Author Topic: November Cycling Challenge 2014  (Read 21323 times)

jordanread

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November Cycling Challenge 2014
« on: November 01, 2014, 08:08:49 PM »
The cycling challenge for November is ready. There have been a few changes, so read the following carefully:

If you logged miles last month, you have been automatically added this month,with the same options you selected last month.

If you don't have a sheet:
Click here to fill out the form.

If you participated last month, you can go straight to the spreadsheet with this link

Next month, you will be added only if you selected "Remember Me". I just didn't get a chance to build that filter this month. Historical data is now accurate. There were some case sensitivity issues from a few months ago, plus there were a few people who modified their username so I couldn't find all historical data. Everything is all matched up. PM me if you think something is missing. We also have a historical charts sheet. If you want to change your options, do the following:

  • Delete your row from the Summary page.
  • Delete your tab.
  • Go to the form, and fill out the information with your new options

I'll have some stats up when I get a bit more time.

Happy Cycling!!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2014, 07:25:28 AM »
Last month my kids bikes 136 miles. I'll be curious to see if we keep that up as the weather gets cold. We managed an 8 mile ride when it was 35F and 45 mph winds, so I think we're good until it gets snowy and sloppy :)

Happy riding everybody!

johnny847

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2014, 07:34:45 AM »
Last month my kids bikes 136 miles. I'll be curious to see if we keep that up as the weather gets cold. We managed an 8 mile ride when it was 35F and 45 mph winds, so I think we're good until it gets snowy and sloppy :)

Happy riding everybody!

I have no idea how you got your goblins to bike so much but damn you are one hell of a father. I'd be so much better at biking if my dad did that when I was younger.
But hey, he got into cycling a couple years ago and gifted me his previous aluminum road bike, so it's all good =)

I've been cycling when it was windy, but not that windy. It's a little bit scary when your front wheel deflects in a not intended direction. Your kids still managed just fine?

I'm curious, do you tell your kids how much they've biked? Are they surprised at all?

usmarine1975

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2014, 07:48:55 AM »
Hoping to break 250 miles this month

Mrs. PoP

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2014, 06:23:13 PM »
45mph winds?  That's insane.  I have trouble when we get winds in the mid-20's! 

Kmp2

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 08:36:09 AM »
I bailed on the commute this morning - 20cm of snow this weekend and warm enough to melt alot of it yesterday. I took the bike out around the block last night (it was beautiful), but the roads were black ice! Should clear up for the week, but have to get my studs on my bike, and learn how to bike through that pebbley frozen icy snow tracks...


JTW158

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2014, 09:20:12 AM »
I am shooting for 150 this month. If I do all my commuting by bike I will get over it by a bit, but I am new to bike commuting and have only been doing 1-2 days a week.

Wolf_Stache

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2014, 01:15:13 PM »
I'm determined to bike through this winter rain! Day 1 down!

TrMama

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2014, 01:43:39 PM »
Thanks, Jordan!

Turns out last month was a record month for me.  Awesome!

usmarine1975

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2014, 06:15:33 AM »
Jordan,
Just a thought, took me a while to figure it out (yea sometimes I am that slow) might be a good idea to limit the amount of numbers past the decimal.  Sorry it's my OCD kicking in.  It took me some time to realize that it was because of the conversion from kilometers to miles or vice versa.

Got my month started out this morning and it felt good.  Should be able to bike the remainder of the week.  I am also biking past my office to get more miles in a day.  Hence the daily number climbing 2 miles.  Feels good to be back out.  Although my night ride is going to be darker so we shall see how that goes.

Nancy

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2014, 06:52:22 AM »
Thanks, Jordanread! I love looking at my historical miles. Here's to beating the past two Novembers!

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2014, 03:02:54 PM »
Jordan,
Just a thought, took me a while to figure it out (yea sometimes I am that slow) might be a good idea to limit the amount of numbers past the decimal.  Sorry it's my OCD kicking in.  It took me some time to realize that it was because of the conversion from kilometers to miles or vice versa.

Yeah, on the historical sheet, I go for maximum accuracy. I will modify the format on the template for next month. Thanks for the suggestion! Do people want a single decimal place, or just round to the mile?

Thanks, Jordanread! I love looking at my historical miles. Here's to beating the past two Novembers!

You are all very welcome.

Now, stay tuned. Later tonight I will have the stats up, but I am putting together a montage of the stuff that I saw on my commute home today. It was such a great and fun ride, I can't not share. Here is one of the highlights:

Nancy

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2014, 07:16:03 AM »
Hahah! Awesome, Jordanread! What did you say to them to get them so excited? You can't beat that.

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2014, 08:14:21 AM »
Hahah! Awesome, Jordanread! What did you say to them to get them so excited? You can't beat that.

I actually said nothing and was just riding by. It was completely all them. They just started cheering. My guess is they saw the GoPro, but it could just be that people are awesome sometimes.

johnny847

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2014, 08:27:13 AM »
I'm curious, how many of you use a bike GPS, cell phone app, or bike computer to keep track of your miles vs just getting the mileage from Google Maps?

I use a bike computer, given with the bike gifted from my dad.

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2014, 08:45:57 AM »
I'm curious, how many of you use a bike GPS, cell phone app, or bike computer to keep track of your miles vs just getting the mileage from Google Maps?

I use a bike computer, given with the bike gifted from my dad.

I use My Tracks from Google. It's free, accurate, has some cool stats/charts/maps, and doesn't kill battery life. The elevation gain statistic is always off for some reason, but the elevation and speed charts are accurate.

usmarine1975

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2014, 09:07:12 AM »
I use a Run Keeper app and it works without having internet on the go.  I have the $10/month Republic plan.

Jordan thanks for your reply and consideration on the numbers change.  I appreciate all that you do in putting together this chart for us.  I hope I didn't come off as a complainypants.  Was more a suggestion than anything else.

JTW158

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2014, 09:12:14 AM »
I've been using Wahoo Fitness with a Mio Link wrist heart rate monitor. I have a nice Suunto one, but I don't feel like wearing the chest strap on my 4 mile commute everyday. I mostly use the app to keep track of time and heart rate. But I could easily use Google Maps, becausemy mileage is consistent.

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2014, 09:41:45 AM »
I use a Run Keeper app and it works without having internet on the go.  I have the $10/month Republic plan.

Jordan thanks for your reply and consideration on the numbers change.  I appreciate all that you do in putting together this chart for us.  I hope I didn't come off as a complainypants.  Was more a suggestion than anything else.

Didn't come off that way at all. I actually had something else in my head when you mentioned it, and then looked at the summary and was like "THAT IS FREAKING RIDICULOUS, AND UGLY - I MUST CHANGE IT NOW!!!"

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2014, 03:37:36 PM »
Okay, I'm still too busy to have finished my montage of my commute yesterday, but thought I'd share a story from today.

In the satellite office I work out of, we have the corner of the top floor of a building. There are two HVAC zones in it. One for the South side, and one for the West side. The way the system is setup, it's some type of watercooled system, so that by default, the air being vented is cold air. If the heat needs to turn on, some type of electrical heater warms up the cold air, and pumps it out. I have an almost corner office that is on the South side zone, but the other offices don't have heat. One of the interns yesterday cranked up the heat on the South side, hoping that the office she was in would warm up. This made my office incredibly hot. I let it go, but did talk to her about it. She mentioned something like "if only they got us a space heater or something". I had a couple, so this morning I mounted my second pannier, and brought it in on my bike. I left it in the office she used. Later, I stopped by, and I see this:



Now, yesterday was election day, so I must have won by write-in.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2014, 07:10:41 PM »
I use a Run Keeper app and it works without having internet on the go.  I have the $10/month Republic plan.

+1 for RunKeeper.  I use it for any rides over 5 or 6 miles since I have it synced to my Gympact account. 

PindyStache

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2014, 08:38:22 PM »
Am I alone in not having a computer or smartphone on my bike? I just Google-map distances when i'm going places I don't already know the distances between. For others--do you find your "real" logged miles to be more or less than Google maps estimates?

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2014, 08:46:52 PM »
Am I alone in not having a computer or smartphone on my bike? I just Google-map distances when i'm going places I don't already know the distances between. For others--do you find your "real" logged miles to be more or less than Google maps estimates?
You aren't alone. This was brought up in another cycling challenge thread. I haven't ever done it since I've had a smart phone since I've started riding regularly. I've always thought it was interesting to realize that riding on a different side of the street can translate to a full .3 mile difference, even though it's the same route. But do what you feel good with. I like data, so I always track. Also, I totally suck in the morning, even though the effort seems the same. I find it fun.

johnny847

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2014, 08:49:04 PM »
Am I alone in not having a computer or smartphone on my bike? I just Google-map distances when i'm going places I don't already know the distances between. For others--do you find your "real" logged miles to be more or less than Google maps estimates?

Hmm well today Google Maps was under by 0.2 miles over 13.6 miles (1.45%). I've never actually tracked Google map error (if we regard the bike computer or smartphone as 100% correct).

spirotot

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2014, 08:44:12 AM »
Is the 'Average USD saved' field supposed to be per participant, or just like the general amount of money saved? If the former (which seems like the probable answer, based on what I see in the cells that calculate those values right now...), could I suggest some improvements to the spreadsheet, at least for the monthly stats?

Currently, the 'Average USD Saved' is $101.95 for November.

I've got the second-highest number of miles biked so far this month, and there's no way that ~55 miles biked has saved me anywhere close to $101.95. More like $20, if that (I haven't sold my car/canceled my car insurance yet, heh -- so my savings are only in gas/wear & tear).

So, could we change cell B4 to =COUNTIF(B12:B, ">0.0")? This will count only people who have actually logged miles this month -- 22, as of the time of this writing.

Then, let's change cell B8 to =(B9*F5)/B4? This will calculate average USD saved for only those who have participated, based on the average number of miles each participant has logged.

Those changes bring the average miles/participant down to 34.5 miles per participant, saving each participant an average of $4.63 based on the SUV MPG of 22, as of the time of this writing. Less exciting than $101/person, but seems much more accurate.

Seems like something similar could/should be done for the 'All Time' stats as well.

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2014, 09:08:30 AM »
Is the 'Average USD saved' field supposed to be per participant, or just like the general amount of money saved? If the former (which seems like the probable answer, based on what I see in the cells that calculate those values right now...), could I suggest some improvements to the spreadsheet, at least for the monthly stats?

Currently, the 'Average USD Saved' is $101.95 for November.

I've got the second-highest number of miles biked so far this month, and there's no way that ~55 miles biked has saved me anywhere close to $101.95. More like $20, if that (I haven't sold my car/canceled my car insurance yet, heh -- so my savings are only in gas/wear & tear).

So, could we change cell B4 to =COUNTIF(B12:B, ">0.0")? This will count only people who have actually logged miles this month -- 22, as of the time of this writing.

Then, let's change cell B8 to =(B9*F5)/B4? This will calculate average USD saved for only those who have participated, based on the average number of miles each participant has logged.

Those changes bring the average miles/participant down to 34.5 miles per participant, saving each participant an average of $4.63 based on the SUV MPG of 22, as of the time of this writing. Less exciting than $101/person, but seems much more accurate.

Seems like something similar could/should be done for the 'All Time' stats as well.

The average USD saved is merely the amount it would cost if one drove the distance cycled using the average MPG and current gas prices. It's not broken down by participant. I will modify your "most interesting comment" to be the type of calculation for your miles. The reason we don't break this down by participant is because we can now differentiate between recreational miles and car replacement miles, but we don't break that down in the summary sheet. It's just a fun stat, but isn't truly representative of anything except car clowns.

The idea about modifying the unique participants is a good idea. This is the first month I've autoadded people, so it may be something I want to do. Thanks for the suggestions.

spirotot

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2014, 09:11:53 AM »
Gotcha -- that all makes sense! :)

TrMama

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2014, 02:29:17 PM »
Am I alone in not having a computer or smartphone on my bike? I just Google-map distances when i'm going places I don't already know the distances between. For others--do you find your "real" logged miles to be more or less than Google maps estimates?

No, you're not alone. Since data is the most expensive part of most phone plans in Canada, I don't have data on my phone. That makes it completely useless for anything requiring GPS. Furthermore, the battery on my bike computer died a while ago and I can't be bothered to spend $4 to replace it. Especially since I ride the same route everyday.

johnny847

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2014, 02:54:20 PM »
Am I alone in not having a computer or smartphone on my bike? I just Google-map distances when i'm going places I don't already know the distances between. For others--do you find your "real" logged miles to be more or less than Google maps estimates?

No, you're not alone. Since data is the most expensive part of most phone plans in Canada, I don't have data on my phone. That makes it completely useless for anything requiring GPS. Furthermore, the battery on my bike computer died a while ago and I can't be bothered to spend $4 to replace it. Especially since I ride the same route everyday.

Not true. Other users have noted that Runkeeper works without data. It just uses the GPS to record distance traveled.
Also, there are offline GPS apps (such as CoPilot Live, among others), which work by you predownloading the maps via wifi.

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2014, 07:01:54 PM »
Okay, so that was fun. I'm starting a no-booze 30 day challenge soon, so since I am the one who usually buys it, I figured I'd stop by and make sure the other half is good and stocked up. Yesterday, I decided that I'd see if I could fit the regular trip to the liquor store in my panniers. That was all well and good yesterday, but today I worked almost 11 hours. As I was getting ready to head home, I just wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it. But, instead of making a decision, I decided to see how I felt after my ride home. One never knows the magic that can happen on a bike commute. Well, no magic happened, but I came close to beating my record (just about 3 minutes off), but it was a pretty big accomplishment considering how much I've sucked the past couple of months. I was pretty pumped up, so I changed pants (fuck jeans for biking...especially when one has gained a bit of weight and already has monstrous quads), and headed out. Google Maps took me a somewhat strange route, so I'll have to compare with how I would have went eventually.

Anyway, I get to the liquor store, totally sweaty, and totally pumped (riding with my new lights during rush hour and totally owning my space always makes me feel good), but alas, they were missing a 12 pack. So I grabbed everything else I needed, and thought about going back home, but I would not fail. I knew another liquor store that usually carried it (the GF loves Tecate light for some reason), so instead of giving up, I went there too (added about another mile - there are a lot of liquor stores in the ghetto). My rear tire was not a fan of that much weight in the panniers, but I freaking succeeded!! So with the exception of Denver on Monday, I have not driven at all. This is turning into a good month for mileage so far. I will keep it up, plus we might get snow next week. I'm going to have to layer up, I think.

Keep Cycling, and Keep Rocking it. Next month I'm going to add Russ back in (he's been waiting on the auto add functionality), so don't get too comfortable with those positions on the board. ;-)

Kmp2

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2014, 03:45:03 PM »
Ok studded tires are on. But the weather outside is frightful, with lows next week around-20C (or zero farenheit...) And highs of only -15C.

I was hoping for some -8s, -10 to -12 to acclimatize... But the coldest it has been is a low of -5 and now we are headed for -20.. I won't even cross country ski at that temp!

My goal is to get out in the snow tomorrow and practice before it gets too cold, and hopefully I will bike at least the 1.5 miles to the train station even if I don't make it all the way to work next week. (6 miles)

As an aside we did have one last beautiful +15C day today outside in the sun to finish weatherstripping and all our fall yard work! But the arctic high is on its way or I can keep hoping the weatherman is very wrong.

Kmp2

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2014, 09:02:50 AM »
4 inches of fresh snow, I did manage to get out yesterday for a test. This riding in the snow thing is going to take some practice! It was slow going, so slow that I didn't want to bike over an hour to work and took the train today instead. Even with delays it was only 45 minutes.

Gotta start looking for a park & ride route where I can practice parts of my commute in the snow, or do I just try and do it all at once one day? Maybe bike in and bus home, then bus in and bike home the next day?

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2014, 09:11:21 AM »
4 inches of fresh snow, I did manage to get out yesterday for a test. This riding in the snow thing is going to take some practice! It was slow going, so slow that I didn't want to bike over an hour to work and took the train today instead. Even with delays it was only 45 minutes.

Gotta start looking for a park & ride route where I can practice parts of my commute in the snow, or do I just try and do it all at once one day? Maybe bike in and bus home, then bus in and bike home the next day?

I'd personally start with going in all out. You have the option to take the bus if it's too much crappiness, but the entire trip in will make sure you have a solid idea as to what you need. We're supposed to get a fair amount of snow tomorrow, and I haven't ridden in that stuff for a long time. I'm just going to throw on my second pannier, and pack a few more layers to see if I need them. Besides gloves and a gaiter, I don't have any real winter cycling gear, so it should be an interesting ride in tomorrow. Just remember that you've got this. And imagine how nice a warm shower is going to fell after a ride like that!!

TrMama

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2014, 11:36:11 AM »
4 inches of fresh snow, I did manage to get out yesterday for a test. This riding in the snow thing is going to take some practice! It was slow going, so slow that I didn't want to bike over an hour to work and took the train today instead. Even with delays it was only 45 minutes.

Gotta start looking for a park & ride route where I can practice parts of my commute in the snow, or do I just try and do it all at once one day? Maybe bike in and bus home, then bus in and bike home the next day?

As long as your route parallels a train/taxi/other route that could provide an escape route, I'd just go for it. Pick a day where it won't matter if you're a bit late. I'd only try to ease into things if your route takes you through some inaccessible area. AKA, what would you do if you fell off, got hurt and couldn't bike the rest of the way?

However, from experience I can attest that falling on ice hurts less than falling on dry pavement. You just slide to a stop with much less bruising and don't get any of that nasty road rash. Go slow though.

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2014, 05:13:22 AM »
It's currently 11F degrees and I'm getting ready to head out. Be safe out there everyone.

johnny847

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2014, 05:45:33 AM »
However, from experience I can attest that falling on ice hurts less than falling on dry pavement. You just slide to a stop with much less bruising and don't get any of that nasty road rash. Go slow though.

Heh would not have expected that. Makes sense though.

It's currently 11F degrees and I'm getting ready to head out. Be safe out there everyone.
Damn. Badass!

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2014, 06:07:37 AM »
I would like to applaud the efforts of those of you who are experiencing winter. Even though I live in what is apparently the 3rd least bikable metro area in the United States the balmy 70 degree weather today would beg otherwise.

One piece of advice for winter riders (I did this when in Minneapolis), the side of the road seems to ice really quickly and unevenly, so I would take a more aggressive than average lane position, and then move to the side of the road to let traffic by at intersections. It slowed me and everyone else down some, but falling into traffic was one of my biggest fears.

Also, have a plan in case you get a flat, unless you are into changing tires at -10F. I always carried $2.25 for a bus fare, and I knew which bus to hop onto from anywhere on the route.

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2014, 03:28:51 PM »
I bitched out about 5 miles in and turned around. My layers were good, but the temperature continued dropping and I hadn't been able to feel my feet the whole time. I wasn't sure I could make it back home. I was using wool socks and a plastic bag to block the wind, but still. Pisses me off that I didn't make it all the way, and let a bit of discomfort prevent me from getting all my miles in. Doing some more research, and reached out to a few people I know with more experience than I. I'm on a spending freeze for the rest of the year so I can hit my savings rate goals, so I will have to improvise. It's going to be even colder tomorrow, but I'm going to do the damn thing!!

P.S. Worked from home though, and still ran some short errands via bike, so I still have managed to not drive to work!!

Kmp2

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2014, 10:30:58 AM »
Well I did it - all the way as suggested. It was a slog on uncleared pathways, and messed up side streets! My normal 35 minute ride was just over 80 today... and at -18C (0F for you americans), that was way too long to be out in the cold. I was dressed perfectly for the first 45 minutes or so, but started to get really cold just after my last reasonable stopping point. After that I was in the provincial park and a long walk/ride away from the bus or train stops. This is usually the best part of my ride :(

I am ecstatic that I got to try out the cold/snow/ice techniques on a route that was familiar (and thanks to the time change mostly in daylight too). I am moving to a downtown office next weekend - similar distance commute, and luckily they do more pathway clearing for winter cyclists downtown. I am asking our cycling forums for some recommended routes downtown, but with transit also a better option downtown, I might just put my company subsidized transit pass to use and bike & ride these rough winter days instead. I can stick to biking errands close to home, with my winterized ride.

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2014, 10:54:53 AM »
Giving Yourself the Gift of Hardship...Sometimes You Should Include the Receipt
Or
Shit That I Learned During My Commute Today
Holy hell. After my failed attempt yesterday (see above comment), I was absolutely committed to completing my commute today. So much so that I was almost too excited to fall asleep last night. Thanks to the good folks who created ZzzQuil, I was finally able to. This morning I woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee, and stepped outside to take a look. It was 5F, with no wind. Cold, but I thought I'd do okay. I started layering up. First, my bike shorts, then a pair of long john pants, a pair of "windbreaker" jogging pants, and my regular pants. Then I put on my wife-beater, and a long sleeve shirt. Since my feet were the coldest part, I had reached out to a few people, and based on their suggestions, put on a pair of wool socks, a plastic bag on each foot, and then another pair of wool socks. I threw a Buff around my neck and one on my head. I threw on my beanie, my neck gaiter, my glove liners (which are good enough to use as regular gloves almost all the time), and a pair of thicker gloves. I was ready to rock!!

I got the pannier mounted (no easy task with two pairs of gloves), turned on the tracking app on my phone, turned on the GoPro, and headed out. The wind had picked up to about 10 mph, so it was slow going. I realized very quickly that my shifters (?) were frozen, so I was stuck in a high gear, really working for every foot. Well, I wasn't giving up, so I kept pushing. I didn't make good time, but eventually got to work. I had to walk it up a couple of hills I can normally breeze through. Took me an hour and 45 minutes to go about 9 1/2 miles. Here is what I realized:

  • My footwear is very much inadequate. It took more than an hour for feeling to return to my feet. Perhaps some booties? Specialized shoes?
  • My windbreaker pants don't actually work. Even with 3 layers, I was pretty cold. Maybe I need to get some long bike shorts.
  • The wife-beater and shirt combo usually does okay in the warmer months, but when it's this cold, I really need something that wicks away moisture. My shirt was frozen to my back, and I had to wait for it to thaw to take it off.
  • My phone crashed after 20 minutes due to the cold. I might need to move it to a pocket.
  • I lost my favorite coffee cup (Contigo) out of the holder on my backpack. I need to get some actual bottle holders I think.
  • My water bottle (also Contigo) froze shut, so I had to stop to unscrew the lid instead of drinking on the fly.

It was an incredible bike ride, but had anything seriously gone wrong, I would have needed to get creative. I think I'm going to take it easy for now. I don't want to buy more stuff just yet, but I'll run the numbers and see. I'll probably drive in tomorrow, and continue biking if it's over 30F.

Well I did it - all the way as suggested. It was a slog on uncleared pathways, and messed up side streets! My normal 35 minute ride was just over 80 today... and at -18C (0F for you americans), that was way too long to be out in the cold. I was dressed perfectly for the first 45 minutes or so, but started to get really cold just after my last reasonable stopping point. After that I was in the provincial park and a long walk/ride away from the bus or train stops. This is usually the best part of my ride :(

I am ecstatic that I got to try out the cold/snow/ice techniques on a route that was familiar (and thanks to the time change mostly in daylight too). I am moving to a downtown office next weekend - similar distance commute, and luckily they do more pathway clearing for winter cyclists downtown. I am asking our cycling forums for some recommended routes downtown, but with transit also a better option downtown, I might just put my company subsidized transit pass to use and bike & ride these rough winter days instead. I can stick to biking errands close to home, with my winterized ride.

Way to go!! You are a true badass!

Kmp2

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2014, 12:15:42 PM »
Thanks Jordan!

Your ride sounds pretty badass too!

Were your boots tight with two pairs of socks - I realized halfway through my ride that my thumbs were cold because my thumb loops on my sweater were too tight and cutting off circulation. After I took those off my hands warmed up. I really liked my thick wool sock/winter hiking boot combination, and in colder weather or a longer ride I would add those little chemical heat packs to my boots, although the guys here have some battery operated ones. There are also some specialized clipless cycling winter boots that get really good reviews on our city cycling forum. They are probably pricy though.

I think my long underwear and winter cycling tights (brushed with fleece) was inadequate as well. I was thinking a warm fleece layer and my softshell ski pants would work better if I'm not able to keep up any speed.

My torso & head were perfect. Wool long underwear turtle neck, wool medium weight sweater with hood, softshell jacket, visibility vest, balaclava, and fleece neck warmer to tuck under at lights. Glove liners & ski mitts for my hands.

I just wish I wasn't out so long! Repurposed x-country ski gear is working really well!

Shor

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2014, 12:55:09 PM »
  • My phone crashed after 20 minutes due to the cold. I might need to move it to a pocket.
Wait what? The phone itself should've been okay under those conditions.. must've been the battery :)

TrMama

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2014, 12:59:39 PM »
Repurposed x-country ski gear is working really well!

^^ This. Dress like a skier and you'll be a lot more comfortable.

Jordan - What kind of shoes are you wearing? Are they too tight with all those layers stuffed into them?

What fabrics are your tops and long johns made of? Ditch anything made of cotton. It's rotten.

Stick to wicking layers made from synthetic and/or wool. Ditch the windbreaker pants. I've never understood the point of those.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 01:02:14 PM by TrMama »

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2014, 01:15:11 PM »
Thanks Jordan!

Your ride sounds pretty badass too!

Were your boots tight with two pairs of socks - I realized halfway through my ride that my thumbs were cold because my thumb loops on my sweater were too tight and cutting off circulation. After I took those off my hands warmed up. I really liked my thick wool sock/winter hiking boot combination, and in colder weather or a longer ride I would add those little chemical heat packs to my boots, although the guys here have some battery operated ones. There are also some specialized clipless cycling winter boots that get really good reviews on our city cycling forum. They are probably pricy though.

I think my long underwear and winter cycling tights (brushed with fleece) was inadequate as well. I was thinking a warm fleece layer and my softshell ski pants would work better if I'm not able to keep up any speed.

My torso & head were perfect. Wool long underwear turtle neck, wool medium weight sweater with hood, softshell jacket, visibility vest, balaclava, and fleece neck warmer to tuck under at lights. Glove liners & ski mitts for my hands.

I just wish I wasn't out so long! Repurposed x-country ski gear is working really well!
Thanks Kmp2.
There is a saying in the Mountaineering community: Cotton Kills. I think that was my main problem. There is no wicking action in most of my clothes. My biking shorts do okay, but they are 5th hand(ish). The shirt coupled with the backpack is what really got me, along with my shoes. I wear these. I was missing my Power Grips for sure. Maybe some hybrids are in the future for me, but we'll see. Russ recommended some booties, and that may work better.

Fun fact: I found my coffee cup on the ride home!!! Yay!! Coffee was still lukewarm, even though it was only 8F when I headed home. Damn I love those cups!

  • My phone crashed after 20 minutes due to the cold. I might need to move it to a pocket.
Wait what? The phone itself should've been okay under those conditions.. must've been the battery :)

Yeah, probably something like that. The GoPro died pretty quick too. A few minutes after I got into the office, they both started working fine.

Repurposed x-country ski gear is working really well!

^^ This. Dress like a skier and you'll be a lot more comfortable.

Jordan - What kind of shoes are you wearing? Are they too tight with all those layers stuffed into them?

What fabrics are your tops and long johns made of? Ditch anything made of cotton. It's rotten.

Stick to wicking layers made from synthetic and/or wool. Ditch the windbreaker pants. I've never understood the point of those.

See above. I'm just layering up with more and more cotton. I hardly own anything other than that. As far as the windbreaker pants, it's so that one can easier break wind :P.
I've got some better and longer biking shorts on the xmas list, and have been looking into some of the stuff like this and this. Or maybe just some under armor clothing. Anything is better than what I have now, but it's kind of a fun challenge trying to make it work. Today was a bit too potentially dangerous, though. They had people out today checking the homeless to clear away any bodies. We shall see how it goes, and how stubborn I can be.

Hannah

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2014, 02:20:36 PM »
Cotton really does kill as a base layer, but it is fine for subsequent layers in my experience.

DryFit is now cheap and available at every major retailer, and the thrift shops if you can find the right one. One long sleeve shirt and one pair of long johns (buy women's if you can't find mens) should get you through the winter.

Also, when it comes to footwear, I just wore cheap trail running shoes and expensive socks. Silk liners and smart wool typically. I didn't have warm feet, but they did stay on.

Finally, I recommend fancy underwear. Seriously.

Since you are on a spending freeze, maybe you can borrow stuff from a friend who skis/snowboards/hikes.

TrMama

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2014, 07:44:52 PM »
Jordan - I think you've got this figured out already. Since you're wearing cycling shoes (which generally fit tighter than regular shoes) the only way to keep your feet warm is to get some of those neoprene booties you linked. I have some and they're the bomb. Stop layering more socks inside those shoes. It'll just cut off circulation to your feet and make you colder. In the meantime, put some plastic bags over top of the shoes and/or sacrifice a pair of wool socks to wear over top of them. Or, skip cycling shoes entirely and wear warm winter boots.

When it snows here (granted I'm in the PNW) I wear my winter boots to ride. This keeps my feet warm while riding and I can still walk in them if I run into a technical issue with the bike.

As far as other clothes, check Costco. I've gotten some decent fleecy athletic tights, wool socks, base layers, etc from there. I keep eyeing their wool base pants/shirts, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I think $100+ for bibs is a rip off. You can get the same effect by tucking your shirt into the top of your pants. Keeps the draft out.

Ride on!

m8547

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2014, 08:43:00 PM »
Winter hit very suddenly on Monday here. It went from 60 to below freezing in like an hour. I drove to work on Monday because it sounded like there was a chance of cold rain, which is no fun to bike in. It turned out to be just snow, and the roads didn't freeze until night.

Tuesday it was 16 on the way to work and 12 on the way home. I wore my normal work clothes (jeans and a long sleeve T-shirt), hiking shoes that resist the wind just a little (they are not waterproof or wind proof), wool socks a fleece, an old synthetic jacket, a hat, helmet, neck warmer, and ski gloves. The paths were really icy under the snow because they froze while it was wet, but there was some texture to the ice. They plowed the paths, which made them more slippery since it smoothed out the ice. I ended up having to go super slow, less than half my normal speed, and I was riding in fear of falling the whole time. I had a close call going in a straight line where it was completely unexpected. I got cold because I was going slow and out there too long. (about 20-25 minutes?) Mainly my face and hands were cold because my face was uncovered, and these gloves are not that great any more. The ride home was about the same. I wore wind resistant pants on the way home, but they didn't help. I need insulated pants for this weather.

Today it was around 3 degrees all day, so I drove to work. It could get down to -11 tonight, so I'll drive tomorrow too.  I might be able to bike on Friday again.

I've found that if it's above 25 degrees in the morning it's not bad to ride to work. Above 25 I'm warm enough in jeans and regular shoes, and I wear a hat, gloves (ski gloves or fleece gloves depending on the temperature and if snow is expected), a medium jacket or a combination of lighter jackets, and a neck warmer (fleece tube that goes around your neck).

Last year I rode on a 9 degree day wearing all of my ski stuff. Waterproof bots, wool socks, lightly insulated ski pants, a good jacket, hat, gloves, neck warmer, ski goggles, and maybe a face mask (I can't remember). Riding with ski goggles is awesome! That time only my feet were cold. It's too much work to do on a regular basis, though, because it takes time to layer up at home and take everything off at work before I overheat.

I placed an order for one studded tire for my bike. I was going to put mountain bike tires on it, but we get enough freeze-thaw days that there are icy spots that stick around for a few days a lot of the time after it snows, even if the snow melts. Water runs from melting snow onto the path then freezes overnight. I've had enough close calls and falls that I don't want to risk it any more. I'll put the studded tire on the front and put the better of the two regular ones, or a mountain bike tire, on the rear. If the rear slides out it's not as bad, but I'll consider getting a second studded tire if this one works well.

jordanread

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2014, 07:09:53 AM »
Cotton really does kill as a base layer, but it is fine for subsequent layers in my experience.

DryFit is now cheap and available at every major retailer, and the thrift shops if you can find the right one. One long sleeve shirt and one pair of long johns (buy women's if you can't find mens) should get you through the winter.

I hadn't heard of that (btw, it's Dri-Fit...stupid marketing people), but it looks good.

Also, when it comes to footwear, I just wore cheap trail running shoes and expensive socks. Silk liners and smart wool typically. I didn't have warm feet, but they did stay on.

Finally, I recommend fancy underwear. Seriously.

I like the silk liner idea. Might be something to look into. Also, who wears underwear while biking? The bike shorts replace that. :-)

Jordan - I think you've got this figured out already. Since you're wearing cycling shoes (which generally fit tighter than regular shoes) the only way to keep your feet warm is to get some of those neoprene booties you linked. I have some and they're the bomb. Stop layering more socks inside those shoes. It'll just cut off circulation to your feet and make you colder. In the meantime, put some plastic bags over top of the shoes and/or sacrifice a pair of wool socks to wear over top of them. Or, skip cycling shoes entirely and wear warm winter boots.

When it snows here (granted I'm in the PNW) I wear my winter boots to ride. This keeps my feet warm while riding and I can still walk in them if I run into a technical issue with the bike.

As far as other clothes, check Costco. I've gotten some decent fleecy athletic tights, wool socks, base layers, etc from there. I keep eyeing their wool base pants/shirts, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I think $100+ for bibs is a rip off. You can get the same effect by tucking your shirt into the top of your pants. Keeps the draft out.

Ride on!

Yeah, I didn't realize booties like that actually existed. I was pretty freaking excited to find out. I wish I could skip cycling shoes altogether. That was one of the reasons it took me so long to pull the trigger on SPDs. I hate not being able to wear regular shoes or boots. That being said, once I did pull the trigger, the joys of clipless reasserted themselves. Another friend of mine has these and absolutely loves them. I can't go that route, unfortunately, because I only wear super-minimalist shoes (vibrams and the like). He is a kind of closet Mustachian, and has to remember to drive his car once every few months. He spends a fair amount on commuting gear, and it's served him well. As I said earlier, I'm kind of having fun trying to make this work, but I think some type of wicking tights or something as a base layer is needed. It's rough when I run the calculations, because my car is so cheap and great on gas mileage, it takes a long time biking to offset costs. I need to start adding in the health savings per mile to my calculations. :-)

Also, as far as the bibs go, it was more of the material than the bib itself. I see your point, too.


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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2014, 09:48:03 AM »
Forgot to subscribe to notifications on this thread. I've been sick and off the bike except for commutes for most of the month, but I got the goblins out for their first ride this month today. 4.2 miles at 25F. Felt great to not use our car!

I switched from RunKeeper to the free version of Strava. I have to say, Strava is a MUCH nicer app. I like it quite a bit.

johnny847

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Re: November Cycling Challenge 2014
« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2014, 10:19:55 AM »
Forgot to subscribe to notifications on this thread. I've been sick and off the bike except for commutes for most of the month, but I got the goblins out for their first ride this month today. 4.2 miles at 25F. Felt great to not use our car!

I switched from RunKeeper to the free version of Strava. I have to say, Strava is a MUCH nicer app. I like it quite a bit.

How you get your goblins to ride in the cold is beyond me!