and it's quicker than driving.
For keeping my feet warm, I just bought a pair of Shimano MW5 winter cycling boots. They keep my feet warm even when wet, although I did just buy a pair of velotoze to see if they help keep them a bit drier when it's bucketing down.
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Old 11-14-19, 07:51 AM
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I bike commute. With today's LED lights and lithium batteries, night riding is easier and safer than ever before!
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Old 11-14-19, 08:35 AM
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Another +1 for bike commuting! If the commute isn't enough, there are probably some other routes that will work.

Riding in the dark is fine with good lights/reflective gear. Sure, I'm not going to do a fast, twisty descent on a two-lane highway with no shoulder in the dark. A nice straight road with a shoulder can be great fun (especially in low traffic with views of the night sky); I just take descents a bit slower because it's harder to see road obstructions. I've also done lower speed urban streets with little congestion (though the stop and go can be annoying) and suburban bike lanes.
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Old 11-14-19, 09:24 AM
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I concur with BobbyG and wipekitty above. Especially during the winter months...I will occassionally go for nighttime rides (there are times I'll set out at 10:30-11:00pm). Not as long as my daytime rides, but I have a five-mile circuit that I ride on the backroads and side streets near my house. I'll ususally just do three or four laps...but it's something...if I didn't get to ride in daylight. Even if I set out earlier...7pm or 8pm...I'll sometimes not encounter a single car. With the appropriate lighting it can be fine. And the lights I have are nothing special, but work fine for my needs...they're just Schwinn rechargeable LEDs that I picked up at a department store. I use reflective gear too. If you decide to ride in the dark, I would also suggest that you get to know the roads in the daylight first. Know if/where the rough spots and potholes, and patches of sand/gravel are. Those obstacles come up on you much quicker in the dark. Another thing to consider...if you have a flat, or other mechanical issue that requires pickup from a family/friend "SAG"...at that late hour they might be in their jammies, or even in bed already. Consequently, you may need to walk home. So, a circuit near your house makes it easier.

Dan

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Old 11-14-19, 09:42 AM
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Bike commuting. Dress for it. Although all things considered, OP, if you're in Texas....you shouldn't need that many layers. If my lows were in the 40s and highs in the mid-50s; at most I'd only need maybe a pair of medium bib-tights, maybe some toe/shoe covers, and a medium-weight cycling jacket in the morning.

Then again Last week it hit 15F in the morning, and reached a balmy high of 25F, and with a 20MPH Plains surface wind--and I was on my bike.
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Old 11-14-19, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
You'll find lots of information in the Winter Cycling subforum.

Also, it's quite possible to ride in the dark. Excellent lights are available. Usually the simple lights that you find in the LBS are not good enough, though some shops stock the better brighter varieties. There are lots of options available online.
Ditto

Winter forum:
https://www.bikeforums.net/winter-cycling/

Also see the Lighting forum.
https://www.bikeforums.net/electroni...hting-gadgets/
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Old 11-14-19, 11:29 AM
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Commuting daily gives me close to 200 km a week without much fanfare. When weather is good some buddies and I will go out on the weekend and get in another 50-80 km. As for cold weather, layering, and especially with windproof shell, insulated shoes, face cover with a large visor or goggles, and good gloves.
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Old 11-14-19, 02:23 PM
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I sometimes throw my bike on the car & on my way home, stop at a paved trail, for an hour or two, of safe, night riding. it's just spooky enough & safe enough to keep me interested. it's a good place to experiment w/ lights & cold weather gear
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Old 11-14-19, 02:29 PM
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I commute by bike almost every day. My alternative mode is not a car but the subway. A fixed gear bike is nice for winter, as it keeps you warm, gives you extra conditioning, and it gives you a faster workout. I commuted on a fixie exclusively one winter long ago. And even though the weather can be bad, my outlook is that a bad day on the bike is better than a day off the bike. That's what I tell myself so I'll head out the door with the bike. I never regret riding, but I often regret not riding.
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Old 11-14-19, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 500lbman View Post
Any recommendations for keeping your feet warm?
I use shoe covers. When it goes below freezing, I put a catalytic toe warmer between a liner sock and the outer wool sock. You need some air circulation for the catalytic warmer to work; I've found the neoprene shoe covers seal too well, and the oxygen needed for the catalytic warmer gets depleted. I have an old set of insulated nylon shoe covers that allow some air penetration.
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Old 11-14-19, 07:36 PM
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Buy the very best equipment u can afford. The cold is awful the wind will eat u up. Cover feet ears hands or u are doomed.
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Old 11-14-19, 08:23 PM
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These days an excellent alternative is using a trainer or rollers paired with one of the numerous programs to give you structured workouts. As you say you are new to cycling they may be very beneficial to you in working on various skills. High cadence, low cadence high power, and perhaps most importantly intervals, which will help in every phase of your cycling.
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Old 11-15-19, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by waters60 View Post
These days an excellent alternative is using a trainer or rollers paired with one of the numerous programs to give you structured workouts. As you say you are new to cycling they may be very beneficial to you in working on various skills. High cadence, low cadence high power, and perhaps most importantly intervals, which will help in every phase of your cycling.
Agree

I restarted my interest in riding about this time last year. Rode for about 2 months then the cold weather and work conspired to keep me off the bike from November to April. Once I started back in April it was like I was a total beginner. Worked hard over the spring and summer and now with winter back (NE PA) I'm facing the question of what to do. I don't want to ride in the dark and cold but I also don't want to lose the little bit of conditioning I have.

I bought a used fluid trainer off Craigs list and with a few additional add-ons I'm in this for under $200 plus a Zwift account. I'm at least on the bike and spinning the wheels, for now 3 or 4 times per week. I intend to exit this winter in better condition than I was at the peak of this summer. I think it's possible to do that with an indoor trainer. I just have to keep myself motivated.
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Old 11-15-19, 01:28 PM
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Toe warmers for the feet.
https://www.rei.com/product/158982/p...SABEgIvH_D_BwE

And felt insulated foot beds in the shoes.
https://www.zoro.com/little-hotties-...SABEgKbZfD_BwE

A few days ago temps were in the low 30s F but I was well dressed and completely warm the length of the ride. Today was in the mid to low 50s F and I was under dressed and cold, no so fun. It also helps to be young. I remember being 18 y.o. and invulnerable and going out for the evening in flip flops with 5" of snow on the ground.
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Old 11-15-19, 02:59 PM
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Thanks for the great tips all! I found a Wahoo Kickr on sale so I bit the bullet and ordered it. I'm in Dallas so I'll definitely try to ride through the winter, weather permitting, but I know in January/February it'll be hard to ride.
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Old 11-15-19, 03:29 PM
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Riding later in the evening with full lights and no traffic on the road is kind of serene.

That said, I gave up doing that years ago, opting to just get my training in on the trainer. (It also gives me the chance to catch up on TV, since I don't Zwift.)

Also, someone once said there was no bad cycling weather, only bad cycling clothing. Despite having bought tons of cycling winter clothes, I've decided that there is bad cycling weather.
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