is it ok to ride in the cold...

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by greenhornbiker, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Scaremongering? C'mon Tyson. :rolleyes: What is it about the internet that makes people feel like they have to discredit other people's opinions in order for theirs to be listened to. :confused:

    If you feel the OP should just play it by ear, then that's fine. But if 4 other posters feel that the dry, sub-freezing air presents a potential hazard that should be precautioned against, then that's probably also good info for a noob to know. Learn from others' mistakes and all that.
     


  2. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Yes, 4 posters did indeed suffer adverse effects from cycling in the cold. but there are probably hundreds of cyclists who cycle in the cold with no ill effects, and because they are fine cycling in cold weather they don't bother to post.
    So what I'm saying is, start from scratch - find out for yourself what does and does't affect you, bearing in mind you might encounter problems.

    I'm reminded of someone in these forums talking about the heart suddenly giving up the ghost. Yes it does with some people as it did with 2 people I knew personally. But the trouble is believing because it happened to X it's going happen to me.
    If you read the newspapers these days and take to heart what is being said vis-a-vis terrorist attacks, bird flu, killer viruses spreading through hospitals, rising sea levels etc., you would go and lock yourself away on top of a mountain and never come out.

    So to repeat, ignore people who say my buddy died through eating too many Powerbars - be sensible and enjoy your riding. Remember, you have virtually no chance whatsover of winning the lottery.

    That's my 2 yens worth. Tyson ;)
     
  3. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I didn't think my post was scaremongering.
    My one episode last year was mentioned only as a word of caution, but I have never stopped riding in the cold.

    In none of the "scaremongering" posts did anyone say, "absolutely don't ride in cold weather."
     
  4. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    If you feel there's too much scaremongering in your life, I suggest you go back and re-read the OP and the responses to regain some perspective. No one said the OP would fall over dead or get blown up by terrorists from riding in the cold.

    The OP asked if there were any concerns/hazards to be aware of, and 3 people mentioned respiratory issures from riding "too hard" in the cold as a non-obvious one to be aware of. A 4th then suggested carrying a face mask as a precaution, and that's all just plain good sense.

    Google "strawman argument." ;)
     
  5. sidewind

    sidewind New Member

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    I'm cycling (commuting) all year round, and here it sometimes goes to -20 C. No problem due the cold; but this is commuting with a walking or easy jogging level of effort. I'd never make ~FTP level exercises in -20 C. I suppose the temperature limit for XC ski races is -15, and even then all the skiers don't participate, or claim that they just passed through the track.
     
  6. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    I could never do something like that. Once, when the temperatures were close to -20 C, even the deeper breaths that came with climbing a long set of stairs caused me to feel so sick (almost felt like I was going to pass out) that I had to stop for a couple of minutes.
     
  7. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    I see I've upset a few people, so let me rephrase my strong wording.

    Take note of what you read, listen to what people say, but keep in mind there are usually at least 2 sides to every argument. That is, don't take on board something you read or hear without considering the possibility of there being another side to the story.

    Is that better Frenchy et al, am I slightly forgiven? ;) Tyson
     
  8. kopride

    kopride Member

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    Not to scaremonger. But bad stuff happens much quicker in extreme weather, hot or cold. Bonking in sub freezing weather far from shelter is no fun. Also acclimate yourself a bit. But like anything, if you are prepared, i.e. dressed appropriately, and don't go nuts, it is nice to be outdoors on a day you would normally be logging miles on a trainer. I have ski'ed in Vermont in -20 days. It can be exhilarating but I always wear proper face protection goggles, etc. As for me, just got back from a carribean vacation and believe that it is always nice to break the winter up with some beach time if you can.
     
  9. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Witout trying to be confrontational, the top chart in the following link is the chart for today. http://weather.yahoo.co.jp/weather/jp/23/5110/23206/4860807.html

    I set out -1C and at 9am when I was already in the shower it was still only 3 above freezing. It was actually colder up in the hills. Although I was wearing my newly puchased super warm gloves my finger tips were freezing and the top of my ears were bloody cold, but here's a possible solution to why some people can cycle in the cold with no apparent ill effect. I noticed I was regularly bringing up a mouth full of flem and ejecting it. Maybe, just maybe, either not producing any flem or swallowing the yucky gunge contributes to problems in the cold weather.
    The reason for thinking the above is; a 55 year old friend of mine in England (an ex coal miner), was as fit as a fiddle running 5-10 miles everyday whereas most of his colleagues had already died or were very sickly with pneumoconiosis, emphysema or chronic bronchitis.
    He told me he was the only one who did any sport (especially running) and he felt that continuously bringing up flem and spitting it out had kept his lungs clear and free from the above illnesses.
    So there you have it. Spit it out!! Tyson;)
     
  10. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Too Cold to Exercise? Try Another Excuse


    But lungs are not damaged by cold, said Kenneth W. Rundell, the director of respiratory research and the human physiology laboratory at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa. No matter how cold the air is, by the time it reaches your lungs, it is body temperature, he explained.
    Some people complain that they get exercise-induced asthma from the cold. But that sort of irritation of the respiratory tract is caused by dryness, not cold, Dr. Rundell said. “Cold air just happens not to hold much water and is quite dry,” he said. You’d have the same effect exercising in air that was equally dry but warm.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/health/nutrition/17BEST.html
    (requires free subscription)
     
  11. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Yep, that's exactly the interesting-but-uninformative article that I was referring to in post #11. Regarding the bolded statement, see my real-world, extreme example in post #11 and let me know if you can imagine a single place on earth where you could find warm air that was equally dry -- except in a laboratory utilizing dessicant dryers to remove the moisture. Plus, as Garage Sale GT correctly pointed out, as that cold air does warm up inside the body it is just ACHING to absorb more moisture, and it will readily suck it from the respiratory tract with each breath. Breathing through the nose will help this by preheating in the sinuses, but as was pointed out early on, if you overdo it such that you're breathing *heavily via mouth* then you increase the risk for the respiratory irritation that the article describes -- whether the air is cold & dry, or just dry.

    BTW, Yojimbo if you're still reading this, I'm sorry if I jumped your butt about this before. Earlier that day a teammate of mine had sent me the above link and it had kind of got me spun up about the idiotic stuff that gets reported as news. It had nothing to do with you, I was just a little fiesty on the topic already when you posted. :eek:
     
  12. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Clearly all the bad-stuff about breathing coal dust is just scaremongering. I mean, here's a fellow that lived to be 55 without any issue whatsoever. :p :)
     
  13. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    Naturally on Earth - probably not. But what about the air in the airplane at cruising altitude? That is supposed to be extremely dry, no?
     
  14. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Serious? We're still talking about cycling, right? ;) :p

    To answer your question, yes it's probably dry, but also cold.... OMG-you-freeze-to-death-in-a-heartbeat cold. That's why folks are discouraged from stowing away in the baggage compartments or with the landing gear of airplanes. :)
     
  15. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    Who asked the question of whether there is any place on Earth with warm air with humidity equivalent to heated cold air?? :p

    Obviously, I'm not referring to air outside - it is air inside the passenger compartment. Pilots have posted that the humidity inside is usually in the low single digits. Thank goodness nobody is really exercising in a plane in the middle of a flight. :p
     
  16. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Ah, "air in the airplane." Sorry, I missed that part before. That air is crappy in so many ways, but you're right -- also dry.

    If there's a "Mile-high Club" forum, then hopefully they're getting the news and using their humidifiers. :p
     
  17. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    *cold and dryness don't have to reach the lungs to contribute to infection.

    *working out at lower intensities can be safe in cold weather (or hypothetically on an airplane) because you still haven't exceeded your body's ability to replenish lost heat and moisture. So your average NYTimes reader can go out for a stroll or a jog in weather which would floor an athlete who moves much more air. Conversely, if your nose hurts from breathing and your lungs feel chilled, just slow down or breathe through a scarf.

    *breathing through a scarf is almost as effective as my mask but is more restrictive.
     
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