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Why didn't I ride?

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Why didn't I ride?

Old 01-12-16, 04:12 PM
  #1  
benetga
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Why didn't I ride?

Today driving home I saw a regular biker on my route and felt that i should be ridding also. The winds were strong and temps in the teens.

Alright then I'm taking the bike tomorrow. It's on. It will be in the single digits but I got to try. My normal cut off is usually 20 degrees or less but he can do it so can I.
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Old 01-12-16, 05:05 PM
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You can do it!

Just layer well, cover your face, and keep a cloth near your core to wipe glasses. Chemical toe warmers may be nice if it is a longer ride.
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Old 01-13-16, 06:36 AM
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I have often said "why didn't I ride", but never said "I shouldn't have ridden". There you go.
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Old 01-13-16, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I have often said "why didn't I ride", but never said "I shouldn't have ridden". There you go.
Unless something catastrophic happens on the commute, you'd never say that.

I skipped Monday and Tuesday because of wind, ice and snow, but braved it today. Glad I did.
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Old 01-13-16, 07:14 AM
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I looked at this thread, then glanced outside to see how the weather is shaping up. Looks like a sunny, calm day! Checked the temperature: -2F. Back to reading about bicycling....
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Old 01-13-16, 07:40 AM
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Every time I drive (which nowadays is not often) and I see a cyclist whizz by, I think the same thing "why didn't I bike?"
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Old 01-13-16, 07:44 AM
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Kudos to you folks who ride the sub freezing mark, that is right about my limit, below that I'll drive.
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Old 01-13-16, 08:16 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by benetga View Post
Today driving home I saw a regular biker on my route and felt that i should be ridding also. The winds were strong and temps in the teens.

Alright then I'm taking the bike tomorrow. It's on. It will be in the single digits but I got to try. My normal cut off is usually 20 degrees or less but he can do it so can I.
I've been in that same position. It has helped me have very few reasons to drive to the office*; it got to the point where the only reason I would not bike to the office was for off-site meeting or a commitment right after work.

Another motivating factor, I use Strava and many of my local bike-commuter friends use Strava too. When your eating breakfast, see the temps is below 0F but your Strava feed is already full of people's morning commute, it makes me say "OK, I can do that too!" Peer-pressure.

* I moved to a home office last year. It will sound odd to many, but I miss this cold morning commutes. I still get out and ride daily, but my schedule keeps me at the desk until mid-morning (gotta make all my social media posts, y'know).

edit - afterthought: just check my Strava feed, at 8:15 AM and 1F, I have 5 friends that have biked to work so far today. Distances range for 3 to 18 miles.

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 01-13-16 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 01-13-16, 09:17 AM
  #9  
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I am happy with my criteria for not riding. Its about me, not about comparing myself with others or letting others actions determine what I should or shouldn't do.

Having said that, I am testing and exploring changes to the criteria. I really miss riding when I don't.

I guess I see bicycling as an individual activity rather ha a social one.
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Old 01-13-16, 09:40 AM
  #10  
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Why didn't I ride?

Originally Posted by benetga View Post
Today driving home I saw a regular biker on my route and felt that i should be ridding also. The winds were strong and temps in the teens.

Alright then I'm taking the bike tomorrow. It's on. It will be in the single digits but I got to try. My normal cut off is usually 20 degrees or less but he can do it so can I.
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I have often said "why didn't I ride", but never said "I shouldn't have ridden". There you go.

Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Unless something catastrophic happens on the commute, you'd never say that.
I have previously posted to this thread, What stops you from riding?

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My job; either too much to do, so I stay (comfortably) overnight and resume very early in the AM, missing my commute; or have to travel afar for a meeting.

Having a mileage-based training schedule however, effectively motivates me to make time to ride
And to a lesser extent, family activities. Just yesterday I posted,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
[My daughter] has some mobility problems, and the walking cast adds to her difficulties, but with support shes doing OK. On top of that, my wife went away for a long-scheduled vacation yesterday. So Ive had to rearrange my schedule to get her off to school. No complaints mind you, but Ive curtailed my cycle commute for a few days.
On my Excel spreadsheet daily mileage log, I have a row titled Excuses.

I have frequently taken note of these two similar taglines when reading posts by these subscribers:

@chasm54
There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.
And

@Sammy J
I have NEVER regretted going on a ride;
I have often regretted not going when I could have!
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Old 01-13-16, 09:49 AM
  #11  
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Once it gets below freezing, I'll usually opt to drive. Every now and then I'll ride, or at least flex my schedule so I start once the sun has started warming things up and by the time I am halfway to work it will be in the mid 30s. I don't want to ride in the dark in sub freezing temps though. All it takes is not seeing an icy patch from someone who left their sprinkler system on to get some bumps and bruises.
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Old 01-13-16, 11:06 AM
  #12  
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OP: how long is your commute?

Mine is 15.5 miles each way and in winter when it's below freezing and I'm wearing multiple layers, it always seems like I'm slower. Usually takes 80-85 minutes in the morning. 20F is about my limit. My toes feel frozen after about the first half or so. I'm just not prepared or equipped (nor do I desire) to be out in the cold that long when it's below 20. And really 20 is pushing it. The other morning it was about 24 with a wind chill of 18 and I felt like I barely made it.
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Old 01-13-16, 11:15 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
OP: how long is your commute?

Mine is 15.5 miles each way and in winter when it's below freezing and I'm wearing multiple layers, it always seems like I'm slower. Usually takes 80-85 minutes in the morning. 20F is about my limit. My toes feel frozen after about the first half or so. I'm just not prepared or equipped (nor do I desire) to be out in the cold that long when it's below 20. And really 20 is pushing it. The other morning it was about 24 with a wind chill of 18 and I felt like I barely made it.
I share your sentiments about being prepared to be out in extreme cold for long. I rode in today, and like you, I felt like I just made it. My commute is 12 miles. It took about an hour today with a tail wind.

I find the homeward ride more stressful, just because there is more traffic on the road, especially this time of year when the road is wet/icy/snow-covered. Add on top of that a stiff, cold headwind, and it's not the most pleasant ride.
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Old 01-13-16, 11:19 AM
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I've fallen twice on ice and I'm too old and injury prone and have too much at stake to risk a serious injury. Of course I could be injured at any time, but the overall health benefits of biking outweigh the risk, under normal weather conditions.

So I'll stick with public transit for winter weather season.

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Old 01-13-16, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
Its about me, not about comparing myself with others or letting others actions determine what I should or shouldn't do.
I don't think the OP was intended that way - ie. the other rider somehow shamed him into riding. It was more that the other rider demonstrated it was possible.

Last edited by cooker; 01-13-16 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 01-13-16, 11:25 AM
  #16  
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I think you answered your own question "Why didn't I ride today?" when you saw what the temperatures were. Good for you to test your limits, but I hope you never obligated to ride.
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Old 01-13-16, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
OP: how long is your commute?

Mine is 15.5 miles each way and in winter when it's below freezing and I'm wearing multiple layers, it always seems like I'm slower. Usually takes 80-85 minutes in the morning. 20F is about my limit. My toes feel frozen after about the first half or so. I'm just not prepared or equipped (nor do I desire) to be out in the cold that long when it's below 20. And really 20 is pushing it. The other morning it was about 24 with a wind chill of 18 and I felt like I barely made it.
Good question. I have previously posted,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I have often posted that for any evaluation of winter gear, the poster should specify temperature and distance (as a function of time). One post once suggested that a "cold" ride is one where the water bottle freezes solid; a function of temperature and time. For my 14 miles that occurs at about 15 degrees F or less (-9.4 C).
My usual experience on my 14 mile one-way commute in difficult weather, cold and/or wet, is that when dressed as appropriate as possible, I am comfortable for the first 10 miles, about 30 to 45 minutes, then tolerate the rest. Im not inclined to ride farther than that distance other than in nice weather.
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Old 01-13-16, 12:21 PM
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I rode a couple hundred yards this morning in heavy rain. I knew it was raining of course and wore my contact lenses and my excellent rain gear. But I wasn't expecting the heavy fog. My ability to see the road (and the wildlife on or near it) was so poor that I turned around and headed back home. An hour later I left in the car and the fog had lifted or been blown away.

I wasn't worried about the few drivers seeing me -- if our roads were reflective and had bright blinking tail lights I would have been able to see fine. As it was, 10 mph would have been pushing my sightline.
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Old 01-13-16, 12:30 PM
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there ya go.

what everyone else said. i never regret a ride. i always regret not riding.

just dress for it.
just make sure to layer and protect your hands feet and face b/c these are the most vulnerable on a winter bike ride, and you'll be fine.
your body will generate enough heat with reasonable layers - so that's the last thing to worry about. i usually have 1 bottom layer and 2-3 top layers.
then i'm sure to wear a few sock layers, face layers and hand layers - and carry extras JIC the afternoon commute is different than the morning.

best of luck and please report back OP
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Old 01-13-16, 01:22 PM
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I try my best to plan morning layers so that I can simply remove one or two for the afternoon. Occasionally I might bring a different set of gloves or head gear for the afternoon but that's rare.
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Old 01-13-16, 05:33 PM
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The ride in this morning was not to bad at all only thing cold were my eyes. I think I'll look for a cheap pair of ski googles.
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Old 01-13-16, 06:06 PM
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I had a steady rain for my entire 10 mile ride in this morning but it was 47 F. That was actually fairly pleasant. On the other hand, over six hours later I'm still waiting for my bike clothes and shoes to dry (newspaper in the shoes, clothes hanging under my desk). This morning I was glad I rode, this evening...we'll see.
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Old 01-13-16, 06:17 PM
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Usually I keep my car at work, so I don't have an excuse in the morning not to ride, and so I can pick up kids from school if something comes up during the day. So I ride almost always. >190 times in 2014, >160 in 2015 (down in 2015 mostly because month off for an ankle sprain)

Last week it was raining all week in San Diego. I rode mon/tue and got soaked Tue night. I rode in Wed morning, during the day it started raining again cats & dogs. Flash flood warnings. Thunder & lightning. Even a tornado warning nearby. Plus my wife was out picking up kids anyways. Plus I needed to move my car back to work after xmas. So I called the wife and hopped a ride home, left my bike securely locked up at work, drove to work (the next two days), and finally rode home.

Yeah, I could have just kept riding in the rain, but who am I trying to impress?
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Old 01-13-16, 06:48 PM
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I often see people riding on my way home and ask myself the same question about why I didn't ride to work that day. The simple answer is not that it's too cold in the morning right now, but that it's too DARK. Driving to work every morning with my windows barely defrosted, I see how little attention drivers (including myself) pay to anything other than cars out there. This is the country, where there are very few bike commuters even in good weather, so nobody is looking out for bikes in January.

Yeah, I am jealous of people riding at 4pm, but no thanks...given that I have a choice about riding to work at 7am these days, I will wait until the mornings get a little brighter and the motorists have fewer distractions.
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Old 01-14-16, 08:42 AM
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I didn't ride because last night on my way home I got TWO flats. Hit something going pretty quick and popped both tubes. At first I thought it was just the rear tire. I replaced the tube and thought I was on my way again only to realize the front tire was also flat. I only had one spare tube with me and no patch kit. Luckily I was only 3 miles from home when it happened. So today at lunch time I will pickup several spare tubes, and hopefully be pedaling in tomorrow.
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