The Chainlink

Traffic 'round these parts dropped off pretty dramatically a few weeks ago... hard to tell from the "I rode today" thread who's still riding, as one would have to conclude that Gene is the only one out there most days by reading it....

Who's sticking it out and plans to continue to ride pretty much every day regardless of weather?

(Was winter 2013;   2014 starts on p. 36;   2015 starts on p. 61)

 

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This is the first winter biking I've done. My pedals keep spinning with out the chain. Is this cause of cold?  Bike is parked outside for the six hours of work. Does it need more oil on the chain before biking...or something else? Has anybody had this problem?

Is the chain slipping off the chainring? It probably couldn't hurt to lube up the chain, too.

Leslie said:

This is the first winter biking I've done. My pedals keep spinning with out the chain. Is this cause of cold?  Bike is parked outside for the six hours of work. Does it need more oil on the chain before biking...or something else? Has anybody had this problem?

The chain is on chainring how ever it's not moving the rear tire. I push back on the derailleur and it starts again til it stops again. Repeat. Maybe lube chain some after the bike has been sitting in cold while at work before riding? Cause it was fine in morning after being inside. It was cold on ride home!

I am by no means an expert, but I'd try giving it some lube and see if that helps. It's also generally a good idea to wipe as much snow off of the bike as possible after your ride. Sometime cables can get wet and freeze up. If bringing the bike inside solves this problem, then I'd guess that something is getting wet and freezing. My bike room at home is outdoors, and I've had problems with cables freezing up.

Leslie said:

The chain is on chainring how ever it's not moving the rear tire. I push back on the derailleur and it starts again til it stops again. Repeat. Maybe lube chain some after the bike has been sitting in cold while at work before riding? Cause it was fine in morning after being inside. It was cold on ride home!

Alright! Invest in a towel and bring oil. It's true snow was blowing onto bike today even under a tarp. Thanks

The chain should be lubricated regularly, and more often if you're riding in wet conditions. A thicker oil, resistant to washing off, would be better. One problem is that if there is water inside the chain, an application of oil may not displace it, so the chain isn't really getting lubricated. If possible, take the chain off, bring it inside and clean it in a water-displacing cleaner such as WD-40. Then dry it and apply the chain oil. Then keep it oiled. While you're at it, check the chain for excess wear. If you have any rust on the outside of your chain, there's probably rust (and wear) inside. If you run a chain worn much beyond 1% elongation, you are going to damage your cogs and chainrings.

Steve

Leslie said:

The chain is on chainring how ever it's not moving the rear tire. I push back on the derailleur and it starts again til it stops again. Repeat. Maybe lube chain some after the bike has been sitting in cold while at work before riding? Cause it was fine in morning after being inside. It was cold on ride home!

I didn't see a single other cyclist yesterday. I saw one today as I was getting onto Jackson. It was pretty cold yesterday, but I pulled out all my cold-weather stuff and was quite comfortable except for my feet which were a little chilled. I didn't wear shoe covers because the ones I have don't fit my street shoes. The longest I was out was about 25 minutes, so I figured if my core and legs were warm, the feet would be OK. And so it turned out.

"Control" was another story. Where there was ice, slush or snow that wasn't too deep, I was fine with the studded tires. On some of the side streets I had to keep up some speed to blast through packed "mashed potatoes" snow, and still had to dab a foot once in a while or even stop at times. I walked about 25 yards.

Looking forward to warmer weather, though.

Steve

I started seeing more bikes on Wednesday last week. Not a lot, but more. And some Divvy bikes were out again. Then the week finished off with an ice storm. When I got off the train the cars were having trouble making it up the slight hill to the exit of the METRA parking lot. I'm sure some of them were wondering how I could do it without falling.  :-)

The cold weather seems to have been hard on the bike, though. I broke 2 spokes on the rear wheel. Replacing them now...

Steve

Steve,
Last week I got on the 5:01 heading home with my folder. A lady got on the train just in front of me and sat down next to the garbage can and put her purse on the floor. I asked if she was really partial to that spot because I'd like to put my bike there. She said she was, so I shrugged and sat next to her with my bike in front of me. Then she said "Actually I'm saving this spot for Steve". I said "Dr. Weeks? he never rides in this car" then a bunch of ladies around us started chiming in with "that's Toms spot" " Tom rides there every day" she got up all flustered and took one of the comfy bench seats farther back. I moved over and took your spot. 
Steve Weeks said:

I started seeing more bikes on Wednesday last week. Not a lot, but more. And some Divvy bikes were out again. Then the week finished off with an ice storm. When I got off the train the cars were having trouble making it up the slight hill to the exit of the METRA parking lot. I'm sure some of them were wondering how I could do it without falling.  :-)

The cold weather seems to have been hard on the bike, though. I broke 2 spokes on the rear wheel. Replacing them now...

Steve

Hi, Tom. Great story! Actually, that's not "my" spot because I never take the 5:01... it doesn't stop in Mundelein. I take the 4:58 if I'm lucky enough to get off work that early. Actually, I don't consider any spot to be "mine"... but I don't mind asking if I can put my bike in that spot. Usually I don't ask if there's a bag in the spot, but quite often when I get on the train the person will offer to move their bag. Folks are nice!

Steve

AAAARGH!  Snow, slippery roads, and wind forecast for tomorrow morning.  And it was such a great day today.

Today was my first bike commute in about five weeks, due to weather, holidays, weather and sloth. Between the Divvy bike weight, light headwind, and de-conditioned legs, my morning ride was a challenge! It was great to be back in the saddle, though. It was also great to see a cop this morning at Wells/Ohio zoom off, lights flashing, to ticket a driver that had sailed through a solid red light. That was only the second time in my many years in Chicago that I saw active enforcement of traffic laws! 

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