A Passion for Riding in the Cold!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Candlestick Maker
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    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!

    I don't know why, but I love to ride when the temps drop. Maybe due to the solitude.

    With the popularity of fat bikes, that solitude is a bit harder to find, but it's all good. I used to know every track out there on a snow day. Now, I'm just happy to have some company to pack the trails.

    My collection of lights and bikes get a workout over winter. So far this month, I've ridden my fat bike, my gravel bike, my hardtail 29er, and both full suspension 29ers.

    I set a goal of doing "Everest in a Month" at some point this year. 29,029+ feet of climbing. Well, despite cold temps (single digits at times) and 4 decent snow storms, I managed it with a couple days to spare in January.

    Conditions up in Summit County were excellent for fat biking!
    Dillon Fat ride by Brad Baker, on Flickr

    Riding above the house wasn't too shabby either. Got in tons of miles on my new gravel bike, which does fairly well in packed snow with 29x2.3" tires.
    Above the house by Brad Baker, on Flickr

    There were several rides where I took my bike for a walk due to super deep snow
    Powder Surfing by Brad Baker, on Flickr

    Some of the sunrises were spectacular
    Sunrise January by Brad Baker, on Flickr

    And, the sunsets, too
    Phat Sunset by Brad Baker, on Flickr

    Even the grey days were good
    Wolftrax Mt Herman Grey by Brad Baker, on Flickr

    And, I managed to convince a few friends to join me
    Watkins Crew by Brad Baker, on Flickr

    Goal achieved, with the side benefits of fun, fitness, and friendship
    EverestInJanuary by Brad Baker, on Flickr
    baker

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Tonight was rainy and wet in Alaska, but somehow I had my clothes nailed with just the right outer layers to ride comfortably as far as I wanted. Usually the rain is a big bummer, but the snow doesn't really melt even when it's raining and if you get your clothing right, the rain keeps you cool A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-img_6063.jpg
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  3. #3
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    Getting the clothing right is key to having fun while riding in the cold. I've done quite a bit of winter riding in the past, but not so much in one month. This month really helped me learn what I need to wear for the various conditions (and thankfully, rain wasn't one of them!)
    baker

  4. #4
    always licking the glass
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    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!

    Thanks for starting this thread

    Iím learning to winter ride, as I didnít really live in a snowy environment until a couple of years ago.

    This year I decided to get a Pedalhead and put 3.0 studded tires on it for snow. Itís not a fat bike but itís definitely a way I can get some fresh air in the winter months.

    Iíve only ridden in the snow twice so far, but I like riding in the cold even on a non-snow bike. Having a snow bike now makes it even more fun. And I have a friend I get to see out there too


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  5. #5
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    Not for me but applaud all who ride in the cold, high or possibly mid 20's is it for me and has to be dry and definitely no snow.

    Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say I'm "passionate" about riding in the cold, but I'm definitely passionate enough about riding in general that I'm willing to do it in pretty extreme conditions.

    The "Everest in a month" goal is pretty cool! I've done about 10,000' of climbing in January so far; not a lot of opportunities to do more, unfortunately. Almost all of those rides were in the dark, before work.

    Where I live, XC skiers think they exclusively own all of the national forest, and they're in cahoots with forest managers, so fatbiking is seen as a crime in most places. My wife and sister-in-law have even been told on more than once occasion by XC skiers they shouldn't walk or run on the trails (trails that they grew up hiking as kids). Lovely situation we have here in Montana; us natives being told by transplants/newcomers we aren't welcome on our own trails. /rant

    On the few trails that are legal, I have to wait until they're compacted by hikers after every snow storm. I don't have a fat bike, just 2.5" Minions. Once it's compacted, I go faster than the fat bikers both up and down, according to Strava. Most of January has been pretty good, but we just received over 12" of snow in the last few weeks, so no riding for a while.

    My temperature cutoff is 10 degrees Fahrenheit. My bar mitts definitely keep my hands warm, but I always sweat while climbing, and when it's colder than that it's really hard to get the right combination of clothing that doesn't result in me getting wet and then freezing on the descent.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.

  7. #7
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  8. #8
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    Awesome! I never did the fatbike thing because snow is hit or miss here (CT) but sub-freezing rides are the norm from late Oct well into March. Some of the best riding of the year is in winter when the permafrost has set in and trails are hard and fast. Combine that with daylight savings time and it means most of my rides are at night anywhere from 10-35deg F.
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  9. #9
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    Definitely plenty of good riding to be had around here in the winter, even without a fat bike. Fat bikes can be awesome fun in the right conditions. In the wrong conditions (and even decent ones), they are a recipe for lots of hard work! I've done a ton of dirt road riding this month. 2.3" tires or even 1.75's work fine if there is little to no snow, or if the snow is reasonably packed. I have studded tires, but cannot remember the last time I've used them. They are magical for ice, but otherwise annoying and heavy.
    baker

  10. #10
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    Good stuff Baker, thanks for sharing.

    Putting some passion back into Passion.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the motivation. Last year I had 5 Everest months and just missed 3 more, but lately I've been feeling super lazy. My January mileage is the lowest I've ridden in at least 10 years and I haven't ridden in a week and a half. Posts like this remind me I should be out there riding.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    Thanks for the motivation. Last year I had 5 Everest months and just missed 3 more, but lately I've been feeling super lazy. My January mileage is the lowest I've ridden in at least 10 years and I haven't ridden in a week and a half. Posts like this remind me I should be out there riding.
    Damn, you did a lot of climbing last year! I used to love climbing, it was the best aspect of my riding. Then, I got injured, lazy, and fat. Concentrating on a climbing goal for the past month has made climbing enjoyable again. And, helps with other aspects of my riding, like clearing technical obstacles (due to fitness and weight loss).

    Oh yeah, all the snow riding I've been doing has really helped w/ my balance (both side-to-side and fore/aft). I've learned to do anything to keep from stopping on loose snow or deviating from the glorious packed ribbon. 2.5 mph progress can actually be pretty rewarding.
    baker

  13. #13
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    A Passion for Riding in the "Pretty Cold"

    Cold seems to be a relative term, but it has to be pretty frickin' freezing for me to not want to go out. If I don't dress properly I have the luxury of bailing and getting back to shelter within an hour, so I've tried down to about -10F and really enjoyed it.
    (cue the unnecessarily large photo dump)

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-20190113_164532.jpg

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-0120181024.jpg

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-3-21-2018_001.jpg

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-100_0074.jpg

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-bedford.jpg

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-100_0408.jpg

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-100_0463.jpg

    From before I got a fatbike...

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-shadow.jpg

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-100_0237.jpg

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-spikef.jpg

    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-finish.jpg

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the pics, Fleas...

    I don't think I've intentionally gone out riding below zero F. At those temps, I'll generally just wait for a day or two for temps to warm up. I'm generally good in the teens and can still have fun in the single digits.
    baker

  15. #15
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    Somewhere near -5įF-0į this morning.

    Supposed to get some snow late today, so I may go back out again.

    The right gear makes it fun.


    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-img_6065.jpg
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  16. #16
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    A Passion for Riding in the Cold!-coldgravelride.jpg

    I have to admit to impure thoughts on this ride. As my toes went from "damn cold" to "I can't feel them anymore," my mind toyed with the ultimate sin, calling for a ride.

    At 11pm with terrible roads and everyone back home probably asleep, I considered my options. I had lowered the air pressure earlier for flotation in the snow, but was now back on pavement and frozen dirt, with a 2 mile uphill. I stopped to try to air up and the pump wouldn't work correctly (due to the cold, I imagine).

    I thought, "Well, I have 2 miles of uphill, which should warm me up. And, I couldn't possibly get real frostbite in that time, right?" So, I hiked up my skirt, put my head down, and resumed climbing.

    I curled my fingers up into a ball inside my mitts. Good for warmth, not good for controlling your bike on chunky frozen roads. Nothing would resolve the cold toes issue, although the numbness was somewhat of a relief.

    The tire was repeatedly bottoming out, making me wonder about the survival of my brand new $400 wheel with only 2 rides on it. Got to the last 200 meters before the house, which is a steep dirt uphill. Hopped off the bike and started walking, which effectively got me to the house with toes that now had circulation and were thumping and hurting like hell. No frostbite, at least, and 10 miles of solitude and adventure.

    Good times...
    Last edited by baker; 1 Week Ago at 11:42 AM.
    baker

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