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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-17-17, 01:14 PM   #1
TimothyH
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Winter Survival Kit

I'm not talking about being stranded in a blizzard and having to eat your own leg.

Interested rather, in essentials you bring during winter, things you would not bring during warmer months.

  • Chapstick/Blistex is essential for me.
  • Nivea hand creme in a small 1oz bottle for very long rides.
  • Chemical hand warmer, not only for hands and feet but I've used them to defrost my glasses once when I lived up north.
Is there anything essential to your winter riding?


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Old 11-17-17, 08:00 PM   #2
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spare balaclava for when the first one gets soaked. also spare knit cap or beanie in case I don't need a balaclava
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Old 11-17-17, 09:30 PM   #3
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Lip balm and moisturizer, for sure. Post ride some Remy Martin VSOP works.
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Old 11-18-17, 06:29 AM   #4
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I don't really have anything that is winter-specific. The attire is what changes, obviously, but when it's super cold I'll break open some chemical warmers before I leave the house.
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Old 11-18-17, 07:58 AM   #5
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fire making stuff

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Old 11-18-17, 04:55 PM   #6
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fire making stuff
That video is what got me thinking.

My glassed fogged up pretty bad at one point the other night. Not a problem as it was about 45 f but I thought about them freezing and it prompted me to consider what I need to bring in case I am far from home and/or away from modern conveniences.

What do you recommend to start a fire?

If I get stranded, can I cook my leg on the fire?


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Old 11-18-17, 08:16 PM   #7
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What do you recommend to start a fire?
cpl fire starter sticks, cpl pieces of kindling sticks, some paper, matches or cigarette lighter. should all fit in a regular ziplock sandwich bag. hopefully you're riding in an area w fuel, aka sticks, leaves & branches. for awhile I was doing some remote winter hikes & also brought a small vile of lighter fluid. for that little fire I used some paper I had with me & twigs & leaves & pine needles, then small tiny branches & slightly thicker pieces. airflow is key. proper layering is helpful & also plan to keep one side kinda open to add more paper or kindling at the beginning. after it's going everything you add goes outside on top leaning up to promote burn & updraft. always have a way to extinguish w water & leave no trace. those googles had fog that froze & wouldn't wipe off. I needed a dry air source but no hair dryer to be found

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Old 11-20-17, 06:16 PM   #8
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For fire starting I would recommend a magnesium/flint scrape off fire starter.
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Old 11-21-17, 01:07 AM   #9
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Extra layer (wool or synthetic, depending on temperature), extra glove liners. Rain stuff if there's a chance of non-frozen precipitation. If it's not ski goggle weather yet, extra glasses (wear clear or tinted, and pack the other.) If it's going to be very cold, a cigarette lighter. I'm more likely to bring backup lights.

I used to carry chemical warmers, but I never used them - it's probably time to pick up another pair.

Never needed lotion, though winter is the only time my skin is not a greasy mess. Humidity and I do not play well together.
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Old 11-21-17, 10:59 AM   #10
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Not much difference for me; like @mcours2006 the difference is what I wear.


Chapstick? Well, yes, but I carry that for sun protection in the summer, too. Lotion or moisturizer can wait until I get home. If it's below 25F I only ride to and from work, so no need for chemical hand warmers.


About the only change is that I'll stop at a convenience store on a long weekend ride for something like a fruit turnover instead of trying to gnaw a cold energy bar. My crowns thank me for that.
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Old 11-26-17, 03:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I'm not talking about being stranded in a blizzard and having to eat your own leg.

Interested rather, in essentials you bring during winter, things you would not bring during warmer months.

  • Chapstick/Blistex is essential for me.
  • Nivea hand creme in a small 1oz bottle for very long rides.
  • Chemical hand warmer, not only for hands and feet but I've used them to defrost my glasses once when I lived up north.
Is there anything essential to your winter riding?


-Tim-
REI stainless steel vacuum flask that fits into the bike bottle cage. Carry warm water with lemon juice in it or tea. Also, keeps water from freezing when really cold.

Small backpackers LED headlamp for fixing flat tire in the dark.
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Old 11-26-17, 05:07 PM   #12
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I just make sure I have enough layers on to where I'm not sweating on my ride but I'm not freezing by the time I'm down with the workout (e.g. let's say I did a ftp effort for an hour and then had to do a huge climb to get back, I'm gonna make sure if I do go super slowly up then I won't freeze to death).
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Old 11-26-17, 06:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
What do you recommend to start a fire?
Forget the commercial firestarters sticks. Get a fire starter like this one or this one and carry cotton balls that have been covered in Vaseline. Pull the ball apart a bit and strike on top of the cotton. It burns hot and fast but long enough to get wood going quickly.
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Old 12-05-17, 02:27 PM   #14
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water

was riding this weekend & thought about this thread cuz I was on the trail that I made that fire on. Saturday, I forgot my prepped bike water bottles at home so only had 1 convenience store type bottle of water. worked out OK for a cpl hrs of riding in 36-40 degrees, but it occurred me, we were discussing fire, but let's remember why one might want a fire. meaning: water &/or the ability to melt snow to make drinkable water. or I guess if you find stream water, a fire could warm & or purify it (boiling). so, in addition to fire making, something to melt snow in, &/or boil water in. wonder what climbers on Everest use

or maybe just a metal cup would suffice
https://www.amazon.com/GSI-Outdoors-.../dp/B003LDKNZ0

was eyeballing this running water thinking how clean it might be. but in the end was too lazy & not desperate enough to climb down anyway. it sure sounded good tho. babbling brook, etc


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Old 12-05-17, 09:06 PM   #15
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There is no way to know how clean a stream might be by looking at it.

Even a stream flowing out of a federally protected wilderness area with zero development might harbor giardia from animals. It isn't worth the risk unless you are in a life or death situation.

Sawyer, Platypus, MSR and other brands make cheap, reliable filters. I bring one when I am deep in the woods, summer or winter.


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Old 12-06-17, 12:07 PM   #16
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An extra layer, maybe a shell. Spare gloves sometimes, chem warmers, always a cell phone. Thermos of cocoa is nice too.
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Old 12-06-17, 01:49 PM   #17
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As others have said, I like to have a spare pair of socks, gloves, and a spare knit hat. Also a spare battery pack for the phone. Debit card, credit card or cash for purchases (hot chocolate, tea, etc). Worst case scenario, Uber account up to date on my phone, in case I need an emergency ride home and I can't contact anyone I know to rescue me.
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Old 12-07-17, 05:51 AM   #18
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An extra layer, maybe a shell. Spare gloves sometimes, chem warmers, always a cell phone. Thermos of cocoa is nice too.
I like the cocoa idea. Looks like we may have snow sat afternoon. I'll need to heat up some cocoa and go for a ride. Just for the adventure of drinking cocoa out on a bike ride while snowing. Thanks.
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Old 12-07-17, 06:14 AM   #19
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Just winter clothing. I carry all I need all the time. I have enough gear to always add or subtract at least one layer. Oops- also spare taillight, spare headlight battery. Complete spare headlight. Around 22f the batteries can go to half normal run times. Have spares in the summer, but on rides over 100 miles when it will get below freezing I mount the spare lights on the bike so all I have to do is turn them on, instead of stopping to get them out of my bag.

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Old 12-07-17, 09:41 AM   #20
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may have snow sat afternoon
hints of that down here too. if I was gonna be around I would seek it out & ride in it! however, I'll be driving back from D.C. w son since his internship is over
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Old 12-07-17, 09:42 AM   #21
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rides over 100 miles when it will get below freezing
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Old 12-07-17, 12:52 PM   #22
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My go to is 1/2 coffee, 1/2 cocoa. Also some kind of card with a mag stripe, atms always have the heat cranking for a quick warm up.
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Old 12-07-17, 06:51 PM   #23
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It's a mini vacation. Like going skiing for a day.
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Old 12-07-17, 07:58 PM   #24
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I just thought of one--a pair of nail clippers for removing a piece of metal/wire so fine that it can't be done with your bare fingers.

I had a flat this week whereby such a piece of short metal wire punctured the tire and the tube. I found the puncture easily but had a hard time removing the piece of metal. There was no point in replacing the tube until that piece of metal was removed. Even tweezers offer enough grip or force to pull it out, but a pair of nail clippers did the job.
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Old 12-07-17, 08:06 PM   #25
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I carry a leatherman squirt for tasks like that, also has some additional tools that are useful.

https://www.leatherman.com/squirt-ps4-22.html
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