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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: jordanread on February 01, 2015, 11:05:35 AM

Title: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 01, 2015, 11:05:35 AM
The cycling challenge for February 2015 is up and ready for you!!

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. (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1BnpmRVX18uEJXx1DsHscmDlLtRpV5Xcjm78Jk-RlzMw/viewform)

You can access the sheet at this link (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bsxc7bL_S067Mf5Ol4Ohils7ZVlcukofkXsmlxBqMnI/edit?usp=sharing).

The historical data on your individual sheets will update from the January challenge a couple times per day, so if you have added miles to last month, 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 (http://gplus.to/jordanread), PM, or just comment on this thread.

Happy Cycling!!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 01, 2015, 11:15:00 AM
I will get some more fun stats later, but there were a couple of things about this last month that were pretty damn cool in my book.

Our average miles per participant dropped a it, but that is because in January, we had 19 new people join the challenge! Those 19 people contributed over 2100 miles this month. On our own, without prodding from MMM, we surpassed the miles of the Anti-Automobile April challenge from 2013, where MMM himself posted that people should do the challenge. That has previously been the bar, and we've come close before, but until January, we never beat it. This is a new all time record, and it couldn't have been done without you!!

Happy Cycling!!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Armer Student on February 01, 2015, 02:01:07 PM
I'm really looking forward to logging my miles/kilometers this month.

Jordan, thank you for putting so much effort in the spreadsheets and forum threads. It really keeps me motivated to see my stats---particularly the cost savings at 0.17Ä/km or 0.26$/mile---adding up over the month.

Happy Cycling! :)

AS, aiming for >400 miles in february.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 01, 2015, 05:36:39 PM
I know I'm not hitting it big in the miles the past few months, but I'd say I had a productive start to February.

18 miles RT to work. At work, handed in my notice. I'll be (finally) a full-time SAHD in two weeks (though it's only 3 shifts over those days). Wooo!

Oh, and those 18 miles? Big snowstorm. Probably 3-4 inches on the ground on way to work, and another 3-4 added by the time I left. The worst parts where when I was going against the very brisk wind, snow scraping my face, and slowing me down so much a few times I had to walk briefly. A few other times a crosswind hit me and my bike literally slid sideways for about a foot. I've biked in crazier weather, but it's by far the worst we've had this winter. Less than 1/8 mile visibility at many points.

Added 30 pounds of groceries when I was 1/2 way home.

Keep riding all!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 01, 2015, 07:41:16 PM
I got sick for part of last month, so my mileage was much lower than I usual. I hope to get many more miles in this month, as I'm almost better!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 01, 2015, 08:12:58 PM
I got sick for part of last month, so my mileage was much lower than I usual. I hope to get many more miles in this month, as I'm almost better!

Chuck Norris doesn't stop biking when he's sick. He gets sick on purpose so that other cyclists have a fair chance.

No, seriously, hope you get better :)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 01, 2015, 08:40:41 PM
I got sick for part of last month, so my mileage was much lower than I usual. I hope to get many more miles in this month, as I'm almost better!

Chuck Norris doesn't stop biking when he's sick. He gets sick on purpose so that other cyclists have a fair chance.

No, seriously, hope you get better :)
Pfft Chuck Norris doesn't get sick. He just expels the disease along with any other bodily waste.

Thanks!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 02, 2015, 05:11:51 AM
I know I'm not hitting it big in the miles the past few months, but I'd say I had a productive start to February.

18 miles RT to work. At work, handed in my notice. I'll be (finally) a full-time SAHD in two weeks (though it's only 3 shifts over those days). Wooo!

Oh, and those 18 miles? Big snowstorm. Probably 3-4 inches on the ground on way to work, and another 3-4 added by the time I left. The worst parts where when I was going against the very brisk wind, snow scraping my face, and slowing me down so much a few times I had to walk briefly. A few other times a crosswind hit me and my bike literally slid sideways for about a foot. I've biked in crazier weather, but it's by far the worst we've had this winter. Less than 1/8 mile visibility at many points.

Added 30 pounds of groceries when I was 1/2 way home.

Keep riding all!

Sounds like a hell of a ride! My guess is that is the second easiest 18 miles you will ever do in the snow. The first easiest will be your last day (if it's snowing). It's amazing how much more effort it takes with just a bit of snow on the ground, but man I wouldn't trade it for a car ride any day! Congrats on the big move.
Did you have your trailer, or did you just do the groceries in the panniers?
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 02, 2015, 05:22:29 AM
Did you have your trailer, or did you just do the groceries in the panniers?

Panniers. I've done trailers in the snow. It's, uh, not fun.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 02, 2015, 05:29:40 AM
Did you have your trailer, or did you just do the groceries in the panniers?

Panniers. I've done trailers in the snow. It's, uh, not fun.

30lbs...very nice. I'm kind of glad I temporarily nixed the trailer idea for now. You saw my panniers in the post last month...any suggestion or words of wisdom for someone is going to start doing a grocery run one to two times per week? You mentioned before that the bouncing can damage some of the more sensitive stuff, but anything other than that? How do you organize your packing?

Cool, I'll join in as I cycle pretty much every day.
Any way I can retcon my Data for January?

Yeah, visit the January Cycling Challenge (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/january-cycling-challenge-2015/) and fill out the form to get your own sheet created. Go into your sheet, enter your mileage, and you are all set. After that, fill out the form for this month (previous miles will only come over if you use the same username), and you are all set. Going forward, if you select 'remember me' on the form, and log miles, you will be automatically added every new month. Your historical miles won't come over until I do a bit of manual work since the month is over, but they will come over once I get it all taken care of (probably after work today).
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 02, 2015, 06:05:56 AM
Cool, I'll join in as I cycle pretty much every day.
Any way I can retcon my Data for January?

Yeah, visit the January Cycling Challenge (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/january-cycling-challenge-2015/) and fill out the form to get your own sheet created. Go into your sheet, enter your mileage, and you are all set. After that, fill out the form for this month (previous miles will only come over if you use the same username), and you are all set. Going forward, if you select 'remember me' on the form, and log miles, you will be automatically added every new month. Your historical miles won't come over until I do a bit of manual work since the month is over, but they will come over once I get it all taken care of (probably after work today).
Cool, I've just added everything for January.

Got it, and got your history imported into February. Happy Cycling!!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 02, 2015, 06:24:10 AM
There's no real magic to packing groceries. Heavy stuff in the bottom. Milk, cheese, non bruisables like potatoes all make a good base. Ditto canned goods. Then produce can go on top of that. Then meat, then eggs.

Eggs also work nicely on top of something like a bulk bag of oats. Yesterday I put them on top of my work clothes in the other pannier. The first few times bring a plastic bag, but I haven't broken an egg in months. The key is tightening down the roll top closure snugly so things are lightly but firmly pressed against each other, and not bouncing around.

If possible, balance the panniers. Do you still just have one pannier or two? I have two and even then, if I forget and overload one bag the handling can feel really screwy on the way home. More than doable, but it might freak you out when first getting underway.

Bananas are the worst. They're heavy but so, so tender. But I don't buy them anymore for sustainability reasons.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 02, 2015, 06:29:31 AM
There's no real magic to packing groceries. Heavy stuff in the bottom. Milk, cheese, non bruisables like potatoes all make a good base. Ditto canned goods. Then produce can go on top of that. Then meat, then eggs.

Eggs also work nicely on top of something like a bulk bag of oats. Yesterday I put them on top of my work clothes in the other pannier. The first few times bring a plastic bag, but I haven't broken an egg in months. The key is tightening down the roll top closure snugly so things are lightly but firmly pressed against each other, and not bouncing around.

If possible, balance the panniers. Do you still just have one pannier or two? I have two and even then, if I forget and overload one bag the handling can feel really screwy on the way home. More than doable, but it might freak you out when first getting underway.

Bananas are the worst. They're heavy but so, so tender. But I don't buy them anymore for sustainability reasons.

I actually have 3 panniers, but on normal days I only have one mounted that weighs around 30lbs (with stuff) for work. My thought was to throw an empty pannier on the other side on grocery days, and pack that one. It would probably make me more balanced than usual. :-)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Wolf_Stache on February 02, 2015, 10:06:06 AM
It was pouring rain this morning, and I wasn't going to ride. Then I jumped on here and saw GC's epic snow ride. Whats a little rain compared to that? So here I am, at work. I packed my clothes in my bag because I knew even my rain gear would soak through in that downpour - which they did. :)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 02, 2015, 10:19:53 AM
It was pouring rain this morning, and I wasn't going to ride. Then I jumped on here and saw GC's epic snow ride. Whats a little rain compared to that? So here I am, at work. I packed my clothes in my bag because I knew even my rain gear would soak through in that downpour - which they did. :)

Glad I could inspire :)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 02, 2015, 01:03:08 PM
Didn't finish last month as well as I had hoped.  Was going riding with a friend in a neighboring town, had planned to ride over there (27mi, 1800' elevation), but my wife wanted to go to that town too.  Ended up driving over there to ride, so I had 54 fewer miles than I had hoped for.  Sunday morning I went on a short ride, but had woken up late so I couldn't get in as long of a ride as I had hoped for either, thus starting out this month with just a 25.4mi ride in the rain.  I have Showerpass booties coming in tonight so my feet shouldn't get soaked any more.

I'm running a 5k mid-March, so my miles this month may be a little lower than before.  No riding at work during lunch, and probably no Wednesday group rides, as I need my legs to recover for running every morning.  I have noticed that after two weeks of this my legs feel much better than at the start where they were killing me the next day, so I may up the cycling mileage depending on how I feel, but I'm trying really hard to not over train, something I've been guilty of before.

Oh, and awesome ride Thegoblinchief, PNW doesn't get snowstorms like the East coast does, so far this winter the worst we've had is a week of 20F with no rain/snow in sight.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Nancy on February 02, 2015, 01:25:39 PM
I haven't been biking due to blizzard (lame-I know), but I'm going to try and get back to it this week.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Shor on February 02, 2015, 02:08:18 PM
I haven't been biking due to blizzard (lame-I know), but I'm going to try and get back to it this week.
.... Yeah lame, heh... I haven't been biking as much because I would look out the window and think 'it might be a little cloudy today', and 'I might get a little bit wet'... :(

Let's do better this month!!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: MidwestBiker on February 02, 2015, 02:31:01 PM
Thanks to Jordan for keeping this going. Lots of great inspiration from other cycling gauntlet-taker-uppers. Iím amazed at the miles people put on and the conditions folks ride in. In Minneapolis there was only a handful of days in December that the wind or snow caused real problems. Even today the ride in to work was easy, despite the 1 degree F temp: No wind and dry roads!

Looking back on January: 636.6 miles total! I donít think Iíve ever ridden a bike more than 3-400 miles in a month in my life. Commuted 16 out of 20 work days. I will start noting each day my reasons/excuses for not commuting. Rode every day in January and December. Rode 20+ miles per day in January and 10+ miles per day from 12/4 on in December.

Challenging myself to ride 800 miles in February. Started off right by riding 30 miles on Feb 1.

Keep having fun on your bikes!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Nancy on February 03, 2015, 08:24:41 AM
Trash Bags Trash Picker mittens for the win! My fingers were fine at 6F. Thanks to Russ for the suggestion.

I have some buildup of snow/slush under my fenders. Do you keep fenders on during winter biking?
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: mskyle on February 03, 2015, 08:25:33 AM
Made it to work in just about 120% of my normal (non-snowy) commute time. This was my first time on the bike in February, and a kindly woman snowblowing out her sidewalk called me a "f***ing idiot." Thanks! (I think she had been cursing out cars and forgot that I would be able to hear her...)

Still lots of snow on the roads and some serious snowbank obstacles... most of the streets have snowed-in cars on one side of the road, which makes the roads feel VERY narrow when you're sharing them with cars. And it's really hard to see around the corners (15-foot snowpiles in places!). My least favorite part of the commute was a road I take through a certain well-regarded university's campus... there was still a good inch or two of packed snow covering the entire roadway. Not easy to start, stop, or corner!

The side benefit of the narrower streets is that when one of the lanes is half full of snowbank, it's not really wide enough for cars - instant bike lane!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Kmp2 on February 03, 2015, 08:28:03 AM
I am slowly readjusting to winter, we were spoiled with a most beautiful January that melted all our snow... well 2" of new snow and back down to -15C (4-5F) and it's all come back. At least we have more daylight now.

I'm loving my shorter commute, it's easy to bike everyday and I can do it with out breaking a sweat :)

Winter bike to work day is Feb. 13 - you can sign up here.
http://winterbiketoworkday.org/

I don't actually work that friday, we'll see if I get up and bike down to the festivities anyway, their offering free coffee downtown...

Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 03, 2015, 08:50:40 AM
I have some buildup of snow/slush under my fenders. Do you keep fenders on during winter biking?

I do. The buildup can be annoying, but it's far less annoying than road salt and grime spraying up your back all winter. Worst-case, get one of those MTB style rear fenders that sits up higher (off the seatpost). Just make sure to get the 29er size if you're running 700C wheels, because the standard 26" wheel fenders won't do jack for you. (Ask me how I know that....:P)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Nancy on February 03, 2015, 09:51:14 AM
Good to know! Thanks, GC. I'm definitely looking into those seatpost fenders.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 03, 2015, 10:08:05 AM
Good to know! Thanks, GC. I'm definitely looking into those seatpost fenders.

I'm not a fan of their standard fenders, but SKS makes really solid seat post ones. Just get the correct size, as I noted ;)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Shor on February 03, 2015, 01:16:32 PM
Hey Jordan,
The summary on the right side listing out past months' miles looks like it got screwed up. It's referencing the 'Unique Participants' list but at the wrong rows for each person's.
i.e. mine was pointing at row 10 before when it should have been row 211. (I went ahead and modified my own sheet)
I'm guessing this may have happened when the 'Unique Participants' list got sorted by username alphabetical order.

Also, not too sure how we would make the list so that it stays static going forward, maybe set it and then as new people join they are added to the bottom?
Or more likely you have a script for grabbing all the numbers across months, putting it in the Unique Participants list and then setting the reference row in each person's sheet(?)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 03, 2015, 01:34:01 PM
Hey Jordan,
The summary on the right side listing out past months' miles looks like it got screwed up. It's referencing the 'Unique Participants' list but at the wrong rows for each person's.
i.e. mine was pointing at row 10 before when it should have been row 211. (I went ahead and modified my own sheet)
I'm guessing this may have happened when the 'Unique Participants' list got sorted by username alphabetical order.

Also, not too sure how we would make the list so that it stays static going forward, maybe set it and then as new people join they are added to the bottom?
Or more likely you have a script for grabbing all the numbers across months, putting it in the Unique Participants list and then setting the reference row in each person's sheet(?)

Yeah, that should have automatically updated regardless of what happened on the Unique Participants sheet. Previously it was static data, copied from that sheet, but this month I updated it to be an actual reference so that when it re-imports history every day, miles that were added to the previous month do get counted. Since this is an integrated part of Google docs, there isn't much I can do to fix it directly. What I will do instead (later tonight) will reset it to be static, but build a method to update the static values for the first few days of the month. That way we get late mileage counted for the historical data. The funny thing is that it worked with sorting and filtering when I initially tested it (meaning it updated the reference), but it might not be able to handle this many tabs, and that much data.

Thanks for the heads up, and I'll get it fixed soon.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 03, 2015, 05:49:29 PM
Sorry for the fuck-up everybody. I got it fixed. I haven't implemented the automatic import as of yet, but I'll run it manually the next few days. What I did tonight didn't re-import history from January, but it did switch to your data, and not something all wonky. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Nancy on February 03, 2015, 06:19:42 PM
Dude, you never have to apologize to us! You're keeping this challenge going, AND you're making it awesome. Thanks for always taking care of the spreadsheets, Jordan!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: PindyStache on February 03, 2015, 08:02:21 PM
I have some buildup of snow/slush under my fenders. Do you keep fenders on during winter biking?

I do. The buildup can be annoying, but it's far less annoying than road salt and grime spraying up your back all winter. Worst-case, get one of those MTB style rear fenders that sits up higher (off the seatpost). Just make sure to get the 29er size if you're running 700C wheels, because the standard 26" wheel fenders won't do jack for you. (Ask me how I know that....:P)

I agree with having fenders. I ride an old MTB with 26" wheels, but fairly narrow tires @ 1.5". I got a set of oversized fenders that would fit a larger MTB tire so there is plenty of clearance for snow.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Kmp2 on February 05, 2015, 05:41:16 PM
Ugh, I lost one washer/bolt off my rack, and now I have a loose screw on my fender... To top it all off I now have a suddenly very squeaky front disc brake...

I guess I should have gone over all my screws when it got cold, and tightened them up a bit... No idea how to fix the brake though. Some research required
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: wintersun on February 05, 2015, 06:12:41 PM
I just realised there is a February thread.  I am in!  My goal is in hours because I am on a stationary bike due to an injury.  My goal for this month is 12 hours. 

To find out my distance can I use a phone app?  or a fit bit?  or put something on my bike?
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: PindyStache on February 05, 2015, 08:13:49 PM
I just realised there is a February thread.  I am in!  My goal is in hours because I am on a stationary bike due to an injury.  My goal for this month is 12 hours. 

To find out my distance can I use a phone app?  or a fit bit?  or put something on my bike?

Glad you are with us again and hope you are on the mend again soon!

People use a variety of tools to track distance--there many apps, several folks use Strava, some just remember how far things are and add them up in their head. I don't have a smartphone or anything so I use Google maps if I'm going somewhere that I don't already know the distance.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Nancy on February 06, 2015, 07:39:42 AM
Biked in today at 4F. I felt super toasty since there wasn't much wind. Yesterday was bitingly cold with the wind, but I still felt pretty good.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Primm on February 06, 2015, 10:06:55 PM
I really need to record my distance travelled better. So far I've only been uploading what I record with my Garmin, which is ... barely ever.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 07, 2015, 04:03:56 PM
Got in a great ride, highest average heart rate I've had yet.  Broke some records on the way out due to a tail wind, but the way back was slow and hard.  My average speed dropped 2mph overall.  I use the Weather Underground app to check the weather.  I knew it was going to be rainy today, but I looked at the radar and saw that we have a SW wind and that all the rain was on us at the time and moving North and East.  I saw that South and West of us was all clear skies.  Made myself a MMM style 1,000 Calorie breakfast, and by the time I was done eating it and getting ready the skies had cleared.  There was always threat of rain far to the South, but I made it there and back with just the heavy winds.  Sort of sad I didn't get to really test out my new waterproof booties, perhaps tomorrow.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: mskyle on February 11, 2015, 09:38:33 AM
I am doing TERRIBLE this month, mostly due to all the snow we've been getting (Boston area). I've worked from home several days, so I lost out on my commute, and the 8-10 foot high snowbanks and angry motorists have been scaring me enough to keep me off the bike for cross-town rides. When I do go to work it's by some combination of walking, subway, and/or busing.

AND I had to spend money on my bike, because I lost one of my rear blinkies. Frustrating!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 11, 2015, 11:11:56 AM
I miss my bike. This driving up to Denver thing is awful, especially with the beautiful weather we're having. I'm a bit really jealous of you guys.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Wolf_Stache on February 11, 2015, 11:28:01 AM
I miss my bike. This driving up to Denver thing is awful, especially with the beautiful weather we're having. I'm a bit really jealous of you guys.

I'm doing terrible this month too because of having to drive down to Portland. I have to go again this weekend to apartment hunt.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 11, 2015, 11:55:18 AM
I miss my bike. This driving up to Denver thing is awful, especially with the beautiful weather we're having. I'm a bit really jealous of you guys.

I'm doing terrible this month too because of having to drive down to Portland. I have to go again this weekend to apartment hunt.

You should just ride your bike to Portland, good STP training.  But seriously, that's pretty neat, I live just West of Portland in the best cycling area I could imagine.  Large country roads which lead to nowhere, so not much through traffic, well maintained, and seasoned drivers who are used to cyclists everywhere.  Where in Portland are you looking? We also have a Mustachian meetup once a month, so when you move you should join our forum thread/google mailing list/facebook group.

Last night I got off work to a flat tire.  Having had this occur a few times before I am now well prepared.  I keep a spare pump at my desk for just such an occasion, and have the tools in my box on my bike.  Including walking back and forth from my desk to my bike, then back to my desk, and back to my bike, it took roughly 30 minutes.  The patching was the easiest I've done yet.  I never hoped to become efficient at patching my inner tubes, and I had nearly a year of never a flat, but then suddenly the last few months I've been bombarded with them.  Learned a lot of how to fix them properly, tips and tricks, now it's a cinch.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 11, 2015, 12:04:15 PM
Just curious if someone here more experienced than I might lok at craigslist cedar rapids iowa and see if I am missing anything when it comes to bike shopping?

I have a schwin prelude road bike. A Schwin mountain bike (no idea at this point what the sub name of it is) that seems too small to me. When I pedal my foot can hit the front tire. I am 5'8" 214lbs. I have been looking for something to try and ride to work. 2 miles one way. I need fenders, lights, knobby tires? I have looked but not really finding anything.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: TrMama on February 11, 2015, 12:53:34 PM
Just curious if someone here more experienced than I might lok at craigslist cedar rapids iowa and see if I am missing anything when it comes to bike shopping?

I have a schwin prelude road bike. A Schwin mountain bike (no idea at this point what the sub name of it is) that seems too small to me. When I pedal my foot can hit the front tire. I am 5'8" 214lbs. I have been looking for something to try and ride to work. 2 miles one way. I need fenders, lights, knobby tires? I have looked but not really finding anything.

Remind me again why you can't just use the road bike? For a commute of only 2mi I'd just use the bike I had on hand before spending anything at all.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Wolf_Stache on February 11, 2015, 01:44:23 PM
I miss my bike. This driving up to Denver thing is awful, especially with the beautiful weather we're having. I'm a bit really jealous of you guys.

I'm doing terrible this month too because of having to drive down to Portland. I have to go again this weekend to apartment hunt.

You should just ride your bike to Portland, good STP training.  But seriously, that's pretty neat, I live just West of Portland in the best cycling area I could imagine.  Large country roads which lead to nowhere, so not much through traffic, well maintained, and seasoned drivers who are used to cyclists everywhere.  Where in Portland are you looking? We also have a Mustachian meetup once a month, so when you move you should join our forum thread/google mailing list/facebook group.

Hillsboro, OR. Just got a new job down there (really quick too, interviewed on Friday, job offer Monday, and they want me to start in 2 weeks)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 11, 2015, 02:23:57 PM
Just curious if someone here more experienced than I might lok at craigslist cedar rapids iowa and see if I am missing anything when it comes to bike shopping?

I have a schwin prelude road bike. A Schwin mountain bike (no idea at this point what the sub name of it is) that seems too small to me. When I pedal my foot can hit the front tire. I am 5'8" 214lbs. I have been looking for something to try and ride to work. 2 miles one way. I need fenders, lights, knobby tires? I have looked but not really finding anything.

Remind me again why you can't just use the road bike? For a commute of only 2mi I'd just use the bike I had on hand before spending anything at all.

I can try it. I don't have fenders and the roads are wet a lot right now.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 11, 2015, 04:26:15 PM
Just curious if someone here more experienced than I might lok at craigslist cedar rapids iowa and see if I am missing anything when it comes to bike shopping?

I have a schwin prelude road bike. A Schwin mountain bike (no idea at this point what the sub name of it is) that seems too small to me. When I pedal my foot can hit the front tire. I am 5'8" 214lbs. I have been looking for something to try and ride to work. 2 miles one way. I need fenders, lights, knobby tires? I have looked but not really finding anything.

Remind me again why you can't just use the road bike? For a commute of only 2mi I'd just use the bike I had on hand before spending anything at all.

I can try it. I don't have fenders and the roads are wet a lot right now.

You could get fenders for the road bike instead of another bike, though I support both options :-D.  I went with Crud RoadRacer Mk2 for my road bike, but it's a racer kind of bike.  There are ones that can go on seatpost.  I find the front fender is important for keeping your nose dry and keeps the water off your feet.  But fenders may run from $10-$50.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Shor on February 11, 2015, 05:47:09 PM
Grats on the new job Wolf Stache! Very impressive, you musta totally blown em away at the interview!

Screwed up the balance of my rear wheel after getting a new tire.
Barely limped the bike home on a wobbly wheel. It was shimmying and squealing against the brakes the whole way so I completely unhinged the rear brakes and took it down a few notches in speed.
Didn't have the tool or the finger-gripping strength to adjust (all of) the spokes manually, and when I tried, I definitely made it worse (as YouTube videos would later inform me)
Gonna be out of the saddle until at least Tuesday next week while the LBS fixes up my blundering...
Ugh.. so sad..
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 12, 2015, 08:51:52 AM
I have been googling a few schwinn road bike pictures and see some very nice ones with fenders. Just curious if fenders are universal? I am ready to order but unsure what type/kind to get. I will get on this bike once I have it set up.

I need to install the interrupter brakes as well. I also need to remove the cages on the pedals. Since my commute is short I am going to try the ride with my normal work clothes. Harley boots, blue jeans, t shirt, and 2 other light coats, I still need to figure gloves but maybe it will warm up by the time I get this thing going.

What about these? http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_575884_-1___204660
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: mskyle on February 12, 2015, 10:10:39 AM
I have been googling a few schwinn road bike pictures and see some very nice ones with fenders. Just curious if fenders are universal? I am ready to order but unsure what type/kind to get. I will get on this bike once I have it set up.

With fenders you need to make sure they're compatible with your tire size and the amount of clearance under your fork. The Sheldon Brown article on fenders (http://sheldonbrown.com/fenders.html) does a pretty good job of running down the types of problems you might encounter and the available solutions. The fenders you link to look like good ones, though! I have the Planet Bike ones, a wider version because my tires are 700x32.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 12, 2015, 11:18:05 AM
I have been googling a few schwinn road bike pictures and see some very nice ones with fenders. Just curious if fenders are universal? I am ready to order but unsure what type/kind to get. I will get on this bike once I have it set up.

With fenders you need to make sure they're compatible with your tire size and the amount of clearance under your fork. The Sheldon Brown article on fenders (http://sheldonbrown.com/fenders.html) does a pretty good job of running down the types of problems you might encounter and the available solutions. The fenders you link to look like good ones, though! I have the Planet Bike ones, a wider version because my tires are 700x32.

Mt tires are 700cx25
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: TrMama on February 12, 2015, 11:38:51 AM
The tricky part with fenders on road bikes is that there isn't much clearance between the tire and the brake arms. That means it can be tricky to shove a fender into that space without it rubbing on the tire.

I'd take the bike to a local bike shop so you can get the salesperson to help you pick out a fender that will work. In the past, when I used cheap fenders, I even had the shop install them for me.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 12, 2015, 12:39:31 PM
I have been googling a few schwinn road bike pictures and see some very nice ones with fenders. Just curious if fenders are universal? I am ready to order but unsure what type/kind to get. I will get on this bike once I have it set up.

I need to install the interrupter brakes as well. I also need to remove the cages on the pedals. Since my commute is short I am going to try the ride with my normal work clothes. Harley boots, blue jeans, t shirt, and 2 other light coats, I still need to figure gloves but maybe it will warm up by the time I get this thing going.

What about these? http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_575884_-1___204660

A great thing about Nashbar that some don't know is they have awesome technical support.  By technical support they mean technicians who will help you step by step as you figure out what you need to buy and how to install it, not technical issues with the website (though I'm sure they have support for that too).  I had gotten a bike rack and couldn't figure out how to install it but they walked me through how to do it, patiently waited as I tried some things, and got me through it.  You can call them up before ordering and they may be able to help you decide if these will work for your bike.

Without a picture of the bike I can't really say much because road bikes can vary greatly depending on year and purpose of the bike.  A road commuter bike will be different than a road bike meant for racing.  Those fenders look similar to the ones I mentioned, not sure how they attach, but that is a question you could read the reviews on and call Nashbar.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 12, 2015, 01:38:02 PM
I have been googling a few schwinn road bike pictures and see some very nice ones with fenders. Just curious if fenders are universal? I am ready to order but unsure what type/kind to get. I will get on this bike once I have it set up.

I need to install the interrupter brakes as well. I also need to remove the cages on the pedals. Since my commute is short I am going to try the ride with my normal work clothes. Harley boots, blue jeans, t shirt, and 2 other light coats, I still need to figure gloves but maybe it will warm up by the time I get this thing going.

What about these? http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_575884_-1___204660

A great thing about Nashbar that some don't know is they have awesome technical support.  By technical support they mean technicians who will help you step by step as you figure out what you need to buy and how to install it, not technical issues with the website (though I'm sure they have support for that too).  I had gotten a bike rack and couldn't figure out how to install it but they walked me through how to do it, patiently waited as I tried some things, and got me through it.  You can call them up before ordering and they may be able to help you decide if these will work for your bike.

Without a picture of the bike I can't really say much because road bikes can vary greatly depending on year and purpose of the bike.  A road commuter bike will be different than a road bike meant for racing.  Those fenders look similar to the ones I mentioned, not sure how they attach, but that is a question you could read the reviews on and call Nashbar.

http://www.wayfair.com/Schwinn-Mens-Prelude-Road-Bike-S4030-YZ1190.html
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: joseveri on February 13, 2015, 10:09:26 AM
Question-  I rode in today at 2 degrees with a 15 below wind chill. Cold as %$# but my gear is solid all around except my toe covers.  I was using thick wool socks and bellweather cold front shoe covers.  The shoe covers are not enough. 

Could you either suggest an alternative set up or do you think I could modify the shoe cover to add another layer of gortex to reinforce the toe area or something?
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Kmp2 on February 13, 2015, 10:34:11 AM
Plastic bags in your shoes? Chemical heated toe packs, electric battery operated heated socks (that's se just sound luxurious!)

I use full on winter hiking boots and forego my clips in the winter. They are heavy but they keep my feet warm for 45minutes or so around 0F with two pairs of wool socks.

They do make two very nice clip compatible winter boots, from the fat biking fad, but i have thus far resisted the temptation.

So as my work today involves staying at home and looking after my two year old, In the spirit of winter bike to work day, I still got out and rode my bike downtown before she was up in search of the free breakfast and coffe that our local bike advocacy group put on. Unfortunately my bike lock locked up when I got there and I didn't have the faith to leave my bike out unlocked. Not totally a fail though, I think I doubled my monthly miles :)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 13, 2015, 11:18:10 AM
Heh, I forgot my lock a couple weeks ago. I almost decided to skip shopping at the store, but I was like: "who is going to steal a bike in the middle of a blizzard?"
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 13, 2015, 01:07:22 PM
I have been googling a few schwinn road bike pictures and see some very nice ones with fenders. Just curious if fenders are universal? I am ready to order but unsure what type/kind to get. I will get on this bike once I have it set up.

I need to install the interrupter brakes as well. I also need to remove the cages on the pedals. Since my commute is short I am going to try the ride with my normal work clothes. Harley boots, blue jeans, t shirt, and 2 other light coats, I still need to figure gloves but maybe it will warm up by the time I get this thing going.

What about these? http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_575884_-1___204660

A great thing about Nashbar that some don't know is they have awesome technical support.  By technical support they mean technicians who will help you step by step as you figure out what you need to buy and how to install it, not technical issues with the website (though I'm sure they have support for that too).  I had gotten a bike rack and couldn't figure out how to install it but they walked me through how to do it, patiently waited as I tried some things, and got me through it.  You can call them up before ordering and they may be able to help you decide if these will work for your bike.

Without a picture of the bike I can't really say much because road bikes can vary greatly depending on year and purpose of the bike.  A road commuter bike will be different than a road bike meant for racing.  Those fenders look similar to the ones I mentioned, not sure how they attach, but that is a question you could read the reviews on and call Nashbar.

http://www.wayfair.com/Schwinn-Mens-Prelude-Road-Bike-S4030-YZ1190.html

Okay, so I googled the instruction manual for those fenders.  They go on very similarly to mine.  It attaches to the seat stays with rubber bands essentially, then the pivot has a small screw to hold them on, so you could remove them without removing the connector from the seat stay.  It goes through the brake and has another rubber band that wraps around the brake mount to hold it up above the tire.  You may have to play with the length of the arms to make sure that it doesn't rub.

I recommend keeping all extra parts from it because you may lose a screw at some point, I did once while transporting.  I found the nut but not the screw, luckily it came with a small bag of extras.  Also note if front and rear fenders are interchangeable, then if later on one part breaks, you can buy a new set and have lots of spares.  I haven't had anything break yet with my Crud RoadRacers MK2.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: mskyle on February 13, 2015, 02:57:20 PM
I Aldo forgot my lock recently but fortunately there's a bike shop across the street from the grocery store and they let me leave it there while I shopped. Good people!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: MiniMoneyGoblinChief on February 13, 2015, 08:20:59 PM
I got sick for part of last month, so my mileage was much lower than I usual. I hope to get many more miles in this month, as I'm almost better!

Chuck Norris doesn't stop biking when he's sick. He gets sick on purpose so that other cyclists have a fair chance.

No, seriously, hope you get better :)

Dear the Goblin Chief, you have a son... and it's me.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 14, 2015, 12:45:31 PM
I installed the interrupter levers last night! They seem to work but not road tested yet. I reused the bar wrap but I will have to order new tape. 
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: wintersun on February 16, 2015, 09:19:56 AM
Hi guys,

I am really enjoying the biking now.  Yes, it is a stationary bike, but I am getting into it and increasing my minutes with joy. 
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: SweetTPi on February 17, 2015, 08:18:43 AM
Well, I'm out for the rest of the week.  We got sleet and freezing rain here.  I found that biking on the ice was actually doable- there was enough texture to get traction- but hitting the frozen ruts left by traffic just sent the bike bouncing.  Bouncing sideways on ice is not my idea of fun.  Plus, although I have the widest knobby tires that fit my bike, the fact remains that it is a road bike, and less stable than a tank of a mountain bike.  Arg, I hate driving.

Anyway, an unrelated question for y'all.  I've been thinking for a while of replacing my clipless pedals on my (main) road bike, and I finally broke my last replacement cleat last week.  I have road shoes and clips, but have been thinking of getting mountain bike shoes so that I can actually walk in them.  The reason for getting them at all instead of sticking with platforms is one, that in the past I have rode for fun and want to start again, and two, I like the secure feeling of being clipped in.  One big question- are there booties that cover mountain bike shoes like they do road?  My main bike is also my commuter (at the moment) and this winter my toes have been saved by having booties.  Does anyone know?  Thanks!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 17, 2015, 08:24:08 AM
Anyway, an unrelated question for y'all.  I've been thinking for a while of replacing my clipless pedals on my (main) road bike, and I finally broke my last replacement cleat last week.  I have road shoes and clips, but have been thinking of getting mountain bike shoes so that I can actually walk in them.  The reason for getting them at all instead of sticking with platforms is one, that in the past I have rode for fun and want to start again, and two, I like the secure feeling of being clipped in.  One big question- are there booties that cover mountain bike shoes like they do road?  My main bike is also my commuter (at the moment) and this winter my toes have been saved by having booties.  Does anyone know?  Thanks!
Yup, I have booties that cover mountain bike shoes.

I also got mountain bike shoes so I can walk in them. However, a while after I bought them, I discovered these type of shoes exist: http://www.rei.com/product/878415/pearl-izumi-x-alp-seek-vi-bike-shoes-womens (http://www.rei.com/product/878415/pearl-izumi-x-alp-seek-vi-bike-shoes-womens)

Also, you could consider hybrid pedals like these: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M324-Dual-Platform-Pedal/dp/B00AZ2OID8 (http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M324-Dual-Platform-Pedal/dp/B00AZ2OID8). I love them, as I'm a grad student and sometimes I don't want to put on my clipless shoes for short errands.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Kmp2 on February 17, 2015, 08:33:32 AM
I have hybrid pedals on both my commuter and my road bike - and I love them...

and there is nothing worse than being stuck in an ice rut, and unalbe to get traction up the side of it... my back alley is a skating rink of ruts like that right now. At least the main roads are mostly clear.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 17, 2015, 08:54:31 AM
What are the advantages of these bike shoes? My pedals have a "cage" I can't use them with my boots but once it warms up I'll switch to me cross trainer shoes. I may take the cage off the pedals I have but are these other pedals better?
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 17, 2015, 10:41:11 AM
What are the advantages of these bike shoes? My pedals have a "cage" I can't use them with my boots but once it warms up I'll switch to me cross trainer shoes. I may take the cage off the pedals I have but are these other pedals better?
Clipless pedals are far better at attaching the pedals to your feet than the toe clips that you have. With toe clips, either they're too loose to really provide you a firm grip on the pedals, or they're too tight and become a safety hazard when you have to stop.

Clipless pedals are supposed to increase your pedaling efficiency because you can now use your "pulling" muscles as well as your "pushing" muscles. There's some debate as to whether this is actually the case, but I swear by them, especially on hills.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 17, 2015, 12:24:34 PM
What are the advantages of these bike shoes? My pedals have a "cage" I can't use them with my boots but once it warms up I'll switch to me cross trainer shoes. I may take the cage off the pedals I have but are these other pedals better?
Clipless pedals are far better at attaching the pedals to your feet than the toe clips that you have. With toe clips, either they're too loose to really provide you a firm grip on the pedals, or they're too tight and become a safety hazard when you have to stop.

Clipless pedals are supposed to increase your pedaling efficiency because you can now use your "pulling" muscles as well as your "pushing" muscles. There's some debate as to whether this is actually the case, but I swear by them, especially on hills.

So with clipless pedals you need special shoes then?
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 17, 2015, 12:37:04 PM
What are the advantages of these bike shoes? My pedals have a "cage" I can't use them with my boots but once it warms up I'll switch to me cross trainer shoes. I may take the cage off the pedals I have but are these other pedals better?
Clipless pedals are far better at attaching the pedals to your feet than the toe clips that you have. With toe clips, either they're too loose to really provide you a firm grip on the pedals, or they're too tight and become a safety hazard when you have to stop.

Clipless pedals are supposed to increase your pedaling efficiency because you can now use your "pulling" muscles as well as your "pushing" muscles. There's some debate as to whether this is actually the case, but I swear by them, especially on hills.

So with clipless pedals you need special shoes then?
Yes. They have screw holes to secure the cleats that come with the pedals.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 17, 2015, 12:48:49 PM
What are the advantages of these bike shoes? My pedals have a "cage" I can't use them with my boots but once it warms up I'll switch to me cross trainer shoes. I may take the cage off the pedals I have but are these other pedals better?
Clipless pedals are far better at attaching the pedals to your feet than the toe clips that you have. With toe clips, either they're too loose to really provide you a firm grip on the pedals, or they're too tight and become a safety hazard when you have to stop.

Clipless pedals are supposed to increase your pedaling efficiency because you can now use your "pulling" muscles as well as your "pushing" muscles. There's some debate as to whether this is actually the case, but I swear by them, especially on hills.

So with clipless pedals you need special shoes then?
Yes. They have screw holes to secure the cleats that come with the pedals.

I don't mind the cage on mine for the long rides. Stopping is a pain at times. When I start riding to work, 2 miles, I don't think I want to be connected tot he pedals for that short ride with possible multiple stops. I might just take the cage off and use the standard pedals.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 17, 2015, 01:55:51 PM
What are the advantages of these bike shoes? My pedals have a "cage" I can't use them with my boots but once it warms up I'll switch to me cross trainer shoes. I may take the cage off the pedals I have but are these other pedals better?
Clipless pedals are far better at attaching the pedals to your feet than the toe clips that you have. With toe clips, either they're too loose to really provide you a firm grip on the pedals, or they're too tight and become a safety hazard when you have to stop.

Clipless pedals are supposed to increase your pedaling efficiency because you can now use your "pulling" muscles as well as your "pushing" muscles. There's some debate as to whether this is actually the case, but I swear by them, especially on hills.

So with clipless pedals you need special shoes then?
Yes. They have screw holes to secure the cleats that come with the pedals.

I don't mind the cage on mine for the long rides. Stopping is a pain at times. When I start riding to work, 2 miles, I don't think I want to be connected tot he pedals for that short ride with possible multiple stops. I might just take the cage off and use the standard pedals.

For my commuting bike I have these:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JKNUAO/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JKNUAO/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

I actually got them for recreational use, but like them quite a bit for normal commuting.  They helped with long rides where before my foot would start slipping on long ascents, now it mostly stays in place.  Well now I use my road bike with clipless SPD pedals, but I still enjoy these toe clips, easy to get in and out, and if need be you can even pedal with them upside down, like when starting at an intersection and you want to get across but didn't get your foot in right.  The added weight to the front means essentially that the pedal is generally in the same position each time you start so it is an easy move to train your foot to push the pedal, though it is the opposite motion from the clipless system.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Nancy on February 18, 2015, 08:14:49 AM
Any other snow/winter cyclists get called crazy by managers/colleagues for biking in "these conditions"? How do you respond?

At first I tried to explain that it seems scarier when you've never tried it (I used to feel the same way), but that I'm able to see over the snowbanks (higher up than in a car), have less inertia, can put my foot down/bail out if need be, blah-dee-dee-blah. That got tiring after a while, so now I just say yup! I'm crazy.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: mskyle on February 18, 2015, 08:21:22 AM
Any other snow/winter cyclists get called crazy by managers/colleagues for biking in "these conditions"? How do you respond?

At first I tried to explain that it seems scarier when you've never tried it (I used to feel the same way), but that I'm able to see over the snowbanks (higher up than in a car), have less inertia, can put my foot down/bail out if need be, blah-dee-dee-blah. That got tiring after a while, so now I just say yup! I'm crazy.

I bike ~4 miles to work and one of my colleagues bikes 16 miles, but *he's* the one who calls *me* crazy for not having studded tires (I'm on city streets the whole way! It's really not necessary!). And another guy who bikes most of the year but stops when the snowbanks get high enough calls us both crazy for doing it at all. For others I mostly just go with "It's really not that bad!"

Yesterday when I got home from work the bike rack had fallen down and the whole kitchen was full of bike (mine and my boyfriend's) and rack and the other stuff we'd had hanging on the rack. I think after more than a week of no bike commuting the bikes are getting antsy. I rode to the subway today and I'm going to start riding for real tomorrow, snow be damned! Now if someone would just plow the three inches of snow remaining on my street so I didn't have to walk the bike to the corner...
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 18, 2015, 09:46:30 AM
Any other snow/winter cyclists get called crazy by managers/colleagues for biking in "these conditions"? How do you respond?

At first I tried to explain that it seems scarier when you've never tried it (I used to feel the same way), but that I'm able to see over the snowbanks (higher up than in a car), have less inertia, can put my foot down/bail out if need be, blah-dee-dee-blah. That got tiring after a while, so now I just say yup! I'm crazy.

I've been enjoying (not this month) responding to that question/comment by asking people how they get in, and when they say drive, I always look crest fallen, and tell them I'm sorry for them. I hope they are okay. Don't they know how dangerous that is?

And then I walk away.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: MidwestBiker on February 18, 2015, 10:50:31 AM
Any other snow/winter cyclists get called crazy by managers/colleagues for biking in "these conditions"? How do you respond?
After 5 years I don't get many comments. But when I do, I like to say that winter biking is like down-hill skiing, with cars sliding by.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 18, 2015, 11:38:32 AM
Any other snow/winter cyclists get called crazy by managers/colleagues for biking in "these conditions"? How do you respond?

At first I tried to explain that it seems scarier when you've never tried it (I used to feel the same way), but that I'm able to see over the snowbanks (higher up than in a car), have less inertia, can put my foot down/bail out if need be, blah-dee-dee-blah. That got tiring after a while, so now I just say yup! I'm crazy.

I've been enjoying (not this month) responding to that question/comment by asking people how they get in, and when they say drive, I always look crest fallen, and tell them I'm sorry for them. I hope they are okay. Don't they know how dangerous that is?

And then I walk away.
LOL.

This point kinda hits home for me, my friend got in a car accident yesterday....(both parties involved are fine, fortunately).
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Mrs. PoP on February 18, 2015, 04:36:10 PM
Can anybody help psych a warm weather person up!?  I'm looking at the weather forecast and tomorrow am is 43, and the next day is 33!  Despite bike commuting almost exclusively for nearly 2 years, I've never ridden in weather colder than the high 40s and I'm a little intimidated.  Doesn't help that I'm kindof fighting a cold.  =/

Other than double socks, double tops, and gloves what else should I do?  Double pants?  Double gloves?  Triple tops (short sleeve, long sleeve + jacket)? 

I made the mistake of doing a scarf once and was sweaty by the time I got to work (9 miles away), but I think it was 47 that day. 
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 18, 2015, 04:59:05 PM
Can anybody help psych a warm weather person up!?  I'm looking at the weather forecast and tomorrow am is 43, and the next day is 33!  Despite bike commuting almost exclusively for nearly 2 years, I've never ridden in weather colder than the high 40s and I'm a little intimidated.  Doesn't help that I'm kindof fighting a cold.  =/

Other than double socks, double tops, and gloves what else should I do?  Double pants?  Double gloves?  Triple tops (short sleeve, long sleeve + jacket)? 

I made the mistake of doing a scarf once and was sweaty by the time I got to work (9 miles away), but I think it was 47 that day.
With proper gear, cycling in the cold is easy. But I'm a recreational cyclist as well, so I splurged on a bunch of cycling gear (I could've been more frugal about it...but I do want to ride a century this spring....). Sounds like you don't have cycling specific clothes (not that you need them, but it certainly makes it easier).

In your situation I'd recommend having layers that you can easily shed. If your cotton clothes start absorbing sweat, it can get pretty nasty - that sweat will never dry for the rest of the ride, and when you get stuck at a light that sweat will start getting cold.
If you have any light wool layers, use those.

For me, three layers is great in 30 degree weather (and these are very thin cycling clothing layers). In the 40s, I find my three layers to be too much once I get warmed up (takes about 20 minutes, depending on when my first big hill is).


I enjoy my cold weather rides. The crisp air on my skin is quite nice. Don't be afraid of the cold!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Kmp2 on February 18, 2015, 05:07:12 PM
I am sorry mrs. Pop, at the moment I think I could bike in shorts if it were 43... It felt balmy at 32 this morning!  Ok let me think back to September when this would have felt cold..

Add a head warmer of some kind, double socks, wind proof layers that you can roll up or unzip if you get warm.

And go get her, you will warm up nicely once your riding.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 18, 2015, 06:50:13 PM
Can anybody help psych a warm weather person up!?  I'm looking at the weather forecast and tomorrow am is 43, and the next day is 33!  Despite bike commuting almost exclusively for nearly 2 years, I've never ridden in weather colder than the high 40s and I'm a little intimidated.  Doesn't help that I'm kindof fighting a cold.  =/

Other than double socks, double tops, and gloves what else should I do?  Double pants?  Double gloves?  Triple tops (short sleeve, long sleeve + jacket)? 

I made the mistake of doing a scarf once and was sweaty by the time I got to work (9 miles away), but I think it was 47 that day.

YOU'VE FREAKING GOT THIS!!!

How's that for psyching you up? :) But essentially, everyone else hit on the main point. When riding at that weather, without specific gear (i.e. layering your regular clothing), you should definitely stick to plenty of easily removable layers. Make sure you have something comfortable to carry them in. Also, wool and wicking materials for your base layer. It makes a wold of difference!! But seriously, you do have this!! You have to try it just once, and then you can really get your stuff locked in.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Mrs. PoP on February 18, 2015, 07:09:02 PM
Thanks, guys!  I usually wear wicking or spandex clothes for my commute, so I'll add extra layers of the same.  Removing them if I get warm is no problem since I can pull over and toss them in my bag if needed. 

Any suggestions on head covering?  I wear my helmet, but it's got vents.  Think I need anything else?  I usually ride to work with wet hair so I can brush it out nicely upon arrival and prevent helmet bumps, but maybe I need to make an exception these cold days and make sure I ride with dry hair in the morning, no? 
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: mskyle on February 18, 2015, 07:19:13 PM
I wear just a headband under my helmet, even in very cold weather (think teens or single digits) but it depends on your helmet... I got a fancy one full of vents for Christmas but I haven't been able to wear it - I get a freezing cold spot on my head. So it's back to my cheapo helmet until springtime. Cover your ears, that's the part that gets coldest.

But yeah, you got this!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 18, 2015, 07:31:40 PM
Thanks, guys!  I usually wear wicking or spandex clothes for my commute, so I'll add extra layers of the same.  Removing them if I get warm is no problem since I can pull over and toss them in my bag if needed. 

Any suggestions on head covering?  I wear my helmet, but it's got vents.  Think I need anything else?  I usually ride to work with wet hair so I can brush it out nicely upon arrival and prevent helmet bumps, but maybe I need to make an exception these cold days and make sure I ride with dry hair in the morning, no?
Headband will work. I also duct taped the vents in my helmet. Seems to work okay, not 100% though.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 18, 2015, 07:55:32 PM
Thanks, guys!  I usually wear wicking or spandex clothes for my commute, so I'll add extra layers of the same.  Removing them if I get warm is no problem since I can pull over and toss them in my bag if needed. 

Any suggestions on head covering?  I wear my helmet, but it's got vents.  Think I need anything else?  I usually ride to work with wet hair so I can brush it out nicely upon arrival and prevent helmet bumps, but maybe I need to make an exception these cold days and make sure I ride with dry hair in the morning, no?

Damn. Mustachian bikers are quick on the draw!! But for me, I wear a buff (http://) under my helmet. For <20F days, I add in a balaclava, but as others' have said, it's primarily due to the ears. A headband (assuming it works with your helmet...which is why I have a balaclava) will do just fine.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 19, 2015, 11:06:10 AM
A thin balaclava if you don't want to tape your helmet. Otherwise, tape the helmet (I use clear packing tape, so less residue when summer comes back around) and use a headband.

If in doubt, either wear extra layers or bring them along just in case. Better to have them and not need them, than want them and not have them.

Sometimes in these in between temps I'll bring a layer I know I won't need, but want along just in case I sweat too much and want to change back into dry. The need for a dry change is mainly when you're doing hour plus rides, though.

If you're going to get rain at those temps, however, I'd strongly recommend a shell layer top and bottom. Getting soaked below about 50F gets you cold really fucking fast. It's miserable though not technically dangerous for short exposure times.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Nancy on February 19, 2015, 12:37:36 PM
I was gifted a merino wool neck warmer made by Buff seven years ago, and I wear that on my head instead of wearing it on my neck. It covers my ears and forehead and is so thin, it's like it's not even there, but it's super warm! I also go to work with wet hair, which hangs out in the bottom half of the neck warmer tube that hangs down my back. My head has never been cold.

Edited: wrong brand!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 19, 2015, 01:09:22 PM
I have a rain cap which I wear all winter. (okay, East coast people can stop laughing at our West coast winter).  It keeps the rain/snow (none this year)/wind off my head and keeps the heat in.  I also have a balaclava which I use when it is below 45F, and arm warmers when I am recreational cycling.  So far for winter I have worn jeans, t-shirt, long sleeve flannel shirt, balaclava, and gloves along with my riding jacket (Gore Tex rain jacket).  Shoes are either dress shoes or running shoes.  Just got some booties now for rain, and I keep them along with a pair of rain pants in my box on my bike for just in case.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 19, 2015, 02:35:59 PM
I have a rain cap

I'm imagining poofy hair, in pink curlers, and....
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Mrs. PoP on February 19, 2015, 06:05:08 PM
Thanks, guys!  Day 1 down, with the temp down around 50 with 20+ mph headwinds on the way home.  (I know that doesn't seem that cold to many of you, but I guarantee it was!) 

This winter has definitely been testing me with rain, cold, and other weather that is outside of our norm, but luckily these challenge threads have been great motivators.  =)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: PindyStache on February 19, 2015, 09:06:13 PM
Congrats Mrs. Pop. Frankly, I find the most difficult weather to dress for is 30's & 40's in the rain. If it's colder than that you won't get soaked and can always pile more layers on. Kudos to you!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Mrs. PoP on February 20, 2015, 07:10:51 AM
I made it!!!  It was 36!!!  Toes were a bit cold despite 3 layers of socks (maybe shoes with non-fabric toes would be better on cold days since the wind was cutting straight through), and hands were a bit chilly despite 2 layers of gloves, but 2 pair of compression pants, and 3 drywick tops (1 mock turtleneck, 1 regular long sleeve, 1 thicker drywick zip-jacket with a high neck) were just about perfect.  Oh and a fleece headband with ear coverage under my helmet.  That was lovely!

When my coworkers realized I biked in, they told me I deserved a medal.  =) 
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 20, 2015, 07:14:51 AM
I made it!!!  It was 36!!!  Toes were a bit cold despite 3 layers of socks (maybe shoes with non-fabric toes would be better on cold days since the wind was cutting straight through), and hands were a bit chilly despite 2 layers of gloves, but 2 pair of compression pants, and 3 drywick tops (1 mock turtleneck, 1 regular long sleeve, 1 thicker drywick zip-jacket with a high neck) were just about perfect.  Oh and a fleece headband with ear coverage under my helmet.  That was lovely!

When my coworkers realized I biked in, they told me I deserved a medal.  =)
Way to go! If your toes were cold, there are two things I've had good luck with. Try dropping down to two pairs. With 3, it may cut off circulation. If its the wind, a plastic bag between layers works pretty well.

But I agree, you totally deserve a medal. Yay for milestones. Before you know it, you'll be so used to the colder rides that 30s will seem balmy.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Nancy on February 20, 2015, 07:56:29 AM
I made it!!!  It was 36!!!  Toes were a bit cold despite 3 layers of socks (maybe shoes with non-fabric toes would be better on cold days since the wind was cutting straight through), and hands were a bit chilly despite 2 layers of gloves, but 2 pair of compression pants, and 3 drywick tops (1 mock turtleneck, 1 regular long sleeve, 1 thicker drywick zip-jacket with a high neck) were just about perfect.  Oh and a fleece headband with ear coverage under my helmet.  That was lovely!

When my coworkers realized I biked in, they told me I deserved a medal.  =)
Well done, you! I agree with the non-fabric shoes. I wear my leather hiking boots with one pair of wool socks=toasty (obviously everyone is different)!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Kmp2 on February 20, 2015, 02:53:11 PM
way to go!

I second the plastic bags between your sock layers, even one of those little sandwich baggies over only your toes can work well in a pinch. But if you have warmer, wind/water resistant shoes that would be great too.
I find feet the hardest to keep warm.

We are still having a balmy winter here, one of the warmest februaries that I remember :) (sorry easterners)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 22, 2015, 09:42:33 AM
Man. I know a lot of it is more due to temperature than a lack of fitness, but it's discouraging when I'm completely out of breath and gassed after 11 miles (@ 10F/-12C and a pretty stiff headwind at the beginning and end of my ride).
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 22, 2015, 11:09:41 PM
Had a great weekend cycling!  Got 116mi in.  This winter has just been incredible, with highs in the 60's these past couple weeks.  Beat my personal distance record, from 63.4mi to 67.1mi.  Also thanks to a comment in one of MMM's articles (still reading from the beginning) I have decided to start trying my hand at making my own sports drink.  Picked up some "lite salt" which is roughly a 50/50 mixture of potassium chloride and sodium chloride, should be interesting to try it on my next ride, but I'll make sure I bring some plain water as backup.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 23, 2015, 05:38:50 AM
Had a great weekend cycling!  Got 116mi in.  This winter has just been incredible, with highs in the 60's these past couple weeks.  Beat my personal distance record, from 63.4mi to 67.1mi.  Also thanks to a comment in one of MMM's articles (still reading from the beginning) I have decided to start trying my hand at making my own sports drink.  Picked up some "lite salt" which is roughly a 50/50 mixture of potassium chloride and sodium chloride, should be interesting to try it on my next ride, but I'll make sure I bring some plain water as backup.

Insanely jealous of your miles and weather! My mileage the past months has been pathetic.

On the sports drink, I'd recommend sea salt, ideally Himalayan or Andean (those salts come from ancient oceans not contaminated with modern pollution). The reason being that the mineral content of ocean brine is almost precisely the same proportions as human blood, so you get everything in the correct amounts, including trace minerals.

I will probably try DIY sports drinks for shorter rides, so curious about your recipe experiments. Last year what I did was water, then carried saltier than normal homemade granola as fuel+mineral supplement. Seemed to work quite well even on the hottest days when we (as a family) were burning close to a gallon every hour or two.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Kmp2 on February 24, 2015, 09:06:16 AM
Challenge of the week - attempting to bike 2km downhill withough sweating @ 50F... What a warm overnight low!
Without adapting too much because it's the overnight lows are going back down to 10-15F

We barely get overnight lows that warm in July... love chinooks (except for that wind part)
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: mskyle on February 24, 2015, 10:41:08 AM
Commuted in and home yesterday and today! First time I've bike commuted two days in a row in weeks. First time I've gone in to work on a Monday in weeks, for that matter. But the snow is melting, or at least compacting. I guess we're getting a few more inches tonight so we'll see if I can get it to three days in a row...
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Wolf_Stache on February 24, 2015, 10:08:11 PM
I'm back! Commuted to new job from the new place for the first time. Just about 5 miles, but an EASY ride. There is a bike lane about 1/2 the way, then it turns into an off-road cycle path. I was a bit worried about the last intersection before my work, as it is a busy street and I'd have to make a left, but something I hadn't seen when driving that route in the rental car: The off-road cycle path has an underpass that allows pedestrians/bikers to ride under that intersection. Score!

Also, it was a bit chilly this morning, below freezing. I still road in because it was blue sky and sunny. So 2nd day on the job, I met one of my co-workers for the first time. Other co-worker asks first if they biked in. They replied, no it was too cold. I schooled them a bit when I said, "I rode in. It wasn't bad at all." LOL
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: b4u2 on February 25, 2015, 07:18:17 AM
More snow today and this weekend here. Because of my physical issues with the cold I will be working my way into riding. I honestly figure April/May time frame. I will spend these months doing upgrades to the bike I have so that it will be ready for all weather riding. If I start in the spring I can then work myself up to ride in the winter here. Over the summer I'll be looking for some gear that will keep my hands from suffering, maybe it will be on sale as well???

I added interrupter levers recently. My next thing is fenders. I will also be looking into better tires and tubes. I am thinking thorn proof tubes and gator skin tires. There is no trail to my work and the roads are insane with holes and cracks. I am hoping my road bike will handle it. If not I will try a mountain bike.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 25, 2015, 09:31:04 AM
I'm back! Commuted to new job from the new place for the first time. Just about 5 miles, but an EASY ride. There is a bike lane about 1/2 the way, then it turns into an off-road cycle path. I was a bit worried about the last intersection before my work, as it is a busy street and I'd have to make a left, but something I hadn't seen when driving that route in the rental car: The off-road cycle path has an underpass that allows pedestrians/bikers to ride under that intersection. Score!

Also, it was a bit chilly this morning, below freezing. I still road in because it was blue sky and sunny. So 2nd day on the job, I met one of my co-workers for the first time. Other co-worker asks first if they biked in. They replied, no it was too cold. I schooled them a bit when I said, "I rode in. It wasn't bad at all." LOL

Hell yeah. Gotta love nice commutes w/ bikes having the advantage. :-) Congrats again on the new job.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: mskyle on February 27, 2015, 07:21:33 AM
Managed to squeeze in one full week of bicycle commuting in February - my numbers for the month are disappointing for sure, but it's great to be back on the bike again.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 27, 2015, 08:53:27 PM
A poor month for me...just got busy and I walk to work so I don't bike regularly. Next month though!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: PindyStache on February 27, 2015, 09:35:26 PM
You have one day left!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 28, 2015, 07:24:28 AM
My month was pathetic miles-wise. Any tips for motivating yourself to bike in the cold and dark when you don't have anywhere to go? I'm not finding it terribly fun this year and so my main exercise has just been my indoor lifting.

I usually only need to leave the house at most twice a week.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on February 28, 2015, 11:22:55 AM
My month was pathetic miles-wise. Any tips for motivating yourself to bike in the cold and dark when you don't have anywhere to go? I'm not finding it terribly fun this year and so my main exercise has just been my indoor lifting.

I usually only need to leave the house at most twice a week.

I'm running into the same issue here. Earlier this month, I had to go to Denver, so no miles there. Once I turned in my notice, I'm remote only and have nowhere to go. I'm thinking a few times a week of coordinating with mtbiker (I haven't told him yet) and join him on his commute in the morning, before I have to turn around and go back home to start my work.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 28, 2015, 01:12:57 PM
You have one day left!
I wasn't planning on biking today because I haven't driven my car in a month and allegedly it is bad to let a car so idle like that for so long. I have some errands to run today, so I tried to start my car but couldn't. Not sure if it's actually because I haven't started it in a month but it seems like a possibility - battery self discharge is a thing.
So I'm currently in the middle of my errand run on my bike at the moment.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 28, 2015, 02:57:10 PM
You have one day left!
I wasn't planning on biking today because I haven't driven my car in a month and allegedly it is bad to let a car so idle like that for so long. I have some errands to run today, so I tried to start my car but couldn't. Not sure if it's actually because I haven't started it in a month but it seems like a possibility - battery self discharge is a thing.
So I'm currently in the middle of my errand run on my bike at the moment.

Yeah, get a trickle charger.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: johnny847 on February 28, 2015, 04:36:42 PM
You have one day left!
I wasn't planning on biking today because I haven't driven my car in a month and allegedly it is bad to let a car so idle like that for so long. I have some errands to run today, so I tried to start my car but couldn't. Not sure if it's actually because I haven't started it in a month but it seems like a possibility - battery self discharge is a thing.
So I'm currently in the middle of my errand run on my bike at the moment.

Yeah, get a trickle charger.
I had actually never heard of those. Thanks!
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: ohyonghao on February 28, 2015, 11:27:08 PM
Got a wonderful ride in today.  Had a head wind or a crosswind for most of it, but got my fastest average yet.  Lot's of cyclist out today.  Sadly no way I could squeeze in enough miles today to beat last months mileage, but being the shortest month I'm still happy with it.  Got a riding jersey and bib shorts this week and they worked great on my ride.

Hope to get a jump start tomorrow morning for March's Challenge.
Title: Re: February Cycling Challenge 2015
Post by: jordanread on March 01, 2015, 12:51:28 PM
The March Cycling challenge is up!!!

Stop on by, and keep being awesome. (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/march-cycling-challenge-2015/)