How Cold and Wet Does It Have To Be Before you Cancel A Bike Ride?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by SierraSlim, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. JoelTGM

    JoelTGM New Member

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    Yeah but when I tried today the snow is all compacted into incredibly uneven ice, and riding on it I kept on nearly falling, and at one point going down a hill I had no control and ended up in the wrong lane! So um, maybe I'll try "experiencing the weather" tomorrow on foot, bikes aren't welcome here in the winter time :(
     


  2. midtoad

    midtoad New Member

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    It's -30C today here in Calgary (-37C with the windchill, which is about the same in degrees F), and I rode my bike to work same as every other day of the year. Oh ya, the roads are either covered in brownsnow or else sheer ice.
     
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  3. shannej

    shannej New Member

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    I cycled this morning -12C (? 10F). It wasn't too bad because there was no wind. Last night, about the same temperature with a slight wind was much less comfortable. I change my route in cold weather. I will cycle a bit longer make sure I don't have long downhills and I make sure I choose well-lit streets so I can see any ice on the road in order to avoid it. And of course I dress for warmth, goretex booties, windproof pants, wool long underwear, mitts over my gloves and earwarmers.
     
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  4. stelin29

    stelin29 New Member

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    I used commute 10 mi. each way in Champain, IL for 3 years. Pretty cold in the winter, but who cares.

    1. Grew a beard in winter.
    2. Used a Zipper fairing to block the cold.
    3. Wrote a clothing chart for 5-10 degree increments to balance too hot from too cold.
    4. Had quick release fenders for wet roads.

    Used to ride down to 15 deg. F. Very invigorating.

    Now live in CA. What a bunch of whimps.
     
  5. stelin29

    stelin29 New Member

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    Righteous.
     
  6. baker3

    baker3 New Member

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    Exactly my thoughts, if it's not to hot, its to damn cold - some people have never heard of winter clothing like wind/water proof jackets and gloves /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif
     
  7. bigpedaler

    bigpedaler New Member

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    Two winters ago, I set a PR for my coldest ride -- 9 miles in -5F, 35mph winds. Commute, one way, and it HURT! But I did it.

    Won't ride if my knobbies vanish in the snow, or if it's slick.
     
  8. GaerneShoes

    GaerneShoes New Member

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  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Both, cold and wet, then I'm not riding outdoors.
     
  10. khavok

    khavok New Member

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    I spent 5 years in the late 80's as a bike messenger in San Francisco.
    It should be noted for those NOT familiar with S.F., that Mark Twain was
    reputed to have claimed "The coldest winter I ever spent, was a summer
    in San Francisco."
    To that end rainy days as a bike messenger, are days when you can make
    a great deal more money due to others staying in and not riding. I commute daily even still
    on a bicycle. That means rainy days too.
    Before my parents moved from the Connecticut, I took my mountain bike back with me
    for a Christmas visit. Christmas week it snowed and I headed to some trails I new of in New Haven.
    I spent the afternoon riding in the snow for hours. It was some of the most fun I have ever had on
    a bicycle or off!

    I guess that all boils down to that I haven't yet reached a temperature low or a rain wet
    enough to keep me from riding.

    Though there are days I wish that had driven.
     
  11. Smart Mule

    Smart Mule New Member

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    SierraSlim,

    A good place to get less expensive gear for winter riding is www.sierratradingpost.com... you have to watch for things to go on sale and for free shipping but I got a few really cool items from there. Also, you don't need to spend extra $$$'s on tights with padding -- just put your summer shorts on underneath. Remember to dress in layers, too, because there is nothing worse than getting cold because you have SWEATED by dressing too warm for the weather.
     
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  12. BikerGerb

    BikerGerb New Member

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    Hey Slim!

    I have ridden as cold as -10. I certainly was dressed well enough for it. With my present equipment I commute (on a bike trail, 12 miles one way) down to 10. I have recently bought NEOS overshoes so I am hoping to drop that limit a bit.

    I love riding the dirt roads to the west of my small town. I get out in farm country. I know all the farm dogs and have fun playing little games with them. There is Bernie the Beagle (I have a hard time out running him) Bertha the St. Bernard (fun to watch her lumber along), and then there is my new pal - Stealth. Last Sat he was nipping at my ankles before I knew he was there! I have never met a dog that didn't bark as they were chasing something!

    I have made my own studded tires using screws and duct tape so I don't worry about the ice much.
     
  13. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    Holy COW, Gerb!

    You're a better man than I am, lol. Er... a better biker, anywho. I'm trying to talk myself into going if it gets down to 40 or maybe even 30. Any lower than that, and Sierra will be sipping cocoa by the fireplace. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drool.gif
     
  14. Daddo

    Daddo Member

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    I ride 6 miles (each way) to work, and have been doing it since January of this year. Although I live in the Daytona Beach area of Central Florida, we do have occasional cold fronts that settle in and stay for a while. Riding for the better part of a month in the mid-twenty degree range was a challenge. But dressing warm enough was not the issue.

    I don't care to ride so slow that I won't perspire under the layers of clothing that my head tells me I need to wear. The best way to stay warm while riding in the cold is to use an effective wind barrier that will not hold in the water vapor that pours off of your skin. My simple solution was to wear a set of Frogg Toggs rain gear.over a pair of sweats. The gear is ultra light and more breathable then Goretex, but it does a credible job of blocking the wind. I do wear a pair of dark gray sweat shorts over the rain suit to protect the light fabric from excessive wear from the saddle.

    The hands? Simple. Mechanics Wear work Gloves under a set of extra large jersey painter's gloves. Who says you can't layer your hands?

    This combination works for me.

    Adios, Larry - Daytona beach, FL
     
  15. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Midlands schmidlands...

    You should try going over t' Pendle Hill and Trough o' Bowland in gale force winds and driving snow. Aye lad, them were t' days when men were men and sheep were scared and all t' poofters moved to Brum.

    That said I farked off to sunny California where we have to "suffer" through 40 something degree days and rain showers. I don't miss the days where your balaclava looks like you just came back from a Polar expedition because all the moisture from your breath froze on the wool or the endless miles sloshing through the slush mounds at the side of the road. I'll gladly deal with the occaisonal bit of road kill or dead bambi to slip on when i've been riding head down a bit too long.
     
  16. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    A couple days ago I rode in 37`f weather, about ten miles, I will not do it again!

    Even with extra clothing it was not a pleasant ride. In fact it was a painful ride with
    painful after effects.

    Maybe in my younger days, but now it is going to be at least in the upper 50's
    before I leave the house.

    Yesterday it was 57`f when I left the house and I did about 30 miles and it was
    a great ride.
     
  17. bikester62

    bikester62 New Member

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    I rode Friday morning - it was 19 degrees and an 18 mph wind - gusting to 30. I rode yesterday , 20 degrees and 9 mph I wore a Nashbar tight under a pair of cheap Target nylon exercise pants, a underlayer shirt, a long sleeved T and a Gortex Phanton jacket. I wore a Balaclava. I was fine - except for the fingers. I haven't solved the cold fingers problem yet.
     
  18. Not Sure

    Not Sure New Member

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    Bueno!

    Yes. Rather than a temperature, I'd say there are weather conditions which preclude a ride on my part.

    #1. LIGHTning. Do not go outdoors when it is lightning in your area, or, you may be very sorry.
    We are somethng like 700x more likely to be hit by lightning than by tornadic wind.

    #2. As has already been stated, hypothermia is REAL.
    It won't matter if you're a Ranger, SEAL or Delta Force, hypothermia will take you out and,
    if you don't get the right treatment, you will stay out.

    other than that, it depends on what my fitness plan calls for. If it says ride 4 hours outdoors, I ride 4 hours outdoors.
     
  19. bikester62

    bikester62 New Member

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    23 degrees and an 18 mph wind today. I over dressed and got too hot. I'm still new enough at this that I have some more sorting out to do. I wore a tight covered by cheap nylon pants from Target; silk long sleeved undershirt, a nylon shirt, a Gore Phantom jacket and an old rain jacket to catch the slop (I forgot to mention that there was a fresh snow overnight, and I have no fenders.) I wore a beanie under a balaclava, and used snow boarding googles. I was too cozy.

    But the adventure is really fun.
     
  20. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    I can't believe y'all ride in that kind of weather! It was only 51 degrees yesterday when I rode, and I nearly FROZE. But I learned a lesson and am shopping today for toe covers, a beanie or something for under my helmet (because my ears were so cold), and a jacket that blocks wind but has breatheable fabric for when I finally warm up, with a high neck and long back. I haven't had a lot of luck finding that in my size around here, but there has to be something out there somewhere.

    Anybody who rides in weather below 40 degrees has my total admiration -- or sympathy, lol.

    Have fun, though!
     
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