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Winter Biking

 
Derek Kanwischer
Posts: 44
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The weather may be hard to gauge these days, but it is tough to deny that some semblance of winter has arrived and we will be dealing with the cold, icy, wet, snowy, rutted, slushy, puddly conditions for at least a few months. So, as a winter bicyclist I am offering my two cents on preparation and riding in this season. Add your own, if you have your own suggestions.

1. dress in layers
2. fenders are good
3. wear a helmet: I sometimes like the ski helmet for the added warmth
4. studded tires: I don't use them, but some people like them
5. oil that chain: do this regularly (weekly) to keep your ride from rusting and wasting away.
6. bike lights: essential at night
7. wear goggles for cold and/or snowy conditions
8. road versus sidewalks: depends on the conditions: if the roads are real bad or impassible, I'll duck onto the sidewalks and take it real slow being respectful of any walkers.
9. follow the rules: be courteous as always and respectful of vehicles even though they should be offering right of way. Be aware they may not expect to see bikes and their windshields may be fogged or frosted over.
10. Go to Free Cycles to keep your ride tuned up: www.freecycles.orgĀ 
 
Rebecca Dane
Posts: 211
Location: Missoula Montana
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A down coat helps too 
 
Chip Haynes
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Location: Clearwater, Florida
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Ah, but moving to Florida works well, too.

Rules for Winter Biking in Florida:

1. Yes, you still need sunscreen.

2. Mind the tourists. They're not from here.

3. Mind the locals. They are.

4. If you cycle along the coast, not all fins sighted are sharks. Only about half of 'em, actually. (The rest are mostly porpoise.)

5. Just because the thermometer says "55" deosn't mean it won't feel cold with 100% humidity. It will. Bring a coat. Yes, with shorts.

6. Socks are considered formal wear here, even in the winter.

They ya go, then. Welcome to my world.



 
Ryan Workman
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bike chicken solar
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I'll add these from my experience:

1. Mittens are warmer than gloves
2. Water proof boots
3. If you don't buy studded snow tires, let the air out of your tires a little, better traction (but slightly harder pedaling, but you are pedaling through SNOW)
 
Roberto pokachinni
Posts: 677
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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1.) balaclava
2.) weatherproof shoe or boot covers.
3.) thermos of home made chai
4.) gaiters
5.) lights even in the daytime, especially when snowing or sleeting
6.)Layers on your hands too... Here is a good example: http://allseasonscyclist.com/2012/11/02/bar-mitts-moose-mitts-and-bike-poagies/
 
Roberto pokachinni
Posts: 677
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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Take your time as drivers and conditions are worse, and more dangerous. The drivers have worse visibility and are NOT expecting cyclists to be out in this weather. Also taking your time, giving yourself longer to navigate ice ruts, snow banks, plow lines, etc, and going slightly slower in general, you will sweat less and thus not have problems with sweat induced cooling. Figure out the right speed combined with the right clothing so that you are wearing enough to be warm when stopped for a while, and if you are exerting yourself a bit that you will not overheat and sweat. I wear or bring several layers of thin wool (thrift shop) sweaters, and a rain type shell. I use the shell for wind or sleet, or snow. If its not too windy and not too cold, I just wear layers of wool. If its real windy or snowy, I wear at least a couple layers of wool and a shell. I have worn up to 4 thin sweaters and a shell. Having gloves that draw tight on the wrists keeps heat in. Arm warmers or wrist warmers, and leg warmers are of great benefit in keeping the blood warm that is heading to the extremities.
 
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