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Cold Weather Commuters

Wonder how many cold weather commuters there are in here? 

I commute year round. 30-40 minutes at each end of the day really helps keep the quads in shape. 7 mile one way. conditions vary so times vary but I don’t keep track of MPH etc. It’s more of a pleasure than anything else. Ride an old steel roadie frame (Takara) converted to 650B (cushy low PSI Soma tires). It is such a nice deal to be outside when everyone is hustling in cars on the crusty dark roads.
thought I’d ask
ME

16 Replies

Gypsy Rose, February 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm

My commute is from the bed to the wood stove to the coffee pot and finally to the desk. Work attire? Flannel pajamas (til I have to go fetch wood, then I put on my barn boots).

Years ago, I used to commute by bicycle. At one point in my life it was a 27-mile ride each way (near Boise, ID). I used studded tires (screws I installed from the inside out) and had a good set of windproof clothing. Most days it was quite nice, but some days were a bit more challenging.

Enjoy!
~ Kevin

#24988

McBiker, February 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Check out the Big Dogs Cycling website.  Paul Carpenter commutes year around 31 miles each way to Northern Illinois Unitversity in Dekalb.  Put on over 20,000 miles last year.  Seems like he’s impervious to the weather.

#24989

jwsknk, February 25, 2011 at 8:06 am

every day for about 4 years now but only about 1/2 of what you do. There is a guy that commutes from Cumming into downtown DM every day. KCCI tv did a story on him recently.

another thread with touches on this.
https://ragbrai.com/forums/topic/did-you-ride-today

#24990

Bikerider, February 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

I commute in Michigan when possiable. Cold is not so much a problem, but snow and ice are. I rode today, temp is 27 degrees. Whenever the roads are somewhat clear, I ride. I have snow tires on my hybrid, which really help. So, 90 degrees in Iowa sounds good to me!

#24991

Gypsy Rose, February 25, 2011 at 9:45 am

I agree with Bikerider that the cold is not the issue as much as the treacherous road surfaces. We (winter riders in Vermont) all run studded tires, which I’d consider a must on slippery roads. The biggest drawback for me when it comes to winter riding is the way that road salt quickly trashes the bike. One has to be super-diligent about keeping it rinsed and lubed and, even then, the cancerous rust seems unstoppable. For that reason, many winter commuters here have a “winter bike” that is considered more or less disposable and won’t make one cry when seeing the rust emerging everywhere there’s unprotected steel.

Best,
~ Kevin

#24992

jwsknk, February 25, 2011 at 9:52 am

Gypsy Rose said: I agree with Bikerider that the cold is not the issue as much as the treacherous road surfaces. We (winter riders in Vermont) all run studded tires, which I’d consider a must on slippery roads. The biggest drawback for me when it comes to winter riding is the way that road salt quickly trashes the bike. One has to be super-diligent about keeping it rinsed and lubed and, even then, the cancerous rust seems unstoppable. For that reason, many winter commuters here have a “winter bike” that is considered more or less disposable and won’t make one cry when seeing the rust emerging everywhere there’s unprotected steel. Best,~ Kevin

all that salt is he11 on the chain, I use studded tires around here too, this year not near as much as last year.

#24993

papawheelie, February 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I have a studded tire beater, but when the conditions slowly change back to dry pavement, those studs are a draaaaaaaaaaaaaaag on the old legs. The fatter tires I’m using (Soma’s) seem to have good purchase in the ice and packed snow. I will admit that I am lucky to be on Madison commuter/bike paths for about 80% of my ride. the city clears them as fast as the streets. 

for kicks, here is a vid blog that I do on my daily commute. there are a passages that show the path. 

#24994

brianrich, March 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I ride a short (4 mile) commute at least 3 days a week. I’ve gotten so sick of salt and gravel in my gears, I finally converted to a single speed mountain bike with drop bars and 2.25 tires (no studs).

#24995

kayak, March 29, 2011 at 9:31 am

This was my first winter that I decided to ride – and I’m so hooked that I am a bit sad to meet the spring. It may just be a honeymoon phase, but I got more thrills and satifsfaction from biking on ice than anything I’ve done on pavement before.  I suppose it gives some of the sensation of mountain biking…. even on the flats. I rode an old Raleigh mtn bike with soft knobby tires, no studs.
Never mind the cold – I can bundle up to suit the temp. Perhaps it also reminds me of skiing, but with the advantage that I can take right off from my home instead of driving to some groomed trail. I have enjoyed finding other cyclists that have figured this out. (Minneapolis)

#24996

jthandle, March 29, 2011 at 11:43 am

This was my first winter commuting, too.  I waffled on weather to buy a beater or use my daily driver, a Surly LHT.  In the end, I figured I’d spend the money I would have spent on a beater on repairs, if needed.  I threw some 700 x 40c Schwalbe Marathons on her and had a blast 13 miles each way.  Biggest lessons I learned were:
-lube your chain ( I lubed every day)
-get a stiff brush (brushed her down at the end of each day)
-wear Smartwool in layers with a windbreaker (good to -10 windchill)
-roads are much safer than bike paths in winter
I consider the winter to be over, now.  The only maintenance needed was a new chain (wore out super quick). 

#24997

eddie_the_ex_cabana_boy, April 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Hey Wheelie!

I’m glad to see there’s others around here who “ride in da cold!”.

I’ve been commuting (as long as there’s no ICE!) weather permitting for the past 6 years.  Usually I’ll ride 27-30 miles round trip (Pleasant Hill, Iowa to Des Moines) 4-5 days a week.

I’m hooked on commuting via bicycle BIG TIME!  Kinda gives me plenty of time to warm up before work and cool down on the way home.

And stopping off at El’ Baitshop for a few cold ones every so often is good too!

Ride safe!

Eddie

#24998

daninboulder, April 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm

eddie_the_ex_cabana_boy said: Hey Wheelie!

I’m glad to see there’s others around here who “ride in da cold!”.

I’ve been commuting (as long as there’s no ICE!) weather permitting for the past 6 years.  Usually I’ll ride 27-30 miles round trip (Pleasant Hill, Iowa to Des Moines) 4-5 days a week.

I’m hooked on commuting via bicycle BIG TIME!  Kinda gives me plenty of time to warm up before work and cool down on the way home.

And stopping off at El’ Baitshop for a few cold ones every so often is good too!

Ride safe!

Eddie

Hey what’s your route downtown? I visit my buddy in PH alot, he lives right off of the 4-Mile path, I’ve always wondered what a good route to downtown is.

Re: commuting, other than tons of wind, we have great weather here in Boulder, CO, so I have NO excuse not to be riding every day

#25000

jwsknk, April 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Scott St flattest takes you all the way downtown without much jogging around. Dean/Fairview has a good hill I assume it has been paved by now. Scott/Dean/Walnut westbound Court/Dean/Scott back to PH ? That’s the least Industrial route. Been a few years since I rode around there, grew up north of the fairgrounds & spent HS and college summers working there.

#25001

mikesglobebike, April 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm

The traffic on dean  is lite and they do give at least 3′ around a bike. The road could be smoother but not bad. I ride it toVA from ph. We turn right on E18th street to walnut st past the capital down to the Neal Smith trail north.Going home I use court ave to dean to E 34st to scott  to the Gay Lee trail home. The ride is 15.58 miles in 1:34min time it’s the safest way I know.

#25002

mehitabel, June 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I’ve biked through the Chicago winter for the last three years, which I’m hoping will help my first RAGBRAI this year, esp since I took a fall last weekend and am off my bike for at least another week (wrenched my shoulder). I’m thinking of trying a trainer while I’m healing, but I’m also hoping that biking full-time for several years will give me some foundation to fall back on–though we don’t have many hills in Chicago! 

#25003

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