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  1. #1
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    when is the weather too bad

    We are all doing our part here. In the summer i ride rain or shine, with and against the wind. I would like to sell the car at times, but our winters often get to 20-30 below zero plus wind and snow. I don't think my body can take that for long.
    So for referrence, what kind of weather makes you reconsider biking to work or for groceries.

  2. #2
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    I live in Wisconsin. I do not use cars. With the proper gear my commute is pleasant, rain or shine. Fixed gears work REALLY well in the snow and ice. That connection the the wheel gives instant feedback of your traction situation. I got a pair of Lake MXZ302s for this next winter ($30 when you do it... eeeeeeeeBaaayyyy... and the seller doesn't list it under cycling), as well as a balaclava, ski goggles, etc. Moose Mitts might be on my list too. Some days it really sucks. It's -30F, strong headwind, takes 30 minutes to go three miles, but whatever. I've survived two winters, each more pleasant than the last. I rarely use more than a Columbia rain jacket/windbreaker and a long sleeve t-shirt for my core. When it gets really cold I slide on the long underwear. What's nice about long underwear is that when used in conjunction with tall socks, I can wear my knickers (shants, Manpris, whatever you perfer) year round. Otherwise I tuck my pants legs into my socks. Bicycling in winter is the most fun I have on a bicycle, but summer is great too.

  3. #3
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    I ride year round, and it gets cold here -35 C...
    Doable if you dress right.

    But

    I have a long route home up and over a larger exposed hill with no tree cover.

    I rode just ahead of a thunderstorm, the air was crackling, and lighting was just behind me.

    Should not have rode that one....

  4. #4
    More than a little slow
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Should not have rode that one....
    I've had that feeling after a few rides too.

    For what it's worth .... if the weather makes me feel uncomfortable riding then it makes sense to me to find another way. 'Course half the time you don't figure out that it's going to make you feel like that until you're halfway home. The very mention of the words 'freezing rain' make me cry like a baby and curl up under the covers of the nearest bed. I do not like getting caught in that stuff at all.
    Cheers, Dave

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dskunk
    I've had that feeling after a few rides too.

    For what it's worth .... if the weather makes me feel uncomfortable riding then it makes sense to me to find another way. 'Course half the time you don't figure out that it's going to make you feel like that until you're halfway home. The very mention of the words 'freezing rain' make me cry like a baby and curl up under the covers of the nearest bed. I do not like getting caught in that stuff at all.
    Yup you gotta pay attention...

    For what it is worth I run studs from October til March, just to make sure I don't wipe out on that last ice patch.

  6. #6
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    I've only found studded tires useful on one or two days a year. Really not worth the investment.

  7. #7
    More than a little slow
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    For what it is worth I run studs from October til March, just to make sure I don't wipe out on that last ice patch.
    Yah, me too. And I still cry like a baby over f.r.
    Cheers, Dave

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    I've only found studded tires useful on one or two days a year. Really not worth the investment.
    yup all depends on your local conditions.

    We get freeze thaw cycles and ice and snow all winter long....

    Lead to some big icy patches.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dskunk
    Yah, me too. And I still cry like a baby over f.r.
    We don't get much fr...

    Just last winter I was riding up a big ice patch, and figured aw hell I'll just walk it to be safe.

    Put both feet down, and damned if I didn't start sliding backwards cause I had no traction...

    Couldn't get back on the studs, so I slide down and into the snow and grass and the side of the road.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    I've only found studded tires useful on one or two days a year. Really not worth the investment.
    yup a couple of days a year of usefullness. But I throw the Nokians on and leave 'em on and don't notice them too much for three or four seasons so I figure I'm getting my money's worth.
    And here in Toronto I'm riding on bare pavement most of the year, not too much freezing rain either. If I lived in Montreal or Ottawa I'd really have to considered dehydration from crying as a part of winter riding.
    Cheers, Dave

  11. #11
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    I got caught unexpectedly on the way home by freezing rain once. Not something I would like to repeat ever ever again, hehe. Its harder for me sometimes as my body is extra sensitive to cold. Even if I bundle up its hard for me to breathe in those temps. I did it alot as a kid on a bmx, but i usually started hacking alot afterwards. I think i may extend my riding season a bit to see how well it goes though. i don't like driving all that much.

  12. #12
    ...a wiggle theres a way
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    i do my best to ride in all weather conditions there are a few situations that i will not ride in
    they include:

    A) strong head winds (20+mph)
    B) Heavy wet snow
    C) Red air days winter or summer - (lots of particulate, pollution etc...)

    if worse comes to worse i will ride to the TRAX station (utah's train system)

    joe

  13. #13
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    The weather is too bad to ride ONLY when YOU are uncomfortable. That varies for each of us.

  14. #14
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    +1 for very strong headwinds, we get some brutal dusty winds in the desert. summer temps above 100F also put me off so apart from my 5 minute commute i only cycle trails in the early morning and late afternoon.

    sandstorms are another no-no. i've been caught in them once or twice. it's bad for bike and rider to get a scouring like that.

  15. #15
    oh crap...
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    The only time I don't like to ride, (but still do) is when it is pouring down rain. Otherwise, my favorite time is fresh snow in the early morning before the cars hit the road. Studded tires are the best!
    Grow some food for yourself.

  16. #16
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    The 1/4" hail stopped me today. Hurt enough walking. I can't imagine larger than that like other parts of the country tends to get.

    Never used studs in the winter and only had a front tire washout once... because I was going through some moderate fresh fluff (about hub deep) that was covering up a sheet ice covered hill. Didn't hurt because of the snow, thank goodness. That's not to say I am against studded tires, I just never had the cash and always ran my dirt tires.

  17. #17
    ONe less gear
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    not me

    Quote Originally Posted by lifelesspoet
    We are all doing our part here...
    I do mean to sound selfish. I commute only for the feeling not for the enviroment or saving gas. Being in a car makes me dream of riding my bike.

  18. #18
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    We get this amazing black ice/freezing fog. Last year I beat it w/ Schwalbe snow studs, but they were knobbier than I would otherwise like for pavement in all the rain of a Puget Sound winter. Not sure I'm going to put them on again this year. A less aggressive tread w/ studs might suit though.

  19. #19
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    I'm with the majority of the other people here. Rarely will allow the weather to dictate my riding... Now, a heavy snow fall late night/early morning so you know nothing has been cleared, I'll drive. Usually.

    The only reason I drove anywhere last winter was because of school (community college) and it'll be the same this time around as well. Although I have no plans of driving to work on non-school days!
    For Sale: Cateye Triple Shot, modified with high output emitters!

  20. #20
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    Rain, my bikes don't have accommodations for fenders, and forecasts of anything over 98 degrees. The heat off the street is unbearable. But I instituted that rule this summer for the 1st time as I turned 45 and found my tolerances have diminished overnight.

  21. #21
    jrm
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    For me..its rain..

    Quote Originally Posted by lifelesspoet
    We are all doing our part here. In the summer i ride rain or shine, with and against the wind. I would like to sell the car at times, but our winters often get to 20-30 below zero plus wind and snow. I don't think my body can take that for long.
    So for referrence, what kind of weather makes you reconsider biking to work or for groceries.
    its not the rain that keeps me off the bike its the way people drive in the rain.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  22. #22
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    Keeping your gear...especially your shoes indoors in a heated space is HUGE for winter riding. Nothing like finishing a ride one day...taking your shoes off and leaving them in the car or your garage, the temps drop below freezing. You get up the next day, gear up and realize that you're strapping two ice bricks to your feet. Especially if you have sweaty feet or maybe rode through a puddle, some light snow or rain on the way home.

    ...your feet never have a chance. I've made that mistake a few times, I hope to never repeat it! I thought my feet were going to break off at the ankle.
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

  23. #23
    knock-knock...
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    taping the holes in your helmet does wonders for keeping the head warm, nad you can make your own studded tires out of tiny nails or sheetrock screws. just push them through the tire from the inside, and use tape or an old tube to line it so it doesnt pop your inflated tube.

    with that said, never too ugly to ride.

  24. #24
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    Single digit (F) temps, and really, really bad driving rain. You know, when it's bad enough that the fenders and rain gear don't do a damn bit of good. A couple times I've bagged it when fog has been too nasty.

    I've got decent bike parking at work, and a shower spot, so it's not a big deal to get a little wet otherwise.

    Skied to work in Colorado a few nights a couple years back. That was nice. Large enough snow dump that the roads were completely empty, save some plows, big ass 4x4 trucks, and a few other skiiers/snowshoers.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  25. #25
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    I have tremendous respect for you guys who commute via bike rain/sleet/snow/wind/heat/etc. I'd like to think I could do it, but since the worst I deal with around San Francisco is extreme low of 40 and extreme high of 95 (and those are near record low/highs), I feel like a wuss.

    I would think conditions that would stop ANYONE is ice or extreme wind where conditions make it challenging to even walk.

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