The Chainlink

As many of you know, I'm organizing the Horrible Holiday Sweater ride for this Sunday.  However, the forecasts are saying that the temperatures might be dropping to the single digits.

 

Now, I've certainly ridden in those temperatures in order to get somewhere, however, I'm not sure if it would be a great social activity to go out and freeze.

 

I know that this is a bike winter activity, but I don't want people to be miserable, or to have no one show up for my ride.

 

I also don't want to cancel cause I know Chicago forecasters are often very wrong and this far out, the weather in unpredictable.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Replies to This Discussion

Never too cold for social biking - of course I won't be able to join this ride because my parents are in town, but otherwise I'd be there with you, freezing and having fun!
I think 15-20 degrees would be my limit for a social ride, but that depends on the wind and snow conditions as well. Hopefully it stays nice and I get my Schwinn running before sunday. Fortunately I already got my horrible sweater ready for the ride!
You can always ride to the nearest bar and socialize there :)
Last year's HHS ride was epic, and freezing, by nature. The point to point warm-ups worked great. Just keep it fast(er) and short(er). Thoroughly warn riders how to prep, and define cancellation conditions. But easy for me to say, I can't come.
democratic vote day of. i know that puts it last minute, but thruth be told, too cold is too cold, especially if you arent moving too fast becuase it is social (ive done -16, but as destination riding).

on the other hand, its a great badge of honor to claim doing a social ride in artic temps and winds...true chicago spirit.
I'm also thinking 15 as the cut off point. I might go ahead and change the meeting point to an indoor location...I definitely don't want to hang out in Daley Plaza waiting for folks to arrive! So...any nearby suggesions would be appreciated.

This summer I hosted a ride that happened to fall on the day we had a horrendous wind and thunderstorm. I cancelled the ride, but still went to the starting point and found 5 people who hadn't gotten the message or hadn't RSVPed. We were fortunate to have caught a window in the storm and stayed mostly dry, however we all got drenched on the way home. It was still fun, but arctic temps are a little different than summer storms. I'm guessing we won't get a window of 40 degree weather this Sunday. Heck, I'd take 30 degrees!







pistola said:
I think 15-20 degrees would be my limit for a social ride, but that depends on the wind and snow conditions as well. Hopefully it stays nice and I get my Schwinn running before sunday. Fortunately I already got my horrible sweater ready for the ride!
I've tried before a nice warming mixture of the Austrian rum called Stroh with hot tea. Worked very well. Few minutes of googling produced a much tastier sounding recipe :)

I guess I need a Thermos as part of my Bike Winter set!
It is possible to have a good ride in the most extreme conditions. I've gone on a couple of Todd Gee's snow rides that were very blizzardy and likely drew good turnouts due to the extreme nature of the weather.

But in general as the weather deteriorates so does the turnout. Lowell Nelson and myself organized a few "River Shiver" rides with exceptionally low turnouts. But because we knew we would both enjoy doing the ride together, it didn't matter to us how many might show up.

Having no one show up for a 'group' ride sucks, but if you have a commited partner/co-organizer, then there is no risk. Looking at your ride in the calendar I see there are quite a few RSVPS committed. With that many RSVPs I'd imagine at least some will show, but you might ask who will show no matter what, or call a couple you know best to insure you'll have someone who will show up.

As for the concern for others who show up being miserable, just make your plans as flexible as possible and ask the group when to keep riding or stop for a warm up. It's up to each rider to prepare themselves for the conditions and to know their limits.

I'm considering your ride, but I'm increasingly becoming a weather weenie. I've had a couple recent solo night rides in marginal weather that became quite unpleasant. In the most recent I was fixing a flat when my mitten blew into a pothole pond of salty melt water. Had a rough ride before finding an open McDonalds which fortunately had a bathroom hot air hand drier. I'll only be riding when I must in conditions where I can't readily fix a flat.
Aren't there some big enclosed and heated areas in the DP Kindlmarket?

Also, I note that last year's endpoint (the Lincoln Square Kindlemarket) appears to have been last week.
My sweater is hideous but also drafty. I would appreciate rescheduling if it's below 15 but most certainly if the winds are above 15mph.
The Route will be slightly different from last year....and we didn't end at the Lincoln Square thing, we merely stopped there. We were supposed to end at Simons in Andersonville, but they were too crowded.

If it is below 15, I'll probably cancel. If air temperature is higher, but the windchill is in the single digits, I'll probably cancel.

If it's snowing and beautiful and like a winter snowglobe, then we're totally on! However, we won't be taking scenic routes, and when leaving bars, there will be prizes for being the first person to have their bike unlocked, straddled and ready to go.

It was a really fun ride last year, but it was also very cold.



Andrew Bedno said:
Aren't there some big enclosed and heated areas in the DP Kindlmarket?

Also, I note that last year's endpoint (the Lincoln Square Kindlemarket) appears to have been last week.

On a positive note, the extremely cold weather should keep the horrible sweaters from smelling horrible! And on another "glass is half full" note, it doesn't look like we'll need any sunscreen per Accuweather:

 

  • Sunday

    Dec 12

    Snow showers possible; colder18°Lo 0
FlurriesHi 18°RealFeel® -4°

Day

Wind
  • NW at 21 mph
  • Gusts: 39 mph

Mostly cloudy, windy and colder with a chance for snow showers

  • Max UV Index: 1 (low)
  • Thunderstorm Probability: 0%
  • Amount of Precipitation: 0.00 in
  • Amount of Rain: 0.00 in
  • Amount of Snow: 0.0 in
  • Amount of Ice: 0.00 in
  • Hours of Precipitation: 0  hrs
  • Hours of Rain: 0 hrs
ClearLo 0°  RealFeel® -22°

Night

Wind
  • NW at 16 mph
  • Gusts: 28 mph

Clear, breezy and colder

  • Max UV Index: N/A
  • Thunderstorm Probability: 0%
  • Amount of Precipitation: 0.00 in
  • Amount of Rain: 0.00 in
  • Amount of Snow: 0.0 in
  • Amount of Ice: 0.00 in
  • Hours of Precipitation: 0  hrs
  • Hours of Rain: 0 hrs



jamimaria said:

The Route will be slightly different from last year....and we didn't end at the Lincoln Square thing, we merely stopped there. We were supposed to end at Simons in Andersonville, but they were too crowded.

If it is below 15, I'll probably cancel. If air temperature is higher, but the windchill is in the single digits, I'll probably cancel.

If it's snowing and beautiful and like a winter snowglobe, then we're totally on! However, we won't be taking scenic routes, and when leaving bars, there will be prizes for being the first person to have their bike unlocked, straddled and ready to go.


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