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  1. #1
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    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    The leaves have fallen, and we are finished saving daylight for the time being. That means it is time to start thinking about biking in the cold for all of us in the northern hemisphere, particularly those of us fortunate to live near or above the 45th parallel north. To celebrate the coming of winter, I thought of an idea to help encourage me, and perhaps others, to not let the bike gather snowflakes over the winter. Enter the Polar Pedal Challenge.

    Goal: Ride* your bike on progressively colder days over winter.

    The rules are simple, post a picture of the temperature on the day you rode. Provide a quick summary of the ride. When you ride on a colder day, quote your previous ride so that the difference can be calculated. In this manner, the challenge is an individual contest and allows for geographic differences in temperature.

    *Ride: This can be anything on a bike--road, trail, bike path, etc. To qualify as a "ride" I think it should be at least 15 minutes, but it can be what ever you want it to be.

  2. #2
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    Entry 1: Commute to work

    6 miles, windy
    Starting temperature 32 with a windchill of 25.

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  3. #3
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    I slipped out late in the evening to test our the new Farley in the snow we picked up earlier in the week. It turned out to not be enough snow to make for a real test. Oh well, we probably have 6 more months of winter to get some more time in.




    2.31 miles, 19min, 21F.

  4. #4
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    I would have this in the bag if I'd ridden when it was still positive. It was -11 this morning.Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-winter_ride.jpg

  5. #5
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    11/16/13, 6 double track miles by headlamp, 32 defrees.

    Prolly doesn't even count as "cold".
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  6. #6
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    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    ^ nice work above. Cold is relative so as long as you feel you are riding in the cold, you are riding in the cold. For people across the midwest US, we should get a nice touch of reality this weekend and have a chance to post up some nice low temps for this point in the year.
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  7. #7
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    Ayuh, as a Mainah 32 is minah.
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  8. #8
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    Was -4 today where I started in Anchorage. I thought it'd be a little warmer than Monday, but nope, slightly colder. Supposed to warm up above freezing this weekend.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  9. #9
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    Was -2c with ~5 cms of snow on my commute this morning, first winter day here in Zurich.

    I'll be sure to post some pics when it hits -15c or so!

  10. #10
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    It's not as cold as it should be here in South Ontario for late November yet. Here's the first freeze last week. It was -2oc mid day.
    Today is 8oc I'm going to wait for frozen ground to ride. With the weather we've been having the mud is bad on the trails.

    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-dsc08689.jpg
    Last edited by chuckeieio; 11-22-2013 at 02:06 PM.
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  11. #11
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    -30 degrees in Fairbanks the past two days. No exposed skin, pretty miserable commute. But I beat my previous ride by 20 degrees Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-winter_ride_2.jpg

  12. #12
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    Another 6 miles @21F and some fresh snow




    Tomorrow is supposed to be much colder, near zero in the early am. We'll see if I get out.

  13. #13
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    It was much colder this morning, but it was refreshing to see the sun. 5 miles, 48 min, 10F (wind chill -10F )


    Frozen pond


    Frozen bike

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    (wind chill -10F )
    So what about wind chill? I didn't ride yesterday but it was 25 F but we had a howling north wind and the wind chill was like -10. This was after receiving 10" of new snow the day before....so I'm still in my grumpy, not-ready-for-winter mood. Give me a day or two and I'll be OK.

    So who "won" last year? I never did see the final results.
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  15. #15
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    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    ^it is all about challenging yourself. Everyone that played last year won in my book. As for windchill, that is what makes it real for me.
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  16. #16
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    It was around 10f when we rolled out at 6:30pm for an 11 mile jaunt.
    The 80% humidity made it a bit nippy.
    Trailwrecker at large

  17. #17
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    -2c today but windy and wicked blowing snow. Did about 25k single track.

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  18. #18
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    I can't do screenshots of the weather at the time of a ride. But I can quote Environment Canada for Caledon Ontario on today's 2 hour ride: -7c and -16c windchill, and snowsqualls

    <a href="http://s1288.photobucket.com/user/mudbunny2/media/DSC02180_zps2bef28ef.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1288.photobucket.com/albums/b500/mudbunny2/DSC02180_zps2bef28ef.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo DSC02180_zps2bef28ef.jpg"/></a>

    Pics posted
    Humber River Autumn Riding
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  19. #19
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    Re: Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    10 miles at 18°F. Wind chill of 0°F. The sooner you acclimate the better!

    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  20. #20
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    Singlesprocket and I did 2.5 hour ride again today (Caledon Ontario). More snow fell overnight and the temp was -6c (21f) and windchill -16c (10f).

    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y511/mudbunny1/DSC02232_zpsfc5b4e7b.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo DSC02232_zpsfc5b4e7b.jpg"/></a>

    The Humber River is starting to freeze... ice biking soon!
    <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y511/mudbunny1/DSC02225_zps80bdaddf.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo DSC02225_zps80bdaddf.jpg"/></a>

    More pics
    Humber River Autumn Riding
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  21. #21
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    22 x 22 ride.....

    .....22f with a 22mph wind......bright sunshine.....starting to get acclimated to winter riding....felt pretty decent.....prepared well after yesterday's ride that started at 41f ....dressed for warmer weather.....finished in dark with 34f......had a tough time unbuckling shoes, camelback and helmet upon finish.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-image.jpg  

    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-image.jpg  

    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  22. #22
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    -5 today on ride. Unsure of windchill. Was a beautiful day to be in the forest.








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  23. #23
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    My commute here in Zurich this morning was 18F, ~-7C - bracing! Sadly no snow, or pretty pictures or indeed anything but clouds, but I'll def post a pic when it snows and gets colder!
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  24. #24
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    good job, folks!

    just LOOKING at this thread makes my ears sting like they used to sting when i lived in ohio...

    56 and cloudy here in san francisco...

  25. #25
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    We are still below freezing, but we haven't had a good snow. So, I'm waiting on snow and making the most of it.

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  26. #26
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    18f, 7 miles. Still learning proper clothing choices- thin tech shirt and light jacket not enough for this temp. Our little dusting of snow s gone.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PixieChik View Post
    18f, 7 miles. Still learning proper clothing choices- thin tech shirt and light jacket not enough for this temp. Our little dusting of snow s gone.
    Keep experimenting with the layering. This layers + wind protection is where it is at. These are some of my winter clothes

    Bottom:
    cycling shorts + Pants Shell = Comfortable in the low 30s and warmer. If colder, I add a polartec power dry baselayer (Men's Polartec Power Dry Base Layer, Pants Midweight: Sleepwear and Underwear | Free Shipping at L.L.Bean) - I have the midweight and it is perfect down to the single digits. When it gets colder, I add more layers under the pant shell (they are a touch baggy, so thin layers fit).

    Top:
    Outer shell - Novara Stratos 2.0 Bike Jacket - Men's - Free Shipping at REI.com
    This jacket doesn't breathe, but it is blocks the wind beautifully. You can ride with a thin coolmax long sleeve in the 30s. You can replace the coolmax with a thin polarfeece to go colder.

    Shoes: Wools socks plus snow boots will keep your feet feeling fine.

  28. #28
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    Crosspost of my Thanksgiving overnight bikepacking ride.

    A Feast in Grey Oblivion -or- A Foggy Solo Thanksgiving Overnight in Utah

    I'm guessing temps ranged between 20-32 F. I'm thinking of going for a Winter Solstice couple-nighter next month

  29. #29
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    Take trips to Florida. Amelia Earhart MTB trails are a blast! Virginia Key/Key Biscayne, Florida, Alafia etc etc! No 20 minute ascends with 5 minute blasts. Just tons of fast ascents, fast descents. Hey, when it's all ya got, it's all ya got! 75 degrees brrrrrrrrr

  30. #30
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    24 degrees ........

    ...bright sunshine ......all the bodies of water were beginning to freeze.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-image.jpg  

    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  31. #31
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    Wow you guys are my heroes. It's about time I see some real men hitting the snow. I was out today because I got a brand new bike and just had to ride. There was only some hard pack snow, some had melted. It was only about 35 degrees. But I think I found a new hobby. Winter mountain biking. There are people riding all winter with lights for night riding. Suddenly winter isn't that bad anymore. I'll probably want a fat bike now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1329.jpg  

    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1321.jpg  


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    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    ^ congrats on the new bike winter is a great time to ride.
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    I would love to be out but I am writing this from the hospital, been in here a week with a twisted intestine, yes as painful as it sounds. I hope to get out tomorrow and rest a week and then hope some snow melts. We got around 3 feet last week, makes trail riding kinda tough. Funny thing is if I go out 20 miles in any direction they have no snow, just unlucky where I ride got dumped on.
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  34. #34
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    dang that is cold


    Quote Originally Posted by falconpunch79 View Post
    -30 degrees in Fairbanks the past two days. No exposed skin, pretty miserable commute. But I beat my previous ride by 20 degrees Click image for larger version. 

Name:	winter_ride_2.jpg 
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    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
    Thank your local Sierra Club.

  35. #35
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    Singlesprocket and I rode our local trails today. Milder temps -2c, 2 hour ride. We are doing our best to pack down the trails

    <a href="http://s1288.photobucket.com/user/mudbunny2/media/DSC02269_zpsef896d7f.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1288.photobucket.com/albums/b500/mudbunny2/DSC02269_zpsef896d7f.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo DSC02269_zpsef896d7f.jpg"/></a>
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  36. #36
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    Re: Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    27° F. No wind in the woods. ~2 inches of snow.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  37. #37
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    Slightly milder (-1c) for December 1st ride along the Humber River in Caledon Ontario

    Fog rolling into the Humber Valley
    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-dsc02301_zps1039c52c.jpg

    Singlesprocket
    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-dsc02299_zpsfa124f14.jpg

    Me (ice remains on the river)
    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-dsc02284_zpsc2bcf38a.jpg
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  38. #38
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    Commute this morning - 400m alt. Very light snow left over from ~4 days before. ~-3C, a few degrees colder with wind chill.

    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-morningride.jpg
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  39. #39
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    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-beach3.jpg

    Pics from last year but I'll be doing this again as often as possible this year. I'll try and be sure to update my entries as I go.

    Pics were taken just outside my front door along the frozen shores of Lake Huron. Two of my favourite pics I've ever taken (that's just MO though).

    On that particular day it was -28C or -18f (and yes, those are negative numbers )

    Layer up......totally doable.........just don't stop and let that sweat start getting cold.

    Can't wait to do it again. The entire place to myself.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-beach.jpg  

    Here's my crummy, slow-going blog The Slow Spoke if you're interested.

  40. #40
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    Dang, and I'm trying to work up enough guts to ride when a cold front moves through Houston in a few days with temps upper 30's mid 40's (with some rain).

  41. #41
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    Just been mud and around 20C here for the past week. No good to ride until it freezes over when it's cold and wet like this.
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  42. #42
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    Cold front just passed by, we are down to 77 degrees today brrrrrr....looking fwd to riding trails all weekend long!

  43. #43
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    13F, windchill 2F
    3+ hour ride ~ 13 miles
    ... my first winter ride ever! it was awesome!!!

    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-20131124_104523_4747.jpg

  44. #44
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    Cool pic. I can't wait for more snow to go out again. It all thawed :-(

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    Looks like fun...do you up the air pressure like in the mud? I'll stick to my limited access of trails and stay in my 75F winter weather here in Miami (:

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ska View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pics from last year but I'll be doing this again as often as possible this year. I'll try and be sure to update my entries as I go.

    Pics were taken just outside my front door along the frozen shores of Lake Huron. Two of my favourite pics I've ever taken (that's just MO though).

    On that particular day it was -28C or -18f (and yes, those are negative numbers )

    Layer up......totally doable.........just don't stop and let that sweat start getting cold.

    Can't wait to do it again. The entire place to myself.
    Cool pic's. I'll def post pic's here of my winter riding. I can't wait for a nice layer of snow. I used to hang out in the woods all winter with my friends when I was a kid. It feels like home out there.

  47. #47
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    15° F, 12mph winds, 1° wind chill. Rode about 5 miles. I wish we had a couple inches of snow!

    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

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    I did it. Rode for about an hour at 42 deg and 15 mph wind. Could've ridden longer but took a lite loop near the house since this was my first sub 50 ride.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhlass View Post
    I did it. Rode for about an hour at 42 deg and 15 mph wind. Could've ridden longer but took a lite loop near the house since this was my first sub 50 ride.
    Great job Now as the weather gets colder, keep pushing yourself to ride more.

  50. #50
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    I've logged my coldest ride of the season. Actual temp -5F with windchill of around -15F. I stayed plenty warm and even shot a little footage while out.

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PBUpYECiBqQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  51. #51
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    Today about 16F but no snow. The great thing about cold is the bike stays clean since everything is frozen. I went through a large/steep ditch with my new FS ride that I've never been able to tackle. Just hit it with plenty of speed and woosh right through it. What fun new bikes are. Bring it on.

    Sorry no pic. I just didn't want to stop and take my gloves off. :-)

    A little snow expected tomorrow. Will post snow pics for sure.
    Last edited by JoeMountain; 12-07-2013 at 11:06 PM.

  52. #52
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    -6c (21f) and wind chill -12c (10.4f) in Caledon, Ontario riding along the Humber River. Ice on the river and snow on the trails has melted but the ground was frozen solid. The trails were good for riding

    <a href="http://s1288.photobucket.com/user/mudbunny2/media/DSC02318_zpsb5994bf1.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1288.photobucket.com/albums/b500/mudbunny2/DSC02318_zpsb5994bf1.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo DSC02318_zpsb5994bf1.jpg"/></a>
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    12/7/2013 9am, 9+ miles, 1 hour 33 minutes, Provo Canyon, Utah. Was planning for low teens. Icey so geared up with studded tires. We had single digit temperatures previous two days. When I rode today air temperature was 18-20F with a serious wind(15-25mph)
    Temperature record is from the same area but at a higher elevationName:  AF canyon summit temps 12 07 2013 (Small).PNG
Views: 289
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    Dragon's Back-Crusted drifts on one section. Several drift endos trying to plow through them. Turned into trekking on some sections. The neoprene face sections of the head Gator provided very good wind protection. Glasses are UVEX Genesis Safety glasses with antifog coating. Stayed 80% fog free and cost ~$5. Another great winter ride!!

    Crusty snow drifts/strong side wind/ some sections scoured down to trail others 2 feet + deep
    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-dragon-back-drift-20131207-small-.jpg
    First use of Gator,
    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_20131207_100209_761-small-.jpg

    IRC Studded Mud Max Rear (wish this tire would make a come back)
    Name:  IRC Mud Max Studded rear tire 20131207 (Small).jpg
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    Snow pattern on Gator through helmet slots
    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-snow-throught-helmet-slots-my-head-gator-20131207-small-.jpg

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  54. #54
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    Well today was snow day. These pictures were taken during my ride. Supposed to be 4-5" by tomorrow. It warmed up to 24 for my ride and I really overdressed. The snow is a great workout and I did some sliding on the trail. Climbing steep hills? Forget about it. No traction. But it is a lot of fun. The invisible tree roots under the snow can derail you at any time. I'll be doing this again. I need to pickup a set of platform pedals for my beater bike which is what I ride in the snow (I go right from my house on the salty streets).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1350.jpg  

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    Last edited by JoeMountain; 12-08-2013 at 02:25 PM.

  55. #55
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    Re: Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    Rode 6 miles today at Wildlife Prairie State Park in Edwards, IL. 21°F, no wind in the woods, light snow.


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  56. #56
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    Light first Snow"........

    Finally got our first snow , although it was not much....frozen ground was a pleasure to ride on Sunday......
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    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-image.jpg  

    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  57. #57
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    We got snow up the ying yang now. I wished and received. Time to put on some miles.
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  58. #58
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    Stop your whining....I woke up and rode this weekend and it was 68 degrees here in Miami!

  59. #59
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    Re: Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    3 miles of single track at 2&#176;F, wind chill of -12&#176;F, about 3.5 inches of snow with drifting in a lot of exposed areas. Gets dark way too fast this time of year.
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  60. #60
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    Re: Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    It was a balmy 27&#176;F today. You can really feel the difference when it's been around 0&#176;F for a week straight. Rode about 8.5 miles in 3 inches of snow. The snow did a good job of hiding the horse ruts which damn near killed me on every ravine. Nice change of scenery though.



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  61. #61
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    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    I had a short ride at about 0F this afternoon. Ah, the joys of having a fat bike.
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    Wink

    Great tour to Chasseral, top of Swiss Jura, starting at 0C at the bottom and 14C at the summit! Fantastic view on the Alps.

    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_2770a.jpg

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    I'll take pics of some snow riding over the weekend. First time for me

  64. #64
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    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge

    I had a great -1F ride today to close out 2013.

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    I am beating the winter blues, I have vodka in my cranberry juice.

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  66. #66
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    I've got about 30 hours of riding in the snow in December.

    I'll set my baseline coldest at 0 deg F.
    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-cold-ride.png

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  67. #67
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    One of the things I try to do every year is try to ride on one of the top 5 hottest and coldest days of the year. Being in TX, the coldest days don't really stack up to some of rides y'all have posted here (my hot ride last summer was 109*). But, today is likely to be one of the coldest ones with temps in the teens and single digit wind chills, so I am planning a night ride.

  68. #68
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    I was working near an old riding haunt I hadn't visited in 15 years. With a few hours to kill waiting for a coat of urethane to dry I remembered it was bring you bike to work day, so off I went. Nothing epic just a fairly scenic rail trail that's somewhat off the beaten path. I hadn't been there in quite some time and it looked like there were a fair amount of small trails to explore shooting off here and there. Somewhere around mile 10 curiosity got the better of me and I'm so glad I took the road less traveled. It was one of those epic moments where the majesty of the scenery goes right to your bones.

  69. #69
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    Rode on some immaculate trails today in great weather. Sunny, 25, wind 15mph but not in the woods. Perfect ride. Passed a group of 9 fat bike riders. Looked like they were having fun. Winter riding is simply awesome. I overdressed as usual.

    Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1453_smaller.jpgFight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1455_smaller.jpgFight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1456_smaller.jpgFight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1458_smaller.jpgFight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1461_smaller.jpgFight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1465_smaller.jpgFight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1467_smaller.jpgFight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1469_smaller.jpg
    Joe Mountain - Mountain bike junky

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    72 degrees here today.

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    75 degrees Here in Sunny So Flo. Key Largo rentals available with snorkeling, diving, fishing etc. MTB trails 1 to 1.5 hrs away. Hit me up! Best accommodations for price around!

  72. #72
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    Got my new Fatbike the other day and took it out for a spin. These things are awesome in snow. Love it.

    Oh 16F today. Light snow the entire 2.5 hour ride. Was about 8 miles but lots of stops.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fight the winter blues - Take the 2013 - 14 Polar Pedal Challenge-img_1500_smaller.jpg  

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    Joe Mountain - Mountain bike junky

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