Author Topic: November Biking Challenge!!  (Read 18821 times)

SMC

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #50 on: November 15, 2012, 08:16:53 AM »
I biked to work this morning.  Temperature when I left my house was -6C and the roads were mostly packed snow.  Even though my rear derailleur refused to work it only took me an extra 15 mins to get to work vs a regular good weather day (14km distance).  I even made it the whole way without falling, until I get to my office and go into the underground parking where my glasses instantly fog up and I slip out on the wet polished concrete floor and smash my thumb and knee on the ground :( 

KC

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #51 on: November 15, 2012, 08:27:51 AM »
That sounds horrible!
And it's exactly why I'll stop biking when the roads get icy. Ice terrifies me.
I'm happy Ottawa has been snow-free so far!

Matt K

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #52 on: November 15, 2012, 10:01:14 AM »
Well, I finally got off my butt and back onto my bike and biked to work for the first time in months. I felt shamed seeing all the old grannies still biking around Ottawa while I sat in my car with bum-heater on.

I'm still a cold-weather biking wussy pants. Hopefully a few more times and I'll get over that...

SMC

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #53 on: November 15, 2012, 03:52:48 PM »
That sounds horrible!
And it's exactly why I'll stop biking when the roads get icy. Ice terrifies me.
I'm happy Ottawa has been snow-free so far!

It actually was a really good ride except for the falling part, didn't mean to sound like a complainy-pants.  I typed that response about 10 mins after I got in and I was still in alot of pain which may explain my slightly negative tone.

Anyways I'll be doing it again in the future although I'm considering some new gloves as my fingers were quite numb.  As far as the ice goes the key is to just go straight and avoid stopping or turning suddenly.  And above all go slow as it's easier to maintain control and also if you do end up bailing to minimize injury.

yolfer

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2012, 04:04:05 PM »
My bike has recently had trouble down-shifting (i.e. shifting to the bigger-sized gears).

Turns out the most common cause of poor shifting is a stretched cable. Fortunately, derailleurs have small adjustment barrels. If the derailleur is hesitating shifting toward the spokes, turn the barrel toward the spokes in 1/4-turn increments until the shifting occurs with each click. Do the opposite if the derailleur is hesitating shifting away from the spokes.

I've been a commuter for over 5 years and I just realized this today! Hopefully you can learn from it too! Literally only took 10 seconds, and saved me a couple bucks not having to take it into the bike shop.


StashinIt

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #55 on: November 15, 2012, 05:23:00 PM »
I've been a commuter for over 5 years and I just realized this today! Hopefully you can learn from it too! Literally only took 10 seconds, and saved me a couple bucks not having to take it into the bike shop.

5 years! I've been commuting 3 months and I learned this weeks ago ;-)

On another note, my cable is getting frayed where it connects to the front derailleur. Is this something I need to fix? i.e new cable?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 05:34:31 PM by StashinIt »

BPA

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #56 on: November 15, 2012, 05:32:32 PM »
I biked to work this morning.  Temperature when I left my house was -6C and the roads were mostly packed snow.  Even though my rear derailleur refused to work it only took me an extra 15 mins to get to work vs a regular good weather day (14km distance).  I even made it the whole way without falling, until I get to my office and go into the underground parking where my glasses instantly fog up and I slip out on the wet polished concrete floor and smash my thumb and knee on the ground :(

Yikes!  I am too chickenshit to ride in ice or snow. 

Russ

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #57 on: November 15, 2012, 06:12:01 PM »
On another note, my cable is getting frayed where it connects to the front derailleur. Is this something I need to fix? i.e new cable?

you don't need to, but a new cable's like 3 bucks and it'll save you getting stuck in one gear when your fraying cable eventually snaps.

StashinIt

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #58 on: November 15, 2012, 07:41:46 PM »
On another note, my cable is getting frayed where it connects to the front derailleur. Is this something I need to fix? i.e new cable?

you don't need to, but a new cable's like 3 bucks and it'll save you getting stuck in one gear when your fraying cable eventually snaps.

Ah, guess I'll try replacing it this weekend.

Russ

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #59 on: November 15, 2012, 07:53:38 PM »
If you get a cheapo cable, make sure you ask for one of these to crimp on the end to help keep it from fraying again. They usually don't come with the lower-priced cables, but if you ask the shop staff nicely they'll probably give you one for free. Other options are shrink tube or soldering (my favorite), but the cable crimps are the easiest.

Matt F

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #60 on: November 15, 2012, 07:58:36 PM »
My bike has friction shifters and I always feel like they aren't working quite right.  I have to try paying attention some time when I am not riding down a busy road on my commute and see if they are successfully running through the whole range of rear gears. 

StashinIt

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #61 on: November 16, 2012, 10:02:07 AM »
My bike has friction shifters and I always feel like they aren't working quite right.  I have to try paying attention some time when I am not riding down a busy road on my commute and see if they are successfully running through the whole range of rear gears.

Just lift up your bike with one hand and spin the pedals with the other. Keep the pedals going while at the same time test out the shifting. It's a little bit of a balancing act but easy enough. Personally I tie a rope between two trees suspending the back wheel off the ground 6 inches so I can use both hands. There are plenty of was to rig it up, including stands that are designed to do maintenance on your bike.   

grantmeaname

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #62 on: November 16, 2012, 11:57:32 AM »
You could do that, but sometimes it'll shift fine when there's no load on it and then have a problem when the drivetrain is actually propelling a person.

capital

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #63 on: November 16, 2012, 12:54:01 PM »
If you get a cheapo cable, make sure you ask for one of these to crimp on the end to help keep it from fraying again. They usually don't come with the lower-priced cables, but if you ask the shop staff nicely they'll probably give you one for free. Other options are shrink tube or soldering (my favorite), but the cable crimps are the easiest.
Especially if you're riding through the winter, it's worth paying a little extra to get a stainless steel cable (and other bike hardware, when you're replacing it). Definitely put little cable crimps on any cable missing them. Every bike store I've even been to will give them to you when you make another purchase.

Matt F

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #64 on: November 16, 2012, 06:35:05 PM »
Got honked at for the first time today while riding home.  White Lexus and an old white man.  He honked at me as I passed him in the bike lane at a red light because he thought it was unfair that I passed him since it was making it harder for him to turn right into a gas station.  I'm pretty sure he assumed anyone biking in my area was a poor drunk black person he could bully. 

I have to admit, I pulled into the gas station behind him and asked him why he honked at me.  He also told me that since I was not buying gas like he was then I was not paying the taxes to support the roads and should not be using them (no I was definitely not riding on a fricking highway that gas taxes would go to support).  I just told him (pretty calmly) that I had the right to ride in the bike lane and that when the lane ends I have to merge into traffic and that riding up on me from behind and honking is not especially helpful for me (I had a high visibility class two PPE vest, rear blinking light and front blinking headlight so he could definitely see me).  God I love south carolina, hahaha, I think he was still a bit upset over last tuesday. 

His wife in the front seat looked embarrased as hell and said she thought he was just trying to be safe and make sure he did not hit me since many bikers ride without lights or vests.  He piped in that the rider that was killed recently here was probably the one at fault and that bikes should stay off the damn roads.  I totally wanted to ask him if he felt that women who get raped were totally asking for it by acting all sexy so that the poor men couldnt help themselves too, but I did not want to get upset or do anything other than raise some bike safety awareness on my commute route.

Sucks too because I have actually gotten tons of friendly waves and people backing their cars up out of my way at intersections and stuff.  I'm wondering if it motorcycle riders in their trucks for the winter or something (motorcycling is huge down here).

Anyway, figured this was a good place to vent about the situation!

BPA

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #65 on: November 17, 2012, 07:38:28 AM »
He also told me that since I was not buying gas like he was then I was not paying the taxes to support the roads and should not be using them (no I was definitely not riding on a fricking highway that gas taxes would go to support).  I just told him (pretty calmly) that I had the right to ride in the bike lane and that when the lane ends I have to merge into traffic and that riding up on me from behind and honking is not especially helpful for me (I had a high visibility class two PPE vest, rear blinking light and front blinking headlight so he could definitely see me).  God I love south carolina, hahaha, I think he was still a bit upset over last tuesday. 

Sucks too because I have actually gotten tons of friendly waves and people backing their cars up out of my way at intersections and stuff.  I'm wondering if it motorcycle riders in their trucks for the winter or something (motorcycling is huge down here).

Anyway, figured this was a good place to vent about the situation!

Nutjobs abound!  Imagine living his miserable existence if he is reacting like that?  I'm glad that you are getting lots of positive reinforcement too. 

Tradies wife

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2012, 03:57:48 PM »
So sorry that you had that experience Matt F. Honestly some people think the world is created for them! I think that you did a great thing by talking to the man, but I wouldn't have done it myself as I would have felt a tad vulnerable. Sometimes people need to see that there is always the flip side. If ever cornered by someone who felt I wasn't paying my dues by not driving a car.... (idiotic I'm sure) I'd happily point out that the fact that I am making sure that traffic is less congested so that they can get around easier, I'm not queuing up for petrol in a car so that they don't have to wait as long, as well as not taking up a car park space so that there are more to go around. There is always a flip side. Some people don't see the value in things, unless they can see an immediate value to their own lives.

But yes, I probably wouldn't get the same reaction as you did, being that I am a woman, with two children in riding aboard with me. I have had loads of positive interactions. Most people won't curse or honk at two preschool children waving and smiling at them.

jwystup

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2012, 08:13:05 PM »
I just added myself to the spreadsheet. I've been biking to work since March, just after it got nice enough out to not discourage me. Preparing for my first buffalo winter on a bike! I have a bunch of warm clothes (still hope to find some nice long underwear though). I got some mountain bike tires for my hybrid commuter, I still need to throw those on my bike. It's about 2 miles each way, there's a little extra for going out of my way to avoid traffic (I track it on endomondo, copying it here).

November is a little sucky because I drove on the 1st for some errand-running that was out of biking distance and thanksgiving is taking away some miles. As it's been getting colder, I've been getting in fewer miles each month :\ Everyone keeps asking me how long I'm going to keep riding as it gets colder, I just keep saying I'm trying to go all winter, but probably won't ride in a white-out! Last year was very mild and I have no doubt that I could've ridden daily all winter. But that was not normal. That was our first winter in this location though so I have yet to see how bad it gets (we're a teeny bit north of the city and shouldn't get as much lake-effect snow).

galaxie

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #68 on: November 19, 2012, 06:23:57 AM »
I've been biking 3 days a week pretty consistently this fall, but I am a little unhappy that it gets dark so early now.  The bike path I use as part of my summer route doesn't have lights, so on the way home I've had to switch to a much busier road instead (unless I leave work by 4pm).  The stop lights add a few minutes to my ride, and it's generally not as relaxing.  I'm glad I was able to find something that doesn't add that much extra time & distance, though.

I'm not in the spreadsheet, though.  You guys have fun.

frugalcalan

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #69 on: November 19, 2012, 08:50:56 AM »
On another note, since I started bike commuting a couple of months ago (... and started packing healthier lunches, and avoiding free processed work snacks, and taking a fitness class off of Groupon) I've dropped 20lbs.  Hurrah for bike commuting (and other things)!

YAR

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #70 on: November 19, 2012, 09:31:12 AM »
I am both much larger than average and somewhat a fan of bicycle racing. I hear and see wattage quoted regularly during televised races so I wondered what mine was like. Here is a nice website http://bikecalculator.com/ according to this site I average between 230 and 349 watts on my commute. Pretty neat stuff.

Matt F

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #71 on: November 19, 2012, 09:48:19 AM »
jwystup, welcome aboard.  I grew up in Amherst (Buffalo suburb).  We road bikes everywhere growing up until around early December, and started up again in early March, but I know some of the people on this board ride right through much worse conditions than I ever had.  Not sure if you are new to Buffalo, or just biking in Buffalo, but let me know if you need any suggestions for things to do in the area.

StashinIt

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #72 on: November 19, 2012, 02:24:35 PM »
PSA. We just passed our combined October mileage! Predictions on where we will end? Current pace is ~4,442.

I'm making my prediction of 4,588.

jwystup

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #73 on: November 19, 2012, 04:51:45 PM »
jwystup, welcome aboard.  I grew up in Amherst (Buffalo suburb).  We road bikes everywhere growing up until around early December, and started up again in early March, but I know some of the people on this board ride right through much worse conditions than I ever had.  Not sure if you are new to Buffalo, or just biking in Buffalo, but let me know if you need any suggestions for things to do in the area.

Thanks, we're actually pretty close to Amherst, in Tonawanda. People keep asking me how long I'm going to keep riding and I have no real answer! I grew up an hour south of Buffalo, so I'm pretty familiar with the area and the weather, but I don't know if I can keep up the riding once the snow gets bad (that's the goal, but I might end up with a 2-month break). My commute isn't too far, so I might be able to do it, as long as I don't wipe out!

BPA

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #74 on: November 20, 2012, 04:52:23 AM »
On another note, since I started bike commuting a couple of months ago (... and started packing healthier lunches, and avoiding free processed work snacks, and taking a fitness class off of Groupon) I've dropped 20lbs.  Hurrah for bike commuting (and other things)!

Excellent!  I've also dropped some pounds since cycling became my primary mode of transportation last spring.  (I also started running last winter and plan to take up swimming in spring 2013...Decided to put off lessons until more debt is paid down.  :)). 

I also have to admit that I have a certain amount of pride in being one of the last three cycling to work/school.  Only three bikes left in the racks come November.  Two and a half years ago, I was ill and couldn't even walk to work without feeling exhausted.  I love now.

SMC

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #75 on: November 20, 2012, 08:44:08 AM »
Cyclists - don't forget to bring some basic tools with you.  I'd recommend at minimum: multi-tool, pump, tire levers, patch kit.  My multi-tool is pretty good, not only has allen keys but spoke wrenches and a chain-tool.

The reason I say this is yesterday I had two different mechanical issues on the way home.  First my chain snapped, then I got a flat.  Both of these issues I was able to fix no problem as I had everything I needed in my backpack.

Tami1982

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #76 on: November 21, 2012, 12:53:47 AM »
Cyclists - don't forget to bring some basic tools with you.  I'd recommend at minimum: multi-tool, pump, tire levers, patch kit.  My multi-tool is pretty good, not only has allen keys but spoke wrenches and a chain-tool.


Good call!  I have all but the multitool.  I had my brother ( a bike tech) walk me through changing my tire and patching my innertube so I'd know how to do it and be prepared if I had to on the side of the road, but I haven't had to do a chain repair yet.  I should look into that one.

Thanks for the tips!

Matt F

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #77 on: November 21, 2012, 10:20:43 AM »
I have got to learn how to do some maintenance other than chain lubing at some point.  I am still at the stage where if I have a problem, I will use my phone to call my wife who leaves after I do in the morning and gets home after I do in the evening and say "um honey, can you come pick me up at the corner of so and so" 

KC

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #78 on: November 26, 2012, 07:39:40 AM »
This morning was my first and last attempt to ride in snow... completely wiped out!!

Ottawa

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #79 on: November 26, 2012, 09:29:16 AM »
@KC - ouch!  I hope you're well.  My first snow ride of the season today also - and there were moments of slipperiness for sure!  I found the bike paths to be great - normal speed no problem.  It is the pressure of car tires and stupid salting that causes the formation of ice on the roads.  This is the dangerous place to ride.  Try to go on as much virgin snow as possible - i.e. bike paths and backroads! 

Ottawa

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #80 on: November 26, 2012, 11:58:02 AM »
Thought I'd show you the local biking scene!  Not sure if the upload picture will work...it is about 70KB

HumanAfterAll

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #81 on: November 26, 2012, 12:34:33 PM »
Nice job in the snow!  I enjoyed a sunny commute this morning, mowing down frost on the bike path.  It made a pleasant sound :)

Herr Handlebar

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #82 on: November 26, 2012, 04:53:16 PM »
On this, my 6th day of bike commuting, I registered for the November challenge.

I have been tracking my mileage with a combination of the CycleTracks and SportsTrackLive Android applications. From the developers' website, "CycleTracks uses smartphone GPS support to record users' bicycle trip routes and times, and display maps of their rides, in order to help transportation planners make informed decisions about bicycle use in the community." CycleTracks is neat because while it is developed and maintained by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) it shares data with other cities including:
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  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • Seattle, WA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
As a resident of Seattle I'd like to do whatever I can to help improve bicycle facilities in the city. CycleTracks is available for Android and iOS at http://www.sfcta.org/content/view/1159/556.

BPA

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #83 on: November 27, 2012, 01:35:19 PM »
Yikes, KC!

I'm lucky.  Our temperatures are below 0 C but we've had very little snow.

Almost the end of the month, and for the first time ever I've bike commuted in November.  Thanks for starting the challenge and making up the spreadsheet, @Ottawa.

StashinIt

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #84 on: November 28, 2012, 12:22:31 PM »
So November is almost over and it has me thinking about my goals for next month, one more commute and I'll have reached my goal of commuting 3x a week. So of the 20 working days I'll have commuted by bike 12x or 60% of the time. Clearly there is room for improvement.

Many of the miles I put on this month were for recreational purposes/fitness. I needed to do this to get in shape to up my number of commuting days. In January I think I'm going to focus on commuting i.e. pedaling for profit.

I'm thinking about setting a personal goal of commuting by bike 15x in December. There will be a total of 18 working days so I'm going to allow myself 3 days off (83% of work days commuting by bike). I don't have plans for any recreational rides unless my co-workers want to set something up. Therefore, I assume January will consist of fewer total miles.

What are your goals for next month?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 12:24:07 PM by StashinIt »

frugalcalan

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #85 on: November 29, 2012, 04:44:23 PM »
After a nice long Thanksgiving break, I'm finally back in the saddle.  Tragically, I won't hit the 300mi mark, and since next month is also filled with holidays, I probably won't make it then either.  But someday!

swiper

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #86 on: November 29, 2012, 06:07:12 PM »
Tomorrow(friday) it is suppose to be -14 C in ottawa (feels like -20 C with wind). I'm posting here so i don't wimp out!

Ascend

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #87 on: November 29, 2012, 08:33:21 PM »
Great challenge! I've been biking to work and back since April, rain/wind/snow/hail. I anticipated having to call it quits for the season by the end of the month, but now that the bike path is icy, I take the main roads which are fine, and I aim to use my bike until end of December (which would be a new personal record for me).

Swiper: yep, -19 tomorrow morning with the windchill... I'll have a thought for you as I freeze my ass going down Aylmer Road my friend! 

Ottawa

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #88 on: November 30, 2012, 06:47:00 AM »
@ swiper - good for you!  I upgraded my gloves for this morning's ride and didn't find it too bad!  The 10km/h wind in my face took a km or two to get used to...but the balaclava really helps here.  I'm thinking about getting some ski goggles.  BTW - the OMBA (Ottawa mountain bike association) has a commute thread going at the moment here and has some good tips for sure:
http://ottawamba.org/forums/showthread.php?7635-The-Bike-Commuter-Thread

madgeylou

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #89 on: November 30, 2012, 06:56:50 AM »
i rode to work today for the very first time!! and it was fun, and i didn't die!

i live at the top of a mile-long hill, so i will probably end up either walking or taking the bus for the last mile home, but hey, gotta start somewhere, right?

swiper

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #90 on: November 30, 2012, 08:44:48 AM »
Great challenge! I've been biking to work and back since April, rain/wind/snow/hail. I anticipated having to call it quits for the season by the end of the month, but now that the bike path is icy, I take the main roads which are fine, and I aim to use my bike until end of December (which would be a new personal record for me).

Swiper: yep, -19 tomorrow morning with the windchill... I'll have a thought for you as I freeze my ass going down Aylmer Road my friend! 

Fun times! I made it in; wasn't as bad as I thought.

@ swiper - good for you!  I upgraded my gloves for this morning's ride and didn't find it too bad!  The 10km/h wind in my face took a km or two to get used to...but the balaclava really helps here.  I'm thinking about getting some ski goggles.  BTW - the OMBA (Ottawa mountain bike association) has a commute thread going at the moment here and has some good tips for sure:
http://ottawamba.org/forums/showthread.php?7635-The-Bike-Commuter-Thread

Thanks for the link, I'm much slower these days due to ditching the bike shoes in favor of heavy winter boots.

i rode to work today for the very first time!! and it was fun, and i didn't die!

i live at the top of a mile-long hill, so i will probably end up either walking or taking the bus for the last mile home, but hey, gotta start somewhere, right?

Congrats on the first ride in! It gets much easier as you turn it in to a habit.




swiper

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #91 on: November 30, 2012, 08:51:32 AM »
Attached is are our famous Ottawa river steam baths.  And a bit of badassity on being the only one in the bike cage today.

Matt K

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #92 on: November 30, 2012, 11:08:29 AM »
Good on you Swiper. I was bloody cold driving my car.

The Taminator

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #93 on: November 30, 2012, 11:13:55 AM »
It was a balmy -12 in Toronto. The bike racks have thinned out but there's still a few die-hards. As for December goals, I think I'm just going to keep riding as long as I can. We don't typically get a lot of snow downtown, where I live and work, so it should be doable.

PJ

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #94 on: November 30, 2012, 12:25:09 PM »
Good on you Swiper. I was bloody cold driving my car.
LOL!  I have to admit, me too!  We probably would have been warmer on bikes!

jwystup

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #95 on: November 30, 2012, 03:10:02 PM »
First snow-on-the-roads ride on my way home today! It's lingering around freezing and I didn't think there was going to be any sticking, but the ground was white! Not much, but enough to be a little careful. Winds were opposite today, so I got a nice push TO work and wind in my face on the way home :\

Side note, the news just mentioned all of the car accidents that happened today because of the snow. *sigh* Just ride your bike! :)

Skinnyneo

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #96 on: November 30, 2012, 10:18:47 PM »
No snow here yet in Yokohama so I'll be riding 4 days a week like usual and taking the train the other day.  My goal is to keep riding my bike extra on the weekends.

hoppy08520

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #97 on: December 01, 2012, 11:31:20 AM »
October? CHECK.

November? CHECK.

December -- now it starts getting difficult. I can handle the cold but I'm concerned about snowy/icy road conditions.

Biking to work since 11/19/2012 - no car since then.

yolfer

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #98 on: December 02, 2012, 08:50:16 AM »
Should I make the December spreadsheet or has someone done it already?

Ottawa

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Re: November Biking Challenge!!
« Reply #99 on: December 02, 2012, 08:51:36 AM »
Go for it Yolfer.  I'll do next month...perhaps we could even have a roster of SH Maker!  :-)  For the November one, I just kinda ripped off the October one.  Thanks!!