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"There's no such thing as bad weather"

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"There's no such thing as bad weather"

Old 11-12-19, 02:04 PM
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ironwood
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"There's no such thing as bad weather"

Sunday's NYTimes had an article on cycling in Copenhagen and it quoted a Danish cyclist; "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing."
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Old 11-12-19, 05:31 PM
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or bad bike choice.

We got 15 cm of snow yesterday that caught everyone off guard, especially drivers. Many people were scrambling to get their snow tires on and were unsuccessful. I saw lots of drivers on the commute home spinning their wheels and struggling to get up the slightest of grades, gridlock at every intersection, cars strewn in all manner of orientation and directions, especially around the highway overpass. So, there's bad weather all right. I had the right bike, and I rode right past all of them, smiling as I went.

In weather like this the roads don't get plowed on time, especially the side roads that I take. I spent most of my time on the sidewalk today where it was mostly plowed. Riding on compacted snow on the road is a dicey business, even with studded tires. Add to that drivers driving like it's still July, and you've got a good recipe for disaster.

Good on the Danes for having the infrastructure that accommodates and encourages people to ride their bikes in any weather. That kind of cycling-centric thinking is never, ever going to happen here.
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Old 11-14-19, 12:18 PM
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I try to live by that saying, but the very coldest days are tough for me. That's mostly due to acclimatization. I don't get enough time to get used to the coldest days before they're done. And if I add far more clothing than I usually use, it often ends up being too much, and I get super irritable when I overheat.

My lobster claw gloves are great, best gloves so far.

I have a skiing helmet which is so warm that I barely ever wear it.

I still haven't solved the problem for my feet, but I suppose I should at least wear my warmest pants. That might help my feet.
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Old 11-14-19, 03:55 PM
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I think that's a generally Scandinavian saying. I've heard it from Norwegians.
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Old 11-15-19, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Chinghis View Post
I think that's a generally Scandinavian saying. I've heard it from Norwegians.
I take it the Scandinavians brought the saying to Minnesota, as I think I heard it on Prairie Home Companion.
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Old 11-15-19, 01:06 PM
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@noglider, In terms of the coldest days being tough for you, can you elaborate?

I'm interested because I'm considering taking your advice this winter and "starting cold." The cold days might be tough for me, too, at least at first
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Old 11-15-19, 01:22 PM
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I mean there are five or ten days per year that are colder than all the rest. It's hard to get comfortable then.

Another possible approach is to dress in such a way that you'll be comfortable after five or ten minutes of riding. This will make you cold when you start out. Before you start, do some jumping jacks inside to make some heat. Then the excess heat will keep you warm when you start riding, and the riding will keep that level of heat.
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Old 11-15-19, 05:01 PM
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As I've written in other threads, on the coldest days, like -20*C and below, the biggest challenge is keeping the fingers and toes from going numb. I use the chemical heat packs on both and they help immensely. Mittens work much better than gloves. The fingers keep each other warm, and if you have a warming pack in there, it is quite bearable. I haven't found a solution for my poor thumb yet. The heat pack on top of the toes works well, but the shoes need to have enough room in the toe area to accommodate this.

The rest of the body is pretty straight forward. Wick. Layer. Block. Just add more layers.
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Old 11-15-19, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
or bad bike choice.

We got 15 cm of snow yesterday that caught everyone off guard, especially drivers. Many people were scrambling to get their snow tires on and were unsuccessful. I saw lots of drivers on the commute home spinning their wheels and struggling to get up the slightest of grades, gridlock at every intersection, cars strewn in all manner of orientation and directions, especially around the highway overpass. So, there's bad weather all right. I had the right bike, and I rode right past all of them, smiling as I went.

In weather like this the roads don't get plowed on time, especially the side roads that I take. I spent most of my time on the sidewalk today where it was mostly plowed. Riding on compacted snow on the road is a dicey business, even with studded tires. Add to that drivers driving like it's still July, and you've got a good recipe for disaster.

Good on the Danes for having the infrastructure that accommodates and encourages people to ride their bikes in any weather. That kind of cycling-centric thinking is never, ever going to happen here.
I am glad I took my bike instead of driving. I rode my fixed gear bike with skinny aggressive cx tires, and had no problem getting through all that snow and slush. It was a fun commute for sure.
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Old 11-19-19, 07:51 PM
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Dunno about that "no bad weather" thing, at least in Calgary... it's currently puking down snow that is melting and then refreezing into a spectacularly disgusting and difficult to navigate mess.

I'm taking the train home...
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Old 11-20-19, 07:38 AM
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"There's no such thing as bad weather"
Originally Posted by Buglady View Post
Dunno about that "no bad weather" thing, at least in Calgary... it's currently puking down snow that is melting and then refreezing into a spectacularly disgusting and difficult to navigate mess.

I'm taking the train home...
I have previously posted to this thread: “Overcoming fear of riding in the cold"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
On the other hand,
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
"When does Hardcore become Stupid?"

Hardcore becomes stupid when it becomes dangerous
Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
"Safety and Winter Cycling"

I have been riding a bike for transportation purposes in New England winters for almost 40 years now. A few things I've observed during that time:

#1 ) A bicycle can be an excellent means of transportation in the winter, even in relatively extreme conditions if the cyclist is well prepared and aware of the limitations and liabilities of winter riding.

#2 ) ...

#3 ) The number of people who will think you are "crazy" for riding to work mid-winter will be much larger than those that roll their eyes when you told them you just rode 100 miles to the company picnic mid-summer.

What this means is that you will have few allies and very few people who understand why you insist on riding a bike in the winter
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Generally I get kudos or just indifference towards my cycling, mostly as a year-round commuter here in Metro Boston, even after my serious accident four years ago.

The most hostile remarks, particularly in Winter, are from those drivers who fear for themselves to hit me.

#4 ) In really bad conditions the only motorized vehicles on the road will be snowplows, emergency vehicles and people in cars who are too stupid to stay home. ..

#5 ) Snowplow drivers are super dangerous.

#6 ) Take the lane and be visible. Drivers often hop into their car after having scraped a small 4" diameter circle in the ice on their windshield and soon the interior of their car windows are fogged to such a degree to turn all drivers into Mr. Magoo.

#7 ) Mid-winter, IMO, is not the time to politicize your bike riding. Take the lane as a necessity but a snow storm is not the time to assert your right to the road in any self-righteous fashion or in a way that can be perceived as such. See point #2 - YOU WILL HAVE FEW ALLIES! This is a fact of life, a reality.

Most people think you're nuts to be out in that weather- even other cyclists. If the bike lane isn't plowed, if the MUP isn't plowed you're entitled to being ticked off about it but be realistic most town/city/state budgets are cash strapped and special plowing for the .0002% of vehicles during a snow emergency may not be a priority right now and that means being prepared to ride in crap.

#8 ) Outfit your bike for winter riding.Having a poorly equipped bike in the winter is the equivalent to the jerk in the car driving on bald tires, old windshield wipers and no defroster.

#9 ) The reality is that people driving their cars are far more dangerous to both themselves and others on the road than a cyclist is in winter conditions

#10) Winter cyclists are definitely marching to the beat of a different drummer.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Not to be a Captain Bringdown on Winter Cycling…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
To handle the nefarious situations of Winter Cycling, see this thread “Emergency Winter Cycling Kit?,” including my measures...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-20-19 at 11:47 AM. Reason: expanded the quote by buzzman...an all-time favorite
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Old 11-20-19, 07:42 AM
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From the land of the Vikings.
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Old 11-20-19, 08:11 AM
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As with everything else, it's all relative. I live in almost-seasonless SoCal, where right outside my window the rain is coming down at ~45º angle, pushed by winds from the SSE. That's bad weather. I could dress appropriately, and any ride would still suck eggs.

The upside is that we will be back to normal by tomorrow afternoon, and I will return to my regularly scheduled programming.
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Old 11-20-19, 12:58 PM
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For a 1-3 mile commute, the Dane might be right.

For even a 7 mile commute, much less longer rides, there's such a thing as bad weather. Could be 55 mph headwind, or a thunderstorm overhead with no shelter in sight, or driving heavy rain right around freezing -- yeah, that's bad weather to be riding in. Good time to snuggle up by the fire (at least until the lights go out and your freezer starts thawing).
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Old 11-20-19, 04:05 PM
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You guys are taking this way too literally. I don't think the Danes even believe this.

There are conditions when you can't ride, like a foot of snow on the road before the plows come though. It's literally unrideable. Like I said earlier, maybe bad bike too.

And yeah, a 12-mile ride in wintry conditions is no joke. I had to battle the elements three out of the five days last week.
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Old 11-23-19, 05:10 PM
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Jim, I have been riding year round in Calgary for twelve years. I haven't owned a car since 2005.

Regurgitation of posts is unnecessary.
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Old 11-25-19, 09:13 AM
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there is such a thing as bad weather
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Old 11-25-19, 01:09 PM
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the weather yesterday was pretty bad. a good day to just skip. can't believe the football pros in NE had to play thru that disaster
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Old 11-25-19, 02:35 PM
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what's the proper clothing for a tornado?
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Old 11-25-19, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
what's the proper clothing for a tornado?
6" of reinforced concrete reportedly survives pretty well.

But don't wear that in heavy rain. You remember all the old gangster movies with references to just cement overshoes, don't you?
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Old 11-25-19, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
what's the proper clothing for a tornado?
An underground bunker.
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Old 11-25-19, 04:17 PM
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I disagree.

Circle takes the Square.

Paul Lynde, please.
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Old 11-26-19, 04:55 AM
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That saying is pure hogwash. Appropriate clothing does make the weather bearable, but in no way does it make the weather itself better. In fact, the need for some other than regular clothing alone is an indication of bad weather.
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Old 11-26-19, 05:07 AM
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Snow storm Sunday possibly plowable- the first for our area. Gotta work all day but someone is gonna be out riding in it I’m sure, hmmm ... maybe I can go for a ride after work!


Last edited by rumrunn6; 11-26-19 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 11-26-19, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
Sunday's NYTimes had an article on cycling in Copenhagen and it quoted a Danish cyclist; "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing."

That may be, but I've decided to draw the line at >45 and rain. I was caught in rain enough this year that I decided to add renders, but I do not have the right clothing for very cold and wet.
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