The Chainlink

There's just a touch of chill in the air, but the days are much shorter and fall and winter are on their way.  What do you most look forward to about cold-weather biking? 

Me, it's the amazing feeling of hot coffee on a cold ride.  I have a coffee-cup-holder mounted on my handlebars, and for my 5 mile ride to work, I have hot Alterra coffee ready to go.  Stopping at lights and having a swig of it makes my day.  And drivers and other cyclists often comment to admire this cup-holder, which my girlfriend got me at K-Mart two or three years ago.

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I meet the coolest riders the colder it gets. <----see what happened there.

Sad news, indeed.  Rest in peace, Grover Everett.  You were the High Miles King of Taylorville, Illinois.
 
ilter said:

Out of topic, but just wanted to note, the high mileage rider from Taylorville was was killed yesterday..

http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x871170363/Taylorville-bicyclist-71-ki...

For those of you who didn't follow the link to see the sad news:

"AUBURN — A 71-year-old Taylorville man died Thursday morning after the bicycle he was riding on Illinois 104 west of Auburn was struck from behind by a car.

Grover Everett was pronounced dead at Memorial Medical Center at 9:35 a.m.

Illinois State Police reported Everett was traveling west on the shoulder just east of Hunley Road about 8:40 a.m. A car driven by Willem D. Cohen, 22, of Pawnee, drifted onto the westbound shoulder and struck Everett’s bicycle.

Everett landed on the hood of the car after the collision, police said..

Charges are pending, state police said."

Not to be mean, but wanna bet the 22-year-old driver was texting or otherwise distracted?  Traveling west-bound at 8:40 am, no chance it was the sun in his eyes to cause a "drift" onto the shoulder.


Condolences to Mr. Everett and his family and friends.  And a warning to everyone who rides: watch yourselves on the road.

On a more positive note, I love the fact that people who can barely handle walking in the cold (from their car to the coffee shop, or from the El to the coffee shop, or from one coffee shop to another coffee shop) are impressed as I stagger into the coffee shop, peel off various layers, wipe the now-fogged up glasses and order some damn coffee.  As others on this thread have pointed this out, biking in cold weather is actually easy and fun, but non-riders act like we're astronauts returning from the moon.  I was that way till I got some proper gear and manned up three-four years ago.  At the same time, I am totally wigged out by the folks who ride EVERY DAY, even if the streets are sheets of ice.  They are like astronauts, but cooler.  Or colder. 

I think I may have found a solution. Last fall I bought an inexpensive shell for about $35.00 that I found on the web. I wear that with an underarmor like inner layer and I'm fine. Problem is, that it turns into a sauna after riding a few miles. I took the jacket to my local alteration shop but she wants $45.00 to install vented pits with velcro fasteners, more than I paid for the jacket itself. I figure $80 isn't that bad of a price for what I want, so I may go with that option, but I think she's asking a bit much.

kiltedcelt said:

I sweat just as much in the winter so there's no relief there. However, I enjoy my daily LFP commute a lot more as the days get colder because I deal with far less traffic from oblivious peds and inconsiderate fellow cyclists, of the variety who like to come into my lane as they pass people in their own. I still wish I could find inexpensive cycling apparel that wouldn't cause me to overheat so much, but would still breathe and keep me warm.

I was lucky enough to be able to act on this tip from a chainlink user:

http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/heads-up-great-waterproof-...

These things are the perfect outer shell-- except for spring-like days I wear a thin windbreaker underneath.  I also have the "sauna" problem when I wear anything that's not particularly breathable-- but the material of these, while thin, has some stiffness to it, so it doesn't cling to your arms and such; I've decided the stiffness helps keep it breathable more than the pit zips (which it does have).

Wish I could find a link to the same jacket-- I'd still recommend if it cost 3 times more than I paid.

Joe Guzzardo said:

I think I may have found a solution. Last fall I bought an inexpensive shell for about $35.00 that I found on the web. I wear that with an underarmor like inner layer and I'm fine. Problem is, that it turns into a sauna after riding a few miles. I took the jacket to my local alteration shop but she wants $45.00 to install vented pits with velcro fasteners, more than I paid for the jacket itself. I figure $80 isn't that bad of a price for what I want, so I may go with that option, but I think she's asking a bit much.

kiltedcelt said:

I sweat just as much in the winter so there's no relief there. However, I enjoy my daily LFP commute a lot more as the days get colder because I deal with far less traffic from oblivious peds and inconsiderate fellow cyclists, of the variety who like to come into my lane as they pass people in their own. I still wish I could find inexpensive cycling apparel that wouldn't cause me to overheat so much, but would still breathe and keep me warm.

I look forward to winter biking being over.

Winter biking is a fun challenge.  Can I do 20 degrees with these gloves?  Is this balaclava gonna be enough in this wind?  Basically -- how cold can I go?

Towards the end of this winter I actually started hoping for COLDER days, so I could get a chance to test my system.  Not many more sub 20 degree days left this winter.

Winter is nice if you commute on the LFT, b/c trail is nice and uncrowded.  The city does a surprisingly good job of keeping the trail cleared and salted, too.

Crunching salt under my tires. It is almost as good as popping bubble-wrap.

+1.  Another snow day (and its nasty aftermath) on the way and I won't ride my bike.:-(  Today should be nice, though.

Duppie 13.5185km said:

I look forward to winter biking being over.

I agree with this one. today I chose the layers pretty well....also I still love passing busses. not sure why...

 

 

DB

Kevin Kelly said:

Winter biking is a fun challenge.  Can I do 20 degrees with these gloves?  Is this balaclava gonna be enough in this wind?  Basically -- how cold can I go?

Towards the end of this winter I actually started hoping for COLDER days, so I could get a chance to test my system.  Not many more sub 20 degree days left this winter.

Winter is nice if you commute on the LFT, b/c trail is nice and uncrowded.  The city does a surprisingly good job of keeping the trail cleared and salted, too.

What do you look forward to about winter biking?

Spring.

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