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riding in cold weather this week

This topic contains 60 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  reddan 7 mos, 1 week.

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jonawebb

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Jan 7 2014 at 9:09am #

From Bike Snob NYC ?@bikesnobnyc:
Hats off to everyone commuting by bike in NYC on this record cold morning! Just kidding. What are you thinking?!? Heard of the subway???


HiddenVariable

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Jan 7 2014 at 9:47am #

so, today’s ride was much colder than yesterday evening’s, i think because i was heading into the wind the whole time.

as last night, my eye area fared the worst, but for only fifteen minutes, it wasn’t so bad. a pair of ski goggles would be nice, but i just don’t see the need for the three times a year i would likely wear them.

my ankles and legs got surprisingly cold. full-ankle shoe covers would have been nice, as would some wind protection for my legs and the junk that others have mentioned. toes were fine, though.

my chest also got a bit cold, too, which is a change. i really am going thin on that layer, though, as i usually end up sweaty there while other parts freeze. another layer would probably have been fine, especially if it was on the wind-resistant side of things.

hands were fine, so i guess two pairs of gloves is ok for at least fifteen minutes.


Swalfoort

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Jan 7 2014 at 10:07am #

I am impressed! I never even considered the bike this morning. I even justified driving in my convincing myself that I wanted to start my car anyway, and I wanted to get gas, as I had less than a quarter tank.

I was disappointed in the performance of my subaru. The car started groggily. (I had run it last night for a 15 minute errand, and the battery should have some life in it yet, but it was slow to crank.)

Then, the brakes were pretty much frozen for the first few minutes.

The windshield solution was freezing to the windshield, making it almost impossible to clear it enough to drive.

Everything improved, and I got to the gas station 3 miles away. I filled the tank, got into my car, and found that the low tire pressure light had come on (not a real surprise), and that my turn signals were no longer operating.

10 minutes later, the low tire pressure light was off, and the turn signals were working again. But, all four windows were frozen shut.

I’ve probably had all of those things happen to my other cars at some point, but never at the same time, and never after just one vey cold night.

I realize that with the exception of tires and the turn signals, these are all probably the result of fluids inadequate for the temperature, a situation that could be remedied. So, it was a good lesson to have learned this morning. (See, more justification for having taken the wimpy route and driven to work this morning!)


Ahlir

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Jan 7 2014 at 11:01am #

In Baltimore today. It’s 4°F. Saw 3 bikers already…
Hey, we’re tougher. Go team.
OTOH BSNYC probably has it right…


byogman

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Jan 7 2014 at 11:17am #

If I recall correctly I saw 4, mine was the 5th bike at 525 William Penn Place when I rolled in around 8:15. That said, I’m not sure if some folks are storing their bike… I did see two folks on the road when I got into downtown.

In my ride recording, endomondo says it was -8 with a 12 mph wind (into my face, of course). I’m not sure I buy that it was really -8, but definitely colder than 4. I’m looking forward to a comparatively balmy few degrees in the positive on the way home. If the wind wants to help me push east that’d be ok, too.

But all in all, a fun day.


salty

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Jan 7 2014 at 11:40am #

Crap, I really want the “I biked to work” badge, but I’ve been at home with a cold… so, someone else is gonna have to ride to pick up the slack for me.


stefb

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Jan 7 2014 at 11:54am #

I have logistical issues at work and cannot bike in on Tuesdays. I wanted to try it today, but oh well.

I also have a Subaru but had no issues. I let it run for 15 minutes before I left the house. I have to drive to bethel shortly and I hope it stays fine. I did not attempt to put down a window when using my parking pass in the garage.


Swalfoort

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Jan 7 2014 at 11:59am #

My car was telling me that it was -3 to -5 by about 8:30 this morning, so Ben’s endomondo might not be all that for off for his ride in today.


HiddenVariable

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Jan 7 2014 at 12:28pm #

i saw one other biker on my way in today. looked like a lady, but it was hard to tell what with the necessary bundling up.

incidentally, that’s not too far from the number of cars i saw. the streets were really dead today. i hope it’s like that in the evening, too.


Kordite

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Jan 7 2014 at 4:17pm #

I added an extra layer on my legs but otherwise my attire wasn’t any different from my typical winter (30-40 degrees) commute. My gloves didn’t keep my fingers quite warm enough but it wasn’t so bad that I feel I would need to get another pair. I pulled my scarf away from my nose so that I could breath clear at a stop light without fogging up my glasses too much. I couldn’t return the scarf to cover my nose once I got underway again because it had frozen to my mustache. Made my nose a bit cold for the rest of the ride but I didn’t think it was that bad.


StuInMcCandless

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Jan 7 2014 at 10:09pm #

I ended up not leaving the house, working instead from home. Monday night, my wife thought I planned to walk to the bus and nixed that idea right there. I didn’t want to say that I actually intended to bike.

Going home on Monday afternoon, I was impressed how many cyclists I did see downtown. Easily eight on my four-block walk down Smithfield, and I wasn’t even looking for them.

Good thing I was around the house today. While we were OK, next door had a water line freeze up and almost ruptured. They are from a warm climate, and had no idea that that sort of thing could happen.


HiddenVariable

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Jan 8 2014 at 12:46am #

similar to stu, i was practically begged to find an alternate way in today. and, truth be told, i have a co-worker who drives past my residence on his way to work, and it would have been a simple matter to find a ride. still, the idea of riding in strongly intrigued me, and it’s not like i have a long way to go. i relished every time my co-workers and friends called me crazy. my gf walked fifteen minutes to the busway, and she said she probably over-dressed. why should it be more difficult for me?

that said: holy damn! it was cold out today!

the ride home was, as expected with the wind at my back, much more comfortable. i bet biking up a hill the whole way home doesn’t hurt when it comes to warming, also.

mad props to everyone who was brave and *prepared* enough to bike to work today. especially to those of you whose ride was longer than my near-trivial fifteen/twenty-five minutes!


Mikhail

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Jan 8 2014 at 7:45am #

byogman wrote:Not sure what to do to prevent frozen fingers,

Mittens! Even you have gloves put mittens over. Or


byogman

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Jan 8 2014 at 8:25am #

That’s basically what I did, with the El cheapo radiant heat reflective “fabric” I mentioned. Worked great. Continues to actually, but a but fragile because I started running out of packing tape and could only do single sided for the hand pieces, but plan to get more packing tape, redo the hands, and keep the works on until it’s warmer.


RustyRed

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Jan 8 2014 at 9:23am #

I went for a hour long ride this morning and discovered what a mild case of frost-bitten fingers feels like.
Ow.

Cyclist makes the Photos of the Day at the PG:

http://www.post-gazette.com/image/2014/01/07/1000x/20140107lricestandalone04-3.jpg


edmonds59

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Jan 8 2014 at 9:32am #

If someone was hell-bent on riding through the coldest weather, I wonder if anyone has experimented with something like this, for scooters: You would probably want it smaller, for less wind catching, and more hand protection, but it wouldn’t be too much of a weight penalty on a winter beater.


Kordite

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Jan 8 2014 at 9:33am #

My hub froze on the way back last night so that I would pedal and it wouldn’t drive the wheel. Lots of walking. Did the same thing this morning but after a minute of spinning the wheel I was able to warm it enough to have it start grabbing again for the rest of my commute.


byogman

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Jan 8 2014 at 9:50am #

edmonds59 wrote:If someone was hell-bent on riding through the coldest weather, I wonder if anyone has experimented with something like this, for scooters:

I’ve spent way too much time looking at DIY fairing stuff, partially as a way of compensating for my upright positioning on the bike, but also, yes, with extension over the bars as a windscreen for my hands, to keep a bit dryer when it’s raining, and in winter to delay the onset of ice beard. I may get around to it someday. Will let yinz know.


reddan

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Jan 9 2014 at 4:58pm #

If someone was hell-bent on riding through the coldest weather, I wonder if anyone has experimented with something like this, for scooters: You would probably want it smaller, for less wind catching, and more hand protection, but it wouldn’t be too much of a weight penalty on a winter beater.

You mean like these? http://www.zzipper.com/Products/prod_upright.php


byogman

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Jan 9 2014 at 5:05pm #

It’s not a bad idea for a sane person to spend a little money to get something done right, but I decided to force my way through the cold snap so far with aluminum foil and packing tape…


reddan

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Jan 9 2014 at 5:42pm #

It’s not a bad idea for a sane person to spend a little money to get something done right, but I decided to force my way through the cold snap so far with aluminum foil and packing tape…

I wonder if thrift store oven mitts could be repurposed as bar mounted pogies, like the ones Mikhail linked above…

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