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comfort zone of riding?

Old 12-04-20, 07:02 PM
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comfort zone of riding?

Has your -typical- seasonal riding changed in the terms of increased riding than in past times?
Typically I'd hibernate to in-door training once temps reach to a certain low point during the day. Not the case this season. Picked up some warmer items to layer on & been picking off the miles as weather conditions permit. As long as the terrain is not snow covered, the wind is not too bad, & I have no other priorities to handle; i'll hop on the road bicycle & click a few dozen of refreshing miles off. The most annoying part of riding in the cold is the marathon nose. It gets the gold medal for fastest runner.

How is it for you? Any change in heart for riding more & enduring the cold?
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Old 12-04-20, 07:09 PM
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Been a long time since I've ridden so ate into the winter. A bunch of years lately. Usually there isn't the free time available to do so but this year has been an exception. So far the only drawback is the early darkness after work Monday-Friday.

I hope to ride tomorrow (Saturday) if t isn't too windy.
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Old 12-04-20, 07:21 PM
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I already miss my winter commute, pitch black out, all bundled up, salt dissolving my bike.
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Old 12-04-20, 07:27 PM
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Nothing like a fresh winter morning to roll out. I don't have a choice, I use my bike for everything, so my "comfort zone" is before I reach a point where I can't make progress for some reason. I dress for the temperature, and I don't mind the cold so much.

Heat, on the other hand will soon make me run for cover. I carry a silverized umbrella in summer for this reason: So I can stop and be in the shade regardless of where I am. I'm very sensitive to too much heat, so I'm more likely to stay in or postpone a trip to later in the day or to the next morning because it is too hot than any other reason.
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Old 12-04-20, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I already miss my winter commute, pitch black out, all bundled up, salt dissolving my bike.
thankfully the salt is used on the main higher speed roads, & once again used in the roads developing potholes it seems. The routes on the roads that bicyclists use are left untreated.
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Old 12-04-20, 08:15 PM
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Still 2+ weeks until Winter but Summer seems such a long time ago! I much prefer riding when it's 95F and humid compared to below freezing. Will be trying to ride as much as possible as long as no snow/ice on roads. Retirement makes it easier to get out during daylight hours as nightfall comes too soon. Normal cold dark months routine involves spending time at the YMCA several times a week but not this year. As long as the temps allow for my fingers and toes to not feel uncomfortably cold at the end of a ride, I'm happy and will try to ride again.
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Old 12-04-20, 09:02 PM
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def prefer the heat. I can ride 4x as far & longer compared to 50F or less.
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Old 12-04-20, 09:05 PM
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It's the sore throat from the cold air that gets me.
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Old 12-04-20, 09:10 PM
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Noticed that my tolerance for cold still hasnt changed, yet the feel good mood has jumped up a notch.
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Old 12-04-20, 09:27 PM
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No salt yet, so still riding.
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Old 12-04-20, 09:40 PM
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25 years ago I used to bike commute all winter for fitness. Never really enjoyed it since I never was perfectly comfortable. Either too hot but mostly freezing fingers and toes, or that weird combination of being simultaneously hot and cold. After I stopped bike commuting I switched to running for winter fitness.

Now with COVID, I find cycling into the colder months a necessity to retain my sanity. Since we are going nowhere, riding gets me out and away from the house for longer than I would want to run. Yes it is still cold and sometimes wet, but at least now I can afford good quality technical gear which helps me better regulate my temp. And makes cycling far more comfortable. Never really enjoyed running, Anyway (sorry runners).
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Old 12-04-20, 10:14 PM
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I hate heat, love winter, and I don't mind riding in the dark, so I'm set . Though it's not really necessary where I ride, since it's no longer weird, I'm wearing a KN95 mask when I'm riding. Stocking hat under my helmet, wrap-around sunglasses, KN95 mask, neck gaiter---there's not a whole lot of exposed skin up there, and I'm breathing warm air. Fingers and toes, no problem. As a bonus, I discovered last week that if I pull the mic for my phone up into the mask, I can talk on the phone with a friend while I'm riding and he says it sounds great, like I'm in the house. So basically winter is fine. My gas-pipe-framed single-speed probably won't notice the salt, if it comes out, and I bought it a pair of studded tires this year if it comes to that. Bring it on!
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Old 12-04-20, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
thankfully the salt is used on the main higher speed roads, & once again used in the roads developing potholes it seems. The routes on the roads that bicyclists use are left untreated.
That's nice. In my locale, they salt everywhere, and many streets take a week or two before they get plowed. Those turn into a real minefield, and I just ride on the sidewalk. (It's about three blocks, nobody's out there at that hour, and if they are, I dip into the street). I've taken notice about comments regarding the benefits of front suspension in snow.

But fortunately they plow the bike paths very quickly after a snowfall, and they don't salt them. That's about 1/2 of my route.
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Old 12-04-20, 10:26 PM
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For me, getting to work in January takes on a different vibe than the rest of the year, like being on some kind of space mission except really being pretty tame if you think about it. Folks think I'm crazy, but I point out to them that regular working people in places like Alaska have jobs where they work outdoors all day long. And they survive.
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Old 12-04-20, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
That's nice. In my locale, they salt everywhere, and many streets take a week or two before they get plowed. Those turn into a real minefield, and I just ride on the sidewalk. (It's about three blocks, nobody's out there at that hour, and if they are, I dip into the street). I've taken notice about comments regarding the benefits of front suspension in snow.

But fortunately they plow the bike paths very quickly after a snowfall, and they don't salt them. That's about 1/2 of my route.
Your bike won't die from a little salt - be it dissolved in water or suspended in snow/slush. If you're worried, you can rinse it with some fresh water at home after the day. There is no need to ride on the sidewalk just because there is salt on the road. It's not acid.
Unless, of course, you ride an unpainted/unlacquered steel bike, you want to keep it absolutely mint and it's your only bike that is really only a sunny afternoon bike.
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Old 12-05-20, 01:07 AM
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Upper respiratory inflammation usually limits my rides in cold, dry weather. I'll occasionally wear a surgical mask or other face covering to keep my breath warm and moist, but it can hinder hard efforts. At best I can maintain a tempo pace, but usually prefer a lower effort ride if I need a mask to avoid drying out my sinuses and throat. My nasal passages and throat are still a bit scratchy from a Wednesday night ride when the temps dipped into the 30s.

I have cycling apparel for any temperature so it's been fairly easy to stay comfortable. But we don't get many seriously cold days in this part of Texas. Occasionally I've ridden down into the 20s but usually prefer the 40s or above.

The hard part is keeping the feet and hands warm. I've found a combination of socks, shoe covers, and layered gloves to keep the extremities reasonably warm-ish.

I've had exercise induced asthma since childhood, so that's another challenge. It was so bad in autumn/winter 2019 I quit all fast club rides and cut way back on casual group rides. I was a geyser of snot and it was unpleasant even for me. I didn't want to subject other folks to my endless spitting and snot rockets, even hanging off the back.

Fortunately this spring I got some new and effective nasal and bronchial inhaler from my immunologist. Really helps. And my ENT doc suggested cutting back or eliminating the dairy, especially milk and ice cream. Sure nuff, within a week I had much less congestion and post-nasal drip. I didn't realize how much some dairy product were causing my congestion and phlegm. Too bad because I liked chocolate milk, and needed the extra vitamin D and calcium.

I'm still trying to find a non-dairy substitute I like as well. Silk is meh and overpriced. I tried Zone Perfect stuff, a mixture of coconut "milk" with whey protein (which doesn't seem to cause much problem) that's pretty good. Nice texture and flavor.
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Old 12-05-20, 01:18 AM
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i've been a little more open to the cold this year. granted, it's socal cold so it doesn't really count.
more of a hot weather guy. during the cooler months, i'm the kinda guy that would drive 30 mins-1 hr
if it meant riding in temps 2-3 dregrees warmer. maybe i'm just more comfortable now with the extra layers
vs the past. it's not the inconvenience of stopping and adding/shedding a layer since i rarely ride with others.
reserving the right to change my mind once i do a ride that starts in the 40's and doesn't get into the 60's tho.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:08 AM
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The 50-60 degree range is my absolute favorite temperature comfort zone for bicycling. I'm also happier when the air is a bit drier, as it is now in Fall. My riding habits don't change much between Summer and Winter, only the available daylight and sun angles. I'm more conscious of sun blind drivers this time of year.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:08 AM
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14 Canadian winters and still going strong. I get very intense feeling of satisfaction from riding in extreme winter conditions....I think it's good to get out of your comfort zone.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:23 AM
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I love it when it's 95. Since I ride solely for the fun of it, I seldom get on the bike if it's under 60.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:50 AM
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There is a window if temps - typically highs in the low 30s to low 40s - that give me a hard time, especially when it has been wet.

Below the low 40s, I donít care for road riding. Iím fine doing shorter rides around town, and will commute through the winter, but real road rides just feel cold.

Once we hit the low 40s, Iím sticking to mountain biking.... much easier to stay warm.

However, around here, once is gets consistently in the 30s and 40s, if there is any rain, or snow melting, the trails get really muddy, and I donít like tearing them up.

Once it drops below freezing, the trails freeze and I start riding the Fat Bike.

And if the snow gets deep... XC skiing.

As far as heat... once it hits the upper 80s in the humid northeast, Iím staying off thebhot asphalt, but Iíll keep mountain biking in the shade of the woods. When I lived out west, the dry heat did not bother me as much.

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Old 12-05-20, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by CargoDane View Post
Your bike won't die from a little salt - be it dissolved in water or suspended in snow/slush. If you're worried, you can rinse it with some fresh water at home after the day. There is no need to ride on the sidewalk just because there is salt on the road. It's not acid.
Unless, of course, you ride an unpainted/unlacquered steel bike, you want to keep it absolutely mint and it's your only bike that is really only a sunny afternoon bike.
It's not the salt that I'm worried about. My winter bike gets drenched in salt. I don't regularly wash it during the winter. In its present incarnation, it's an old Schwinn Varsity frame with an IGH and modern wheels. I've been riding through the winter for several years, but this is my second winter with a dedicated winter bike. I noticed that the city doesn't plow the streets, but the people shovel their walks, so the sidewalk is just the path of least resistance.

What I'm talking about is streets that are not plowed or salted, which is many of the "inner" neighborhood streets. What happens on a few streets is that the cars make ruts through the snow, then it partially thaws and freezes again, and becomes nearly un-navigable. That's also why I mentioned thinking about suspension.
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Old 12-05-20, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
It's the sore throat from the cold air that gets me.
Try riding with your mouth covered, use a Buff or even a mask like people are wearing because of Covid. It traps enough of your exhaled breath that what you breath back in is moist and warm. It seems to help me in the cold.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-05-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Upper respiratory inflammation usually limits my rides in cold, dry weather. I'll occasionally wear a surgical mask or other face covering to keep my breath warm and moist, but it can hinder hard efforts.
Try a Buff or one of the loose masks. Works for me.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-05-20, 11:43 AM
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Just be a slowpoke like me. Despite the many drawbacks of being a slow cyclist, a benefit is that my muscles just can't burn enough glucose to generate a lot of heat or sweat compared to a more athletic rider.

And if you're burning less glucose, you need less oxygen. A buff or neck tube works fine for me.

My approach is to bundle up in regular winter clothes -- the same ones that I would wear for other outdoor activities -- and then ride at a pace that doesn't get me too hot. I also dress for the contingency of having to hoof it if something happens to my bike. Granted, I'm doing this for commuting and other utilitarian kinds of riding. If you're trying to continue a regimen of sportive riding through the winter, I can't advise you.

I have a rack on my bike so I can take off layers if needed. For much of the early spring, the outside temps change by 20 or 30 degrees from morning to evening.
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