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The Light at the End of the Winter Commute Tunnel...

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The Light at the End of the Winter Commute Tunnel...

Old 03-09-18, 07:58 AM
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BobbyG
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The Light at the End of the Winter Commute Tunnel...

With the beginning of Daylight Savings time this Sunday, today will be the last scheduled ride home of the season that includes a post sunset portion.

In the old days that meant I put away my halogen bulb head lamp and its heavy 4-lb battery until fall. But now with modern LED illuminators and smaller, more efficient Lithium Ion Batteries, I just carry them in my backpack for when I have to work late at the office.

But I still get a little excited on this day.

Last edited by BobbyG; 03-09-18 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 03-09-18, 08:57 AM
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I'm kind of bummed because I am riding at 6AM, it starts to get light around 6:20 or so, which is a nice treat. But now with DST I'll be riding in the dark for the entire ride. But I do look forward to the warmer temperature and not snow.

I had to quickly swap out the dry tires this morning for studs because there was a dusting of snow covering the road. This is most treacherous as you do not know if there's ice underneath. Not the last time this winter, I'm sure.
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Old 03-09-18, 10:46 AM
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It's gotten warm and dry enough here, now we need some rain to clear all the leftover salt away.
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Old 03-09-18, 11:37 AM
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For those of us in Toronto, getting up on Monday March 12th will have the same morning daylight as on January 31st. Sunrise on both these dates is 7:35.

Daylight Savings Time when it's still winter? Doesn't make sense.
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Old 03-09-18, 11:38 AM
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I close up shop here 3 nights a week...going to be a while before I get daylight on those rides home
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Old 03-09-18, 12:16 PM
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Also, Monday following DST is notoriously the most dangerous in terms of traffic collisions. Lots of drivers are operating on less sleep than they're used to.

Watch out for them!
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Old 03-09-18, 12:33 PM
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Still 3 more weeks of winter here (Europe). Last week, we had a vicious cold snap and it was -15C (5F). Given that we were having a mild winter, that was a rude awakening to March.
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Old 03-10-18, 04:53 AM
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The Light at the End of the Winter Commute Tunnel...
Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
With the beginning of Daylight Savings time this Sunday, today will be the last scheduled ride home of the season that includes a post sunset portion.

In the old days that meant I put away my halogen bulb head lamp and its heavy 4-lb battery until fall. But now with modern LED illuminators and smaller, more efficient Lithium Ion Batteries, I just carry them on my backpack for when I have to work late at the office.

But I still get a little excited on this day.
Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I'm kind of bummed because I am riding at 6AM, it starts to get light around 6:20 or so, which is a nice treat. But now with DST I'll be riding in the dark for the entire ride. But I do look forward to the warmer temperature and not snow.

I had to quickly swap out the dry tires this morning for studs because there was a dusting of snow covering the road. This is most treacherous as you do notknow if there's ice underneath. Not the last time this winter, I'm sure.
Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
It's gotten warm and dry enough here, now we need some rain to clear all the leftover salt away.
I recently (2/27/18) posted to this Winter Cycling Forum, Who's got the studs on?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… BTW,though I didn't ride today, I was thinking that after this weekend's heavy rains, the streets might be clean enough to bring out the pristine carbon fiber bike, in storage since December. The studs stay on the beater through most of March.

Carbide studs are reputed to last a long time. I ride studded tires all winter from December to March, nearly entirely on bare, wet, and/or salted pavement. However, now my beater bike is an aluminum Diverge Elite road bike and I have 30 C Schwalbe Marathon studded tires, the narrowest I know of.

I really like the Schwalbe tires because I don't seem to feel the increased rolling resistance many claim for more aggressively treaded studded tires.
Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I agree, and those few minutes you save with dry tires you give up fiddling with the tire change anyway. However, it would be a nicer ride.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Just two days ago I posted on this thread, "As a busy early morning commuter, it’s just too much trouble to change tires with the weather."

Thanks for your advice,@mcours, but as I noted above, after today’s rainy deluge (3/2/18) , the streets should be pristine (except for downed trees and branches), and I’ll bring out my carbon fiber bike for a ride I describe as “ethereal.”
Regarding riding in the AM darkness
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…My early morning dark commute is from about November til March, and other than the cold weather, I enjoy the dark commute. The auto traffic is markedly diminished, particularly in my reverse commute direction from downtown to a suburb.

I hunker down in my mind in a state I call "cocooning," and become oblivious to everything but the Road and my thoughts. Also because it's dark, I can't tell how gloomy the sky might be, unlike in the dawn's early light.
As evidence of the inexorable “March” towards Spring, just after reading this thread, I saw a white crocus beginning to bloom while still a few inches of snow are on the ground .
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Does a near-perfect weather place exist?

Personally the only weather I don’t like to ride in is rain, and no rain would be a desert. That said, I really like riding in all seasons, even winter. So my near perfect weather would present the best of all seasons, without the extremes, and I already live here.

Nice, albeit short Spring with beautiful blossoms and that first few weeks of relief from Winter; glorious summer; cool crispy Autumn with colorful foliage; and even a bracing, and challenging Winter, but not one impossible to ride in.


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Old 03-10-18, 05:55 PM
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Lights on day and night, 365 days a year. I've seen it makes a HUGE difference in how a bicycle gets treated. It's very common in this college town to see people riding with lights in the daytime.
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Old 03-10-18, 06:22 PM
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Might find time to take the studded tires off tomorrow...
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Old 03-10-18, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Lights on day and night, 365 days a year. I've seen it makes a HUGE difference in how a bicycle gets treated. It's very common in this college town to see people riding with lights in the daytime.
I have been thinking about that more and more. My bikes wear front and rear blinkies year-round and I run them just after sunrise and just before sunset so I stand out better with the sun behind me. Although, here in central Colorado Springs, the foothills block the afternoon sun before it gets too low.

I also run myfull lights (blinkies, helmet lights and my main headlamp in flash mode) in the rain.
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Old 03-11-18, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
Might find time to take the studded tires off tomorrow...
It's still winter. Remove the studs only when you are sure all the ice along your commute is gone - sometimes that may go into April (where I live).
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Old 03-11-18, 11:37 AM
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During my last two years of work ( I'm retired now), I would ignore DST.

Basically, during Standard Time, I would start work an hour before most other people. When DST starts, I would be at work an hour later according to the clock (but not the sun). So it would appear I would arrive at the same time as everybody else. But while everybody else had lost an hour of sleep for DST, I didn't.
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Old 03-11-18, 01:06 PM
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I've been riding out winters on studded tires for years now, but now that fat bikes are becoming common and affordable I'm considering switching.

I'm what you might call a fair winter weather commuter - I don't ride right after blizzards, and wait until the roads are mostly clear. However there are still some bad patches where there are ruts and a lot of churned up snowy gunk, that sometimes then freezes into ruts. Those areas are absolute misery to ride over, in fact it gets so bad that sometimes I just get off and walk. But most of the route is actually bare pavement.

I'm wondering if the fat bike might actually be better winter riding than my current IGH hybrid with studded 38mm tires. Any opinions on that?

I also do not currently have any offroad capability and I think I might also use the fat bike for that.
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Old 03-11-18, 01:11 PM
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DST started today...and it is 32F outside with snow.

The blasted oversized rodent was right about 6 more weeks of winter.
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Old 03-11-18, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
DST started today...and it is 32F outside with snow.

The blasted oversized rodent was right about 6 more weeks of winter.
Well, it's all fun and games because we all know March 21st is always six weeks after February 2nd.
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Old 03-12-18, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
It's still winter. Remove the studs only when you are sure all the ice along your commute is gone - sometimes that may go into April (where I live).
The Camellia and cherry blossoms are telling me that part of the year is done here.
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Old 03-12-18, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Lights on day and night, 365 days a year. I've seen it makes a HUGE difference in how a bicycle gets treated. It's very common in this college town to see people riding with lights in the daytime.
I ride with lights on all the time too. The only difference is whether they're on steady or blink and if they help me see or not.
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Old 03-12-18, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I've been riding out winters on studded tires for years now, but now that fat bikes are becoming common and affordable I'm considering switching.

I'm what you might call a fair winter weather commuter - I don't ride right after blizzards, and wait until the roads are mostly clear. However there are still some bad patches where there are ruts and a lot of churned up snowy gunk, that sometimes then freezes into ruts. Those areas are absolute misery to ride over, in fact it gets so bad that sometimes I just get off and walk. But most of the route is actually bare pavement.

I'm wondering if the fat bike might actually be better winter riding than my current IGH hybrid with studded 38mm tires. Any opinions on that?

I also do not currently have any offroad capability and I think I might also use the fat bike for that.
Fat tires are good for sand, or snow conditions where you aren't interested in trying to make contact with the pavement below, and trying to "float" over the snow.

They won't help you at all with ice. Aside from the obvious studs, if you want to ride on pavement covered with snow and or ice, you want the thinnest tires possible to try and reach the pavement where the grip is.
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Old 03-12-18, 02:46 PM
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I had just put away my lights. Now the morning is dark again. Need the light for another week or two now.
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Old 03-12-18, 03:04 PM
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I see that this is a read head-to-head battle between the morning people (annoyed about DST) and the evening people, who are happy. I'm definitely in the latter camp, and looking forward to riding home with some daylight.
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Old 03-12-18, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
I see that this is a read head-to-head battle between the morning people (annoyed about DST) and the evening people, who are happy. I'm definitely in the latter camp, and looking forward to riding home with some daylight.
All I can say is that if you like to get up early, then go ahead and get up early. Why do we need the government to tell the rest of us when to get up? Isn't it a free country?
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Old 03-13-18, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Also, Monday following DST is notoriously the most dangerous in terms of traffic collisions. Lots of drivers are operating on less sleep than they're used to.

Watch out for them!
I forgot to take note how many collisions there was Monday morning. I thought I heard on the radio there quite a bit but forgot the number. It's a good thing it's March break because the number of cars on the road is lower. One would think the insurance companies would be lobbying to end DST because of the avoidable number of predictable collisions on this day and week.

A note of interest, based on the data from this site

https://www.timeanddate.com/

In Toronto, March 17th is the day with 12hr of daylight. Sunrise and sunset both at 7:26 (DST), 6:26 standard time.
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Old 03-14-18, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
wondering if the fat bike might actually be better winter riding than my current IGH hybrid with studded 38mm tires. Any opinions on that?
think fatbikes are not impervious to the perils of ice, especially after watching ZIPP2001's icy trail thread from February



& from what I can tell, fatbikes are slower & require more effort. so for commuting, may not be the best choice. but still look like a fun bike to have!
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Old 03-14-18, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I had just put away my lights. Now the morning is dark again. Need the light for another week or two now.
don't you guys use daytime running lights?
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