Author Topic: December Cycling Challenge 2014  (Read 17020 times)

jordanread

  • Guest
December Cycling Challenge 2014
« on: November 30, 2014, 07:04:03 PM »
Brace yourselves. Winter is coming (December 21st for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere).

The cycling challenge for December is up and ready for you!! Please see the quote at the bottom of this post for a new feature available.

If you logged miles last month, and selected "Remember Me" on the form, you have been added to this month's sheet already.

If you didn't log miles, or are a new participant
Click here to fill out the form.

You can access the sheet at this link.

The historical data on your individual sheets will update from the November challenge every couple of hours, so if you have added miles, and they don't show up, just give it a bit. If they aren't there within a day, or you have any other issues with the sheet, hit me up via email, Google+ Hangouts, PM, or just comment on this thread.

I'll have some stats up later this week, but in the meantime, stay warm, stay safe, and Happy Cycling!!!

I added a new option to track the money you would have spent if you drove your mileage (similar to the metric for spirotot on the Summary page, but for each day, and for everyone). However, this option won't be added automatically during the import, so I'll get it setup manually for each of you, and then make sure that it persists.

Please post here if you want that option added to your sheet. If you would like an example as to how this looks, check out my sheet in last month's challenge. The "new" metric is column M, with data grabbed from columns T & U. It currently goes off of the master summary, but it can be changed on your sheet to match your vehicle's mileage (or use the IRS cost per mile - or any other amount you'd like to use).

Also, the chart functionality still only imports the historical monthly data, so for now, I'm going to change everybody's answer to "YES". If you have any issues with that, let me know.

Also, the award for most badass moment documented with a photo goes to Kmp2. Congrats!!



Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2014, 07:17:34 PM »
Happy cycling everyone! Just got back from a nice chilly run to the grocery store. 18 mi RT, 15F.

Primm

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1325
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Australia
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2014, 07:23:11 PM »
Added myself, thanks!

I was planning to go for a ride today, truly I was. It's a day off. But I'm painting the inside of my house at the moment, and there was always just one more bit to finish off undercoating before I put the lid back on the tin. I will go tomorrow, in the morning when it's cooler. Promise.

PindyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 241
  • Location: Minneapolis
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2014, 08:58:58 PM »
Coldest day biking of the year so far this morning. Just about 0F before adding a modest breeze. DS (2 y.o) deserves a badassity award. Rode in the trailer ~5 miles today with no complaints. It was all nice and steamy in there when we got to day care this morning. Glad to have the trailer for him now, as last year on the bike seat I found his limit to be around 20F. No more silly drive-to-daycare-then-back-home-to-bike-to-work routine.

I realize cold weather bike clothing is highly personal, but wow some of you are really decked out. I would be sweating like crazy in that stuff. I did have a co-worker comment "I think you are only partially human" the other morning though as I was locking up the bike.

Apostrophe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 09:12:15 AM »
I moved to Phoenix over the summer, and while yes, the summers are hot, the 'winter' has been pretty nice so far. :) Pedaling to work in the upper 40's now, and riding home in the 70's.

I revamped some goals recently, and more cycling is definitely in the cards. Should be a good month.

Chris

joseveri

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 09:40:36 AM »
Does anyone find that you get more fatigued from riding the colder it is?  I am logging some modest miles but the fatigue build up feels like I am riding double the distance.  Still loving it!

jamal utah

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Colorado
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2014, 09:58:08 AM »
Does anyone find that you get more fatigued from riding the colder it is?  I am logging some modest miles but the fatigue build up feels like I am riding double the distance.  Still loving it!

Not terribly surprising.  Your body is working harder to stay warm and thus burning more calories.  Also you are likely wearing bulky cloths which increases your weight and negatively impacts aerodynamics.  80% of you effort when cycling goes to overcoming air resistance.

On a unrelated note, I totally could have biked to work this morning.  It was 40 degrees here, but I didn't check the whether last night and got up too late.  Maybe tomorrow.


Nancy

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 11:20:09 AM »
I cannot wait to get back to biking! I've been taking care of an ill relative, but I'll be back soon (hopefully!!).

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2014, 11:25:38 AM »
Does anyone find that you get more fatigued from riding the colder it is?  I am logging some modest miles but the fatigue build up feels like I am riding double the distance.  Still loving it!

I find it takes me longer to really get moving. I drag ass first thing on a cold morning, and it takes about 2 miles before I get my cadence and rhythm down.

Coldest day biking of the year so far this morning. Just about 0F before adding a modest breeze. DS (2 y.o) deserves a badassity award. Rode in the trailer ~5 miles today with no complaints. It was all nice and steamy in there when we got to day care this morning. Glad to have the trailer for him now, as last year on the bike seat I found his limit to be around 20F. No more silly drive-to-daycare-then-back-home-to-bike-to-work routine.

Done:


I realize cold weather bike clothing is highly personal, but wow some of you are really decked out. I would be sweating like crazy in that stuff. I did have a co-worker comment "I think you are only partially human" the other morning though as I was locking up the bike.

The funny thing is I can practically bike to work in shorts at 20F+, but the second it hits 19F, I have to start layering. It's ridiculous that there is no in between for me, when a pair of long pants and shirt would work.

I'm not sure if I'm going to bike in tomorrow, but I confirmed that I should be good the rest of the month. Hopefully it'll be a new record. How badass would that be to set a new record in December?!?!

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2014, 11:28:52 AM »
Does anyone find that you get more fatigued from riding the colder it is?  I am logging some modest miles but the fatigue build up feels like I am riding double the distance.  Still loving it!

That was definitely my experience last winter. But as long as you keep up with it, your body adapts to it rather quickly.

I also find the looks I get when I arrive at work with icicles several inches long hanging from my beard absolutely hilarious. Hasnt quite gotten that cold this year but last year made for epic icicle action.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2014, 11:36:07 AM »
Does anyone find that you get more fatigued from riding the colder it is?  I am logging some modest miles but the fatigue build up feels like I am riding double the distance.  Still loving it!

That was definitely my experience last winter. But as long as you keep up with it, your body adapts to it rather quickly.

I also find the looks I get when I arrive at work with icicles several inches long hanging from my beard absolutely hilarious. Hasnt quite gotten that cold this year but last year made for epic icicle action.
You should share a photo when it happens! Sounds hilarious

jamal utah

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Colorado
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2014, 02:33:31 PM »
This video may be of interest to some: http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/12/video/video-make-rollers-indoor-riding_354827

Its about making your own rollers for riding indoors.

Mrs. PoP

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
    • Planting Our Pennies
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2014, 06:39:28 PM »
Does anyone find that you get more fatigued from riding the colder it is?  I am logging some modest miles but the fatigue build up feels like I am riding double the distance.  Still loving it!

That was definitely my experience last winter. But as long as you keep up with it, your body adapts to it rather quickly.

I also find the looks I get when I arrive at work with icicles several inches long hanging from my beard absolutely hilarious. Hasnt quite gotten that cold this year but last year made for epic icicle action.

Icicles?  That sounds terrifying!

Kmp2

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Location: Cowtown
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2014, 06:56:22 PM »
Ugh! First commute downtown, I took one look at the snirt and traffic on the bikeway I had planned to take into downtown and decided to stick to the plowed MUPs... Unfortunately our MUPs are a lovely scenic route that follows a windy river. Almost 20k (at least 8k further than my planned route), at an average 13km/h for a long ride. It was lovely and peaceful route but probably not a sustainable winter commute for day to day.

Guess I practice a few more times and get better at riding in the snow, then hopefully test out the bikeway on a weekend.

On a side note, I think I am going really slow, I know studded tires and snow, and snow gear will slow you down, but 13km/h? I was hoping for closer to 20... I was 30-35in the summer. And I am famished! So definitely more fatigued in the cold...

Pindy? How do you dress?, I suspect your just working much harder than I am. And yes 0F for a toddler is awesome, how did you keep them warm? We haven't tried my 20month old out winter biking yet, but are definitely thinking about it.

PindyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 241
  • Location: Minneapolis
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2014, 09:29:24 PM »
Yes, biking in the cold is much more taxing and you end up going slower. My average speed (just going by distance/time so including stops, etc.) probably varies something like ~18mph summer to ~12mph winter. The last month's thread had some discussion on studded tires, and my take is that riding them on pavement hasn't damaged them for me, but that it just contributes to going a lot slower.

Pindy? How do you dress?, I suspect your just working much harder than I am. And yes 0F for a toddler is awesome, how did you keep them warm? We haven't tried my 20month old out winter biking yet, but are definitely thinking about it.

Dress varies by temp. Summer getup is shorts + long-sleeve breathable shirt + old sneakers. Add on clothes about as follows (roughly correlating to temps, not counting wind chills):
35F - light gloves
30F - tights under shorts (really sexy...), add light 2nd long sleeve shirt-like/jackety thing (not sure how to describe it, but it's just a single thin layer made of cotton/polyester with a bit of a neck to it)
20F - headband, replace shorts with pants (I got some nice Chrome brand ones as a gift), add bar mitts, wool socks in same old sneakers
10F - Switch sneakers to old but nice hiking boots
0F - Add or swap light jacket for slightly warmer one, but still pretty thin
-20F and below - Last year when it was real cold I added a balaclava and windbreaking pants; I tried some biking goggles but they just fogged up and were annoying, so I stopped wearing them

Toddler just goes in regular outdoor gear (snowsuit, hat/gloves/boots/scarf). Trailer is stored indoors so it is warm when he gets in, then it is contained enough it stays pretty warm. He is only in it ~15 min. each way though.

PindyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 241
  • Location: Minneapolis
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2014, 09:31:20 PM »
Done:

Awesome! And yes, you definitely deserve that award as well if Dec. is the time for your new PR.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2014, 04:47:14 AM »
This kind of pisses me off. I'm sitting outside in balmy 37*F weather, and am just itching to ride. But alas, I don't have enough time between meetings to make it home between them. I think during this winter I am going to focus on increasing my speed now that I have some proper wicking clothes (one of the things I got was a jersey, so I'll have that instead of cotton shirts that get really sweaty). Tomorrow, though. Oh yeah.

UnleashHell

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6217
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Florida
  • Chapter IV - A New ... er.. something
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2014, 04:50:24 AM »
did I screw up the form to be added? cos I'm not on the list yet ... and that makes me sad!! :D

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2014, 04:52:13 AM »
did I screw up the form to be added? cos I'm not on the list yet ... and that makes me sad!! :D
Give me an hour and I'll double check. Do you have JavaScript enabled on your browser?

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2014, 06:25:03 AM »
did I screw up the form to be added? cos I'm not on the list yet ... and that makes me sad!! :D

Okay, it wasn't you. I had to put it in twice before it registered. You probably just managed to hit it while it was importing previous history, and got wonky. You are all set! Happy cycling.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2014, 07:02:55 AM »
I think during this winter I am going to focus on increasing my speed now that I have some proper wicking clothes (one of the things I got was a jersey, so I'll have that instead of cotton shirts that get really sweaty).
Yea proper wicking clothes make a world of difference. I remember I rode to the start of a group ride all sweaty. I waited about 15 minutes until we left. In that time all the sweat evaporated, so when we   left, I was all dry. Once I noticed this, I was blown away. It was amazing.

Cotton kills in the cold for any physical activity.

UnleashHell

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6217
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Florida
  • Chapter IV - A New ... er.. something
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2014, 07:33:03 AM »
did I screw up the form to be added? cos I'm not on the list yet ... and that makes me sad!! :D

Okay, it wasn't you. I had to put it in twice before it registered. You probably just managed to hit it while it was importing previous history, and got wonky. You are all set! Happy cycling.

Nice - cheers!!

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2014, 07:40:51 AM »
I think during this winter I am going to focus on increasing my speed now that I have some proper wicking clothes (one of the things I got was a jersey, so I'll have that instead of cotton shirts that get really sweaty).
Yea proper wicking clothes make a world of difference. I remember I rode to the start of a group ride all sweaty. I waited about 15 minutes until we left. In that time all the sweat evaporated, so when we   left, I was all dry. Once I noticed this, I was blown away. It was amazing.

Cotton kills in the cold for any physical activity.

Yeah, I also went ahead and got a pannier designed for laptops. A bit pricey, but when I write my blurb on how I started looking at costs and what they really meant to me, it was well thought out, and will make a huge difference (no more sweaty back).

Also, I don't know why I never thought of it before, but my recent experience with Contigo (coffee cup mentioned in last post) and actually taking the time to hold companies to their warranties has shifted how I really think about things. This pannier should be the last one I ever have to buy, since it's guaranteed for life, and I've found that just asking a company to back their stuff is usually pretty successful. As a matter of fact, I need to contact Degree to have them replace a stick of deodorant where the clicker thing didn't work. :-) Yeah, I'll do that.

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2014, 08:38:45 AM »
I'm in for December and I hope I didn't screw up when I signed up.  Apologies if I did.  Just kick my ass if necessary.

I'm not a fan of cycling through snow or ice, but don't mind the cold so much, so December will mostly be a good time for me to cycle.  January not so much.

Love when the kids at work ask me, "Aren't you cold?"  Nope.  Not too bad.  I'm hoping to encourage them to be less wimpy when it comes to a little bit of discomfort and to realize that if you dress appropriately, it's not bad at all.


Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2014, 09:17:31 AM »
Yeah, I also went ahead and got a pannier designed for laptops.

Curious what you got, since if I ever get my DW biking to work again, it will involve a laptop. Though I'd probably just loan her one of my Ortliebs and she'd just drop her laptop backpack into it and call it done.

For coffee - I'm a HydroFlask devotee for beverages hot, cold, or mildly warm (I like my water at about 90F on long winter rides to help warm up). My bottles have all taken a beating the last year and are still ticking, except for the one with a cracked flip top from my own carelessness in dropping it. The vacuum insulation is no joke.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2014, 11:18:09 AM »
Yeah, I also went ahead and got a pannier designed for laptops.

Curious what you got, since if I ever get my DW biking to work again, it will involve a laptop. Though I'd probably just loan her one of my Ortliebs and she'd just drop her laptop backpack into it and call it done.

For coffee - I'm a HydroFlask devotee for beverages hot, cold, or mildly warm (I like my water at about 90F on long winter rides to help warm up). My bottles have all taken a beating the last year and are still ticking, except for the one with a cracked flip top from my own carelessness in dropping it. The vacuum insulation is no joke.

There were three real options for me, but my specific requirements were a bit different, since I practically take a server everywhere I go. My laptop wouldn't fit in my current panniers, let alone my actual backpack. Ortlieb had one that I was looking at, but it wasn't big enough. It was the Downtown, if  I remember correctly. A lot of good reviews on it, but, like the option below, it seemed a bit too focused on being able to double as a briefcase/messenger bag. My bike goes right next to my desk, so I don't need to carry it :-). 
The other one I looked at was the Timbuk2 Cog Pannier. Once again good reviews, and I loved their device fit guide (once again however, too small).
The bag I ended up going with, partially because it was freaking huge, and partially because I heard some really good reviews about how the company backs their product, was the Arkel Commuter. The only negative reviews on it (for the most part) were because people preferred one or the other of the above options primarily due to the smaller size and ease of carrying it. For my needs, it looked perfect. It's on it's way, so I'll review more later.

Once again, though. A neoprene sleeve, and perhaps some way of bungeeing it to the inside of the pannier would work for people who don't have to lug around the stuff that I do. The idea of just putting the backpack into the pannier would have been my preferred method, but I have a very tiny set of panniers that just doesn't work, and figured "why the hell not". Once again, last pannier I'll need to buy. Now I just need to get my hands on a trailer...

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2014, 02:29:40 PM »
There were three real options for me, but my specific requirements were a bit different, since I practically take a server everywhere I go. My laptop wouldn't fit in my current panniers, let alone my actual backpack. Ortlieb had one that I was looking at, but it wasn't big enough. It was the Downtown, if  I remember correctly. A lot of good reviews on it, but, like the option below, it seemed a bit too focused on being able to double as a briefcase/messenger bag. My bike goes right next to my desk, so I don't need to carry it :-). 
The other one I looked at was the Timbuk2 Cog Pannier. Once again good reviews, and I loved their device fit guide (once again however, too small).
The bag I ended up going with, partially because it was freaking huge, and partially because I heard some really good reviews about how the company backs their product, was the Arkel Commuter. The only negative reviews on it (for the most part) were because people preferred one or the other of the above options primarily due to the smaller size and ease of carrying it. For my needs, it looked perfect. It's on it's way, so I'll review more later.

Once again, though. A neoprene sleeve, and perhaps some way of bungeeing it to the inside of the pannier would work for people who don't have to lug around the stuff that I do. The idea of just putting the backpack into the pannier would have been my preferred method, but I have a very tiny set of panniers that just doesn't work, and figured "why the hell not". Once again, last pannier I'll need to buy. Now I just need to get my hands on a trailer...
Aren't you ever afraid that you might get into an accident and damage your laptop?

Curious, what kind of trailer are you looking for? Kids, cargo, or both?

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2014, 07:40:57 PM »
There were three real options for me, but my specific requirements were a bit different, since I practically take a server everywhere I go. My laptop wouldn't fit in my current panniers, let alone my actual backpack. Ortlieb had one that I was looking at, but it wasn't big enough. It was the Downtown, if  I remember correctly. A lot of good reviews on it, but, like the option below, it seemed a bit too focused on being able to double as a briefcase/messenger bag. My bike goes right next to my desk, so I don't need to carry it :-). 
The other one I looked at was the Timbuk2 Cog Pannier. Once again good reviews, and I loved their device fit guide (once again however, too small).
The bag I ended up going with, partially because it was freaking huge, and partially because I heard some really good reviews about how the company backs their product, was the Arkel Commuter. The only negative reviews on it (for the most part) were because people preferred one or the other of the above options primarily due to the smaller size and ease of carrying it. For my needs, it looked perfect. It's on it's way, so I'll review more later.

Once again, though. A neoprene sleeve, and perhaps some way of bungeeing it to the inside of the pannier would work for people who don't have to lug around the stuff that I do. The idea of just putting the backpack into the pannier would have been my preferred method, but I have a very tiny set of panniers that just doesn't work, and figured "why the hell not". Once again, last pannier I'll need to buy. Now I just need to get my hands on a trailer...
Aren't you ever afraid that you might get into an accident and damage your laptop?

Curious, what kind of trailer are you looking for? Kids, cargo, or both?
I am a bit worried about crashing with the laptop, and that is one of the reasons I went with something specifically designed for them. There are quite a few stories with all three of the bags about people eating it, and the laptops being fine. That's why I went with what I did.

As far as trailers go, looking for cargo, but there are some modifications to burleys that would meet my needs, so I'm half looking for everything.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2014, 07:56:18 PM »
There were three real options for me, but my specific requirements were a bit different, since I practically take a server everywhere I go. My laptop wouldn't fit in my current panniers, let alone my actual backpack. Ortlieb had one that I was looking at, but it wasn't big enough. It was the Downtown, if  I remember correctly. A lot of good reviews on it, but, like the option below, it seemed a bit too focused on being able to double as a briefcase/messenger bag. My bike goes right next to my desk, so I don't need to carry it :-). 
The other one I looked at was the Timbuk2 Cog Pannier. Once again good reviews, and I loved their device fit guide (once again however, too small).
The bag I ended up going with, partially because it was freaking huge, and partially because I heard some really good reviews about how the company backs their product, was the Arkel Commuter. The only negative reviews on it (for the most part) were because people preferred one or the other of the above options primarily due to the smaller size and ease of carrying it. For my needs, it looked perfect. It's on it's way, so I'll review more later.

Once again, though. A neoprene sleeve, and perhaps some way of bungeeing it to the inside of the pannier would work for people who don't have to lug around the stuff that I do. The idea of just putting the backpack into the pannier would have been my preferred method, but I have a very tiny set of panniers that just doesn't work, and figured "why the hell not". Once again, last pannier I'll need to buy. Now I just need to get my hands on a trailer...
Aren't you ever afraid that you might get into an accident and damage your laptop?

Curious, what kind of trailer are you looking for? Kids, cargo, or both?
I am a bit worried about crashing with the laptop, and that is one of the reasons I went with something specifically designed for them. There are quite a few stories with all three of the bags about people eating it, and the laptops being fine. That's why I went with what I did.

As far as trailers go, looking for cargo, but there are some modifications to burleys that would meet my needs, so I'm half looking for everything.
Ah interesting. I never actually looked at the links, so I didn't know that that was a design point for the bags.

I take it you've tried Craigslist for a trailer? I managed to get one for $40 there.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2014, 05:14:18 AM »
There were three real options for me, but my specific requirements were a bit different, since I practically take a server everywhere I go. My laptop wouldn't fit in my current panniers, let alone my actual backpack. Ortlieb had one that I was looking at, but it wasn't big enough. It was the Downtown, if  I remember correctly. A lot of good reviews on it, but, like the option below, it seemed a bit too focused on being able to double as a briefcase/messenger bag. My bike goes right next to my desk, so I don't need to carry it :-). 
The other one I looked at was the Timbuk2 Cog Pannier. Once again good reviews, and I loved their device fit guide (once again however, too small).
The bag I ended up going with, partially because it was freaking huge, and partially because I heard some really good reviews about how the company backs their product, was the Arkel Commuter. The only negative reviews on it (for the most part) were because people preferred one or the other of the above options primarily due to the smaller size and ease of carrying it. For my needs, it looked perfect. It's on it's way, so I'll review more later.

Once again, though. A neoprene sleeve, and perhaps some way of bungeeing it to the inside of the pannier would work for people who don't have to lug around the stuff that I do. The idea of just putting the backpack into the pannier would have been my preferred method, but I have a very tiny set of panniers that just doesn't work, and figured "why the hell not". Once again, last pannier I'll need to buy. Now I just need to get my hands on a trailer...
Aren't you ever afraid that you might get into an accident and damage your laptop?

Curious, what kind of trailer are you looking for? Kids, cargo, or both?
I am a bit worried about crashing with the laptop, and that is one of the reasons I went with something specifically designed for them. There are quite a few stories with all three of the bags about people eating it, and the laptops being fine. That's why I went with what I did.

As far as trailers go, looking for cargo, but there are some modifications to burleys that would meet my needs, so I'm half looking for everything.
Ah interesting. I never actually looked at the links, so I didn't know that that was a design point for the bags.

I take it you've tried Craigslist for a trailer? I managed to get one for $40 there.
Yeah, I've got an alert setup. There is no way I'm paying retail for it. Also I can't quite decide what I want. Hopefully prices will drop after Xmas.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 10:59:14 AM by jordanread »

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2014, 11:10:40 AM »
All right, this is getting irksome. It seems like everything except the weather is conspiring against me. I can usually go every month with only needing to drive in 2 days. Once up to Denver, and usually I have some errand I have to run. However, every day this week has required me to be somewhere else right after work. I will ride in on Monday, but just got another appointment on Tuesday (with a potential client...at a restaurant that would not look kindly on a sweaty biker showing up...I'm even going to have to do my hair).

Doesn't look like it's going to be a record month like I hoped, especially with the days off for the holidays, but I might try to do a couple of rides just for fun (and to pad my miles). Hope everyone else is doing better than I am. :-)

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2014, 12:08:14 PM »
All right, this is getting irksome. It seems like everything except the weather is conspiring against me. I can usually go every month with only needing to drive in 2 days. Once up to Denver, and usually I have some errand I have to run. However, every day this week has required me to be somewhere else right after work. I will ride in on Monday, but just got another appointment on Tuesday (with a potential client...at a restaurant that would not look kindly on a sweaty biker showing up...I'm even going to have to do my hair).

Doesn't look like it's going to be a record month like I hoped, especially with the days off for the holidays, but I might try to do a couple of rides just for fun (and to pad my miles). Hope everyone else is doing better than I am. :-)
I'm still getting some knee pain on my longer rides! If it weren't for that I would be riding ~ 100 miles this weekend (recreationally).
I've been messing with the saddle position, I'm hoping I find the right position soon

Wolf_Stache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Portland
    • Flower's Fang
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2014, 02:17:09 PM »
Yeah, I also went ahead and got a pannier designed for laptops.

Curious what you got, since if I ever get my DW biking to work again, it will involve a laptop. Though I'd probably just loan her one of my Ortliebs and she'd just drop her laptop backpack into it and call it done.

For coffee - I'm a HydroFlask devotee for beverages hot, cold, or mildly warm (I like my water at about 90F on long winter rides to help warm up). My bottles have all taken a beating the last year and are still ticking, except for the one with a cracked flip top from my own carelessness in dropping it. The vacuum insulation is no joke.

I bought one of those HydroFlasks last time I was at REI after all my other waterbottles got stolen. I bought it for the seal, so I could throw it in my bag to prevent it being stolen off my bike frame like the others. BEST BOTTLE EVER. Keeps things cool/warm for HOURS.

Kmp2

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Location: Cowtown
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2014, 11:13:49 PM »
Thanks Pindy!

I think I am going to bike in one day and bike home the next with the goal of doing this once a week all winter. I had a beautiful bike home! But 20k is too far for me to do twice daily - from both time a fitness perspectives.

But I am definitely up to biking for errands, we have three grocery stores under 5k from the house. And if the toddler can make it that far it is totally doable. We have a sleeping bag wither her with strap holes in the back, so she should stay pretty toasty, and I was considering adding a hot water bottle for the sub -18c (0f).  And we can always add blankets.

And I definitely wear another layer than you do... So far this has been working well..
40f  capris, light gloves, arm warmers, short sleeve shirt
32f  windbreaker, maybe full tights, and long sleeve wicking shirt, scull cap
20f  heavy gloves, soft shell jacket, winter tights, switch from cycling shoes to winter hiking boots, balaclava
10f  add long underwear under the above and switch to mitts
0f  mitts with liners, long underwear, an extra thermal layer, softshell jacket, balaclava.
Below that I might add a light weight down jacket, or down vest... I don't think I will be cycling much below -10f ...my internal gears start to seize up around 0f, so going far in this hilly area is not an option then.

I think I am probably just not working as hard yet, as I am only going about 8 mph... 12 is the goal!


m8547

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 311
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2014, 11:08:20 PM »
I got my bike ready for winter today! On the rear I installed a mountain bike tire, a wider fender, and a new rack! It's a hybrid bike, so it takes 700C tires, but I managed to find some 700C x 45 knobby tires a few years ago in an attempt to turn it into a mountain bike. It didn't make for a very good mountain bike, but one of the tires in the rear should be perfect for snow and slippery conditions. The tire was essentially free since I've had it for years, and it's just taking up space otherwise. The old tire that was on the rear is worn smooth, so it's no good for snow. I got a used tube for $1 from my local bike co-op to fit the larger tire. It's a slime tube, which I normally don't like, but it should be good for commuting to avoid flats. The knobby tire doesn't have a lot of flat protection built-in.

On the front I plan to install a studded tire when it gets cold again. Around here the bike paths tend to melt in the day and freeze overnight, making for slick conditions in the morning. They plow the paths, but they don't use any salt or sand. I got the tire for $50, which is not bad given that (good quality) normal tires cost at least $30. It's worth it not to crash on ice..

I had to modify a wide 29'er fender to fit over the rear tire. With a couple cuts by the seat stay it fits perfectly! I was expecting to have to do more extensive modifications to keep it from rubbing. Full fenders are a requirement for me since I usually ride in my work clothes.

I've had a rack sitting in the closet for a while, but I never got around to installing it. I got a good deal on an Axiom rack that's rated to hold 110lbs, so it's super strong. I previously had a free steel rack on this bike, but it eventually rusted and fell apart (it was already rusty and had some broken welds when I got it). This rack is aluminum, so it's about the same weight but stronger and more corrosion resistant. Now I need to find some bags to use with it. I mostly need it to carry groceries, so I'll probably pick up a grocery bag pannier or see if I can make my own.

I cleaned surprising amounts of black stuff out of the chain and gears and put on some fresh chain lube. I'm waiting on a new front brake since this one is sticking, and re-greasing it only helped for a few weeks. The original one lasted 15 years (with regular commuting for the last 6 years), so I think I got my money's worth. All the parts are original except the cassette, chain, crankset, pedals, grips, tires, cable/housing, and seat. I've only had to replace normal wear parts. I'll probably ride it until the frame rusts all the way through.

The bike will be a lot heavier and slower now, but that just makes it better training to ride it.

UnleashHell

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6217
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Florida
  • Chapter IV - A New ... er.. something
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2014, 07:49:50 AM »
ok - this is a bit tougher than it was a few years ago....
did my first ride to work last week.. got a lift home.
rode to work and back wednesday - head winds killed me on the way home.. finished in the dark, which wasn;t the plan. Especially as its only about 8 miles!!
I am soo slow but the only way to get faster is to ride!
this morning i put on my big boy pants, threw works clothes, a change of clothes (in case it rains on the way in), jacket, hat, toilettries and my work computer on the bike and just rode the bloody thing to work,.
Result - I went via the shortest, but most congested route (full of drivers who haven't got a clue what a bike is) and took 9 minutes off my first ride time from last week. I have no bad weather issues here so I just need to shut up and ride. Wave if you see a fat guy gasping for breathe down int he tampa area - thats me!!

and kudos to all those ridign in the snow - when I lived up north I put my bike away in the winter. then I put it away for 5 years.. need to see how the ride home is now.. only done it once so I have a base line but....

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2918
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2014, 03:50:26 PM »
All right, this is getting irksome. It seems like everything except the weather is conspiring against me. I can usually go every month with only needing to drive in 2 days. Once up to Denver, and usually I have some errand I have to run. However, every day this week has required me to be somewhere else right after work. I will ride in on Monday, but just got another appointment on Tuesday (with a potential client...at a restaurant that would not look kindly on a sweaty biker showing up...I'm even going to have to do my hair).

Doesn't look like it's going to be a record month like I hoped, especially with the days off for the holidays, but I might try to do a couple of rides just for fun (and to pad my miles). Hope everyone else is doing better than I am. :-)

I can commiserate. I've only managed to ride in once so far this month. Although in my case it's been due to my youngest being sick and needing the car to shuttle her around during the day. I think I've got her problem figured out and hope to get back on the bike later this week.

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2014, 05:49:11 PM »
I'm getting a lot better at packing groceries. Haven't broken an egg in over a month!

I don't know about y'all, but I'm finding myself be a lot more aggressive about lane position in the winter than I was in the summer. Cars just aren't looking for bikes this time of year.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2014, 05:51:51 PM »
I'm getting a lot better at packing groceries. Haven't broken an egg in over a month!

I don't know about y'all, but I'm finding myself be a lot more aggressive about lane position in the winter than I was in the summer. Cars just aren't looking for bikes this time of year.
I'm always aggressive, but I've yet to have a day where I'm the only biker. I love Colorado springs!!

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2014, 06:40:57 PM »
I'm getting a lot better at packing groceries. Haven't broken an egg in over a month!

I don't know about y'all, but I'm finding myself be a lot more aggressive about lane position in the winter than I was in the summer. Cars just aren't looking for bikes this time of year.
What was your previous stance on lane position, and how are you more aggressive now?
Where I live, in my experience if I don't take the center of the lane (or maybe a little left of center) I get passed within inches, way too close for comfort.

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2014, 08:41:52 PM »
What was your previous stance on lane position, and how are you more aggressive now?
Where I live, in my experience if I don't take the center of the lane (or maybe a little left of center) I get passed within inches, way too close for comfort.

Parking myself dead center in the lane instead of 1/3 from right. Taking the full lane even when the 'parking' lane is clear of parked cars. That kind of thing.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #41 on: December 10, 2014, 09:21:39 AM »
So my autopilot is broken, and I need to fix it. Got my pannier Monday, and last night I moved everything out of my backpack and into the pannier (which is awesome, btw). I didn't sleep well last night, so slept in a bit, and went straight auto pilot. Unfortunately, my auto pilot had me grab lunch, my backpack, and drive to work. I didn't even realize I forgot to bike until I was almost to work. Then, I realized that my stuff for work was still in my panniers. So I had to turn around, go back home, and grab my stuff. And by then I was too late to bike in. That sucked. I'm going to bed super early tonight, and I'm going to have a glorious ride in tomorrow.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2918
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #42 on: December 10, 2014, 04:25:11 PM »
Finally got to ride in to work today. Pouring rain, dark and a 90km/hr wind warning. I couldn't see worth a damn for all the giant, piercing raindrops firing horizontally into my eyeballs. It was glorious!

I passed about a million cars as they rolled along at 5km/hr on the highway. Suckers!

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #43 on: December 10, 2014, 04:26:38 PM »
Finally got to ride in to work today. Pouring rain, dark and a 90km/hr wind warning. I couldn't see worth a damn for all the giant, piercing raindrops firing horizontally into my eyeballs. It was glorious!

I passed about a million cars as they rolled along at 5km/hr on the highway. Suckers!
That may be one of my favorite posts so far. Outstanding!!

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2014, 10:01:28 AM »
Okay, I got to ride in today! First things first, I'd like to thank everybody for the advice on cold weather gear, it was extremely helpful. It was a few degrees below freezing when I left this morning. I didn't pre-pack my pannier, so I forgot a few things, but it still wound up great. I didn't have my gloves, so my fingers were a bit cold for the first couple of miles, but warmed up quite nicely, even with the icicles on the beard. I did realize that I may want to get some 3/4 tights, since my wool base layer kind of let the wind through. But all in all it was good. A great rid it, and a totally different experience. It was awesome!!

joseveri

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2014, 10:14:58 AM »
Finally got to ride in to work today. Pouring rain, dark and a 90km/hr wind warning. I couldn't see worth a damn for all the giant, piercing raindrops firing horizontally into my eyeballs. It was glorious!

I passed about a million cars as they rolled along at 5km/hr on the highway. Suckers!

YOU LEGEND!

joseveri

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2014, 10:20:34 AM »
I'm two months into full commuting in Chicago and loving it.  A couple nasty days here and there but I think I have it down with my gear combo. I have to drive on Friday to bring in food and presents for a Holiday party.  I'm using it as a rest day but I found myself actually getting irritated by having to drive. Thanks to you guys for putting this together. 

Question- does anyone use any sort of eye wear for cold weather?  I am going without glasses and finding that my eyes and the area around them constantly is reddish.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2014, 10:35:50 AM »
I'm two months into full commuting in Chicago and loving it.  A couple nasty days here and there but I think I have it down with my gear combo. I have to drive on Friday to bring in food and presents for a Holiday party.  I'm using it as a rest day but I found myself actually getting irritated by having to drive. Thanks to you guys for putting this together. 

Question- does anyone use any sort of eye wear for cold weather?  I am going without glasses and finding that my eyes and the area around them constantly is reddish.

I use sunglasses in the afternoons, but don't use anything in the mornings. After that crazy ride a few weeks ago, though, I had to be careful blinking, otherwise my eyelashes would freeze together. I haven't tried it yet, but I have a pair of the glasses I got to protect my eyes after Lasik (pretty much plexi glass with some foam parts and a rubber band). They are similar to the image below, and are probably $.25. I'll give them a try once we get some more precipitation. I know some people swear by snowboarding goggles and the like. I also don't go all that fast ;-) (12-15mph).


Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2014, 10:38:16 AM »
Question- does anyone use any sort of eye wear for cold weather?  I am going without glasses and finding that my eyes and the area around them constantly is reddish.

Cycling or other safety glasses would help. I'm a 4-eyes with smallish frames, and that works fine until about 15F or so. Last winter I strongly considered getting some goggles but I was worried about them fogging up. If it gets super cold again, I might get a cheap pair anyways and take a flyer on them, or get a nicer pair via REI and return them within a year if they're truly not worth it.

I'd probably avoid anything tinted, but the yellow tinting might still be okay for night vision.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2918
Re: December Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #49 on: December 11, 2014, 12:24:41 PM »
On the subject of glasses, does anyone have any preference between ordinary prescription glasses vs nothing at all, or contacts?

I wear regular glasses and have never been able to manage contacts. So I also wear my glasses to commute. In the PNW in the winter this means I wear them in the dark and rain. They're really hard to see out of when they fog up, which is most of the time, and I've been considering LASIK (our insurance should cover more than half the cost). However, since I can't bike without glasses in the rain to test my theory, I'm not convinced LASIK would even make any difference.