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BRR Ride and BRRRRR it's cold !

Last night it was -58 degrees with the wind chill when I went to bed, could have gotten lower I suppose. No school for three days, no garbage pick up and no USPS delivery for today. How I love NW Iowa! Cold as a bankers handshake for sure. I used to do the BRR (Bike Ride to Rippey) ride every year I possibly could but now only when it’s warmer. This weekend should be in the mid 40’s and gentle south winds. We have had wonderful warm weather this winter and I rode many days in January and late December 2018, walked when the roads were a little iffy with ice and frost. Should be a great weekend to saddle up!

9 Replies

KenH, January 30, 2019 at 12:36 pm

I went to work today. On public transportation even. It was a pretty light crowd but the thing is the “windchill” temperature and the “feels like” temperature are just there to encourage you to dress for the conditions. If you dress correctly then the windchill temperature and the feels like temperature are both 72F/22C! If you don’t dress correctly then you could end up with frostbite, hypothermia, or death!! So, I guess that if you have the proper clothing and it is compatible with riding on a bicycle then you could indeed ride a bike in any weather as I hear that Colorado riders like to say.


Amanda, January 30, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Saturday’s forecast is 42 for Des Moines Area and Sunday is 55. It might be a great day to ride! I do see a chance of rain though.


Jason Stoller, January 30, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Amanda when my wife went to work at her hospital it was -41 degree windchill factor. We had to Jumpstart the dogs to get them to go out!



Sandaltan ., January 30, 2019 at 7:13 pm

No more BRR Rides for us. We have sworn off.



Gypsy Rose, January 30, 2019 at 7:18 pm

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

~ Kevin


Luv 2 Ski, January 30, 2019 at 8:10 pm


Funny but true. It was -24 with a wind chill of -55 here in IL today. I chose to not go out. Forget about getting on a bike.

As a ski coach I am out on the snow in all kinds of weather and what you say is so true. I have kids all the time not properly dressed freezing their buts off when us coaches are standing on the hill and are fine.

In this frigid cold, even the ski hills have closed though. I woke up this morning thinking about the day in the early 80″s when I lived in Bozeman Mt and it was at least -15 below and Bridger Bowl closed for the day. My roommates and I could not ski so we decided to take advantage of the time and went out to cut and split logs. We had wood for our woodstove for the entire winter.


skb-mpls, January 31, 2019 at 12:34 pm

I used to enjoy cross country skiing… Now my hips and back complain when I trot up the hills, so I bike all winter in Minneapolis.

Winter biking is simply a matter of dressing in layers and not leaving much skin exposed. Wicking layers next to your body and wool on top of that. I don’t have the budget for ventented biking shell… so I tend to get overheated on my back and underarms. A good balaclava and non vented helmet with goggles for your eyes works well.

I’m able to bike on the bike paths on my 25 mile jaunt (averaging 12 mph) on my single speed 29er. Studded tire up front and dirt tire on the back. What is dangerous is riding down my alley after a few months of freeze thaw cycles with icy and uneven ruts – or a light dusting of snow later in the year during low light periods on the city streets (with bike lanes). This condition tends to hide the icy ruts that your sidewalls do not grip if you run up on them. Down you go….

With my clothing – I draw the line at 5 degrees or 0 degrees wind chill and ride on my Schwinn Airdyne bike in our spare bedroom. I managed to ride 220 miles in January and I’m the only recreational cyclist on the paths when it is below 20 degrees. Beautiful!


Anonymous, February 1, 2019 at 6:56 am

I should have mentioned the visibility was zero that day. It would be foolish to ride, the motorists and plow operators who were on the roads making a living would have certain words for me. I do have trails in my area but have to ride streets and county roads to get to the trail heads. Days like these are for the CycleOps in the basement. I do have clothes for riding in wet or cold weather but not that cold !! You will not find me on the saddle below zero.
I also wonder if being -26 without the wind chill has any effect on lubrication, for the bike that is?
Leaving for BRR at 2PM today to join up with at least two and maybe three brothers and hopefully my son. The last time we all met up we never quite made it to the ride … Hmmm. Have a great weekend everyone!


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