Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 157228 times)

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1100 on: October 22, 2019, 09:20:10 AM »
Be fatter.

Oh man, shots fired lol.
I was wondering why wind doesn't affect me much at 240 pounds!

Last week we had a lot of high winds (enough to knock down old trees) and I (almost literally) flew to work.
I chalked it up to the new rear wheel that I had built for me and all that leg power I've been building.
It wasn't until the way home that I realized I had a tailwind earlier haha.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1101 on: October 22, 2019, 09:24:33 AM »
Yes, wind would be fine if it were always a tailwind. Once I traveled the bike way on the north side of I-80 between West Sacramento and Davis. Riding out to Davis was fine, but riding back was difficult because the westbound traffic on I-80 created a dusty headwind. I rode as close to the left edge of the pavement as I could to get out of that wind - only moving over to the right side (closest to the barricade between the freeway and the bike way) when approaching oncoming traffic.

Be fatter.
I suppose just carrying more weight on the bike might help, but having body weight to shift around to maintain your balance is helpful.

EscapedApe

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1102 on: October 22, 2019, 10:08:15 AM »
Personally, low-20's mph winds are about the highest I would want to bike in, especially if in traffic. (With exception to a 20-mph tailwindó those are great!)

A tailwind sounds like a mythical creature.

It seems that no matter which direction I'm biking, the wind is against me. XD

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1103 on: October 22, 2019, 10:25:50 AM »
Personally, low-20's mph winds are about the highest I would want to bike in, especially if in traffic. (With exception to a 20-mph tailwindó those are great!)

That makes me feel a little better.

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be gaining much weight anytime soon (been losing weight) and same as @EscapedApe - I never seem to get a tailwind!

I might just be SOL on super windy days lol.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1104 on: October 22, 2019, 10:50:22 AM »
You'll get better about riding in wind. It's also important to note that steady wind is different from gusting wind. The former sucks your energy and requires grinding away at a low gear. It's similar to learning to ride uphill. The latter creates a balance problem because it feels like an invisible hand is trying to push you over. There've been days when it was gusting so strongly I got off and walked because I was concerned about falling.

If gaining a bunch of weight isn't an option (LOL) try making the bike heavier. My aluminum hybrid commuter handles way better in wind than my fancy pants carbon road bike. The carbon bike is just too light, and has those annoying deep rim wheels that just act like sails in a crosswind.

Another option is to try to find a more sheltered route. Going through the trees, or through densely built up streets will shelter you from the worst of the wind. Riding on an open street will be more difficult because you'll be subject to the full effect of the wind. Of course, be very careful not to be hit by falling branches.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1105 on: October 22, 2019, 11:56:27 AM »
Okay how do you all manage to stay upright when it's windy?!

It seems like once the wind is above ~20mph, it's very hard for me to bike. Yesterday I tried going home during my lunch break, and I was pedaling but my bike was literally not moving because the wind was blowing against me. When the wind was coming at my side, I felt like at any second I'd end up in the car lane with all the cars. Not to mention all the leaves, sticks, etc that were being blown all over the place and kept hitting my face and neck. You know when the wind is hitting your face so hard that it's hard to breathe? That was me. Had to find cover somewhere just to catch my breath! My friend had to give me a ride, and my friend gave me a ride again this morning because the winds are going to be about the same and I didn't want to risk it. I saw someone else say they usually ride until the wind is at about 40mph+. Do you just get better as you continue doing it? I figure there will be more windy days as the winter hits, and I just need to figure out what my transportation plan will be for those days.
Get small and ride in a less upright position. Making yourself more aerodynamic will make it easier to pedal as the wind speeds pick up, but you may just have to ease off and deal with moving slower.

"At higher speeds it is air resistance that consumes almost your entire power output. Travelling at about 20mph, up to 90% of your effort is used to overcome the air resistance..."
"The cyclist causes about 80% of the air resistance (drag)..."

https://road.cc/content/feature/189104-how-get-more-aero-without-spending-fortune

Rolling resistance is also a real thing. I switched over to some 28mm GP5000TL tires and was setting PRs on Strava immediately after: 
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/road-bike-reviews/continental-gatorskin-2015

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1106 on: October 22, 2019, 01:37:49 PM »
You'll get better about riding in wind. It's also important to note that steady wind is different from gusting wind. The former sucks your energy and requires grinding away at a low gear. It's similar to learning to ride uphill. The latter creates a balance problem because it feels like an invisible hand is trying to push you over. There've been days when it was gusting so strongly I got off and walked because I was concerned about falling.

If gaining a bunch of weight isn't an option (LOL) try making the bike heavier. My aluminum hybrid commuter handles way better in wind than my fancy pants carbon road bike. The carbon bike is just too light, and has those annoying deep rim wheels that just act like sails in a crosswind.

Another option is to try to find a more sheltered route. Going through the trees, or through densely built up streets will shelter you from the worst of the wind. Riding on an open street will be more difficult because you'll be subject to the full effect of the wind. Of course, be very careful not to be hit by falling branches.

Yeah I'm used to riding in steady wind, I just turn my gears down. Yesterday and today it's been gusting wind. I ride a mountain bike so it's already on the heavier side, I think any heavier and I'd have a hard time going up hills haha! My route is a bike path that's lined on both sides by trees. But when I get off the bike path, it's in downtown and all the buildings create the opposite affect - it's like going through a wind tunnel, lol. I'm also right off the lake so that can increase the wind effects as well. Yesterday, after the wind subsided and I rode back home, the bike path was full of fallen branches so that's definitely a valid tip.

_____

I actually just read more about the wind today, and the steady wind is at about 20-25mph, with gusting winds over 45mph. Now that really makes sense as to why I could barely even walk my bike let alone ride it.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1107 on: October 22, 2019, 03:36:19 PM »
Personally, low-20's mph winds are about the highest I would want to bike in, especially if in traffic. (With exception to a 20-mph tailwindó those are great!)

A tailwind sounds like a mythical creature.

It seems that no matter which direction I'm biking, the wind is against me. XD
A headwind still beats a strong, gusty crosswind.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1108 on: October 25, 2019, 10:02:23 AM »
Anyone else feel like the status of their FIRE plan impacts their pedaling power output? An ebike or tandem may mask the issue.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1109 on: October 25, 2019, 08:13:00 PM »
I was out biking in steady winds of 25mph with gusts up to 40mph today - I was on a longtail, with my 50lb daughter on the back, and fully loaded with groceries. It was 1st gear up the hill into the head wind with burning thighs! But when we turned the corner the crosswinds weren't at all bad (way better then if it had just been me on my commuter bike) - but our combined weight was around 270-300lbs including bike.   Added weight really does help keep you from blowing sideways and away.

Side note - I really want an e-cargo bike...

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1110 on: October 26, 2019, 02:15:32 PM »
I noticed the weight thing especially while riding a loaded touring bike.  Front racked lowrider panniers help keep your bike feeling stable in really high winds.  It's crazy how much difference it makes.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1111 on: October 26, 2019, 08:32:10 PM »
Guess who just got lasik and can now see when on the bike?? :D

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1112 on: October 27, 2019, 01:50:44 AM »
Guess who just got lasik and can now see when on the bike?? :D
Yay!!
I hope it went smoothly and that your recovery is fast. Mine took maybe a week to get over the worst of the sensitivity and a couple of months for the dryness. I have lots of techniques honed for dealing with dry eyes if that becomes a problem for you.

Overall it was money very well spent for me.
I hope it is the same for you.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1113 on: October 27, 2019, 01:54:30 AM »
I needed fenders for my bike and finally called my bike shop about two weeks ago to ask about what they have for my bike. I had also glanced online but wanted to compare prices. They said they would look into it and call me the next day.

A week goes by and still no call, and I started to wonder. Then I get a call that my fenders are in and I can pick them up. I ask about the price and it was about what I remember seeing online, so I shrug my shoulders and go in.

Thank goodness. I got them to install for me. It took the three guys in the shop an hour and a phone call to the manufacturer to get the back fender to play nicely with my bike rack.

In the end when ringing me up I was informed I get 20% off parts due to being employed by XYZ. And the install was free. Sweet!

LittleWanderer

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1114 on: October 27, 2019, 07:17:14 AM »
Guess who just got lasik and can now see when on the bike?? :D

Oh, I'm so jealous!  Enjoy!!

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1115 on: October 27, 2019, 01:22:36 PM »
I needed fenders for my bike and finally called my bike shop about two weeks ago to ask about what they have for my bike. I had also glanced online but wanted to compare prices. They said they would look into it and call me the next day.

A week goes by and still no call, and I started to wonder. Then I get a call that my fenders are in and I can pick them up. I ask about the price and it was about what I remember seeing online, so I shrug my shoulders and go in.

Thank goodness. I got them to install for me. It took the three guys in the shop an hour and a phone call to the manufacturer to get the back fender to play nicely with my bike rack.

In the end when ringing me up I was informed I get 20% off parts due to being employed by XYZ. And the install was free. Sweet!

Jealous! I am getting my fenders on tomorrow. I might have to throw my bike in the car and drive there if it snows any more. But if it's just cold, maybe I will try out my new Primaloft cycling tights :-). They are going to charge $35 to install them while I drink overpriced coffee in the adorable attached coffee shop.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1116 on: October 27, 2019, 06:32:23 PM »
It's usually not that hard to install fenders on your own.  I've installed six or seven different sets for people.  It's just a matter of bolting stuff into the eyelets.  The most complicated part is usually if you need to use a longer screw because the same eyelets are also holding on a rack.

:P

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1117 on: October 27, 2019, 09:39:44 PM »
It's usually not that hard to install fenders on your own.  I've installed six or seven different sets for people.  It's just a matter of bolting stuff into the eyelets.  The most complicated part is usually if you need to use a longer screw because the same eyelets are also holding on a rack.

:P
That is what I figured also and thought I could pick them up and do it at home, but they were happy to install for me.
Iím pretty sure if the bike shop guys were struggling then there was something trickier about my setup.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1118 on: October 28, 2019, 10:54:25 AM »
It's usually not that hard to install fenders on your own.  I've installed six or seven different sets for people.  It's just a matter of bolting stuff into the eyelets.  The most complicated part is usually if you need to use a longer screw because the same eyelets are also holding on a rack.

:P
That is what I figured also and thought I could pick them up and do it at home, but they were happy to install for me.
I’m pretty sure if the bike shop guys were struggling then there was something trickier about my setup.

Don't feel bad. I can also usually install fenders and racks myself but recently took Spawn2's new bike to the shop after a failed rack DIY install. Turns out they used a 2nd piece of hardware to make it fit. Of course the rack only came with one piece of this hardware, so there was no way I'd have been able to get it to work at home. Her bike is the smallest adult size and getting the rack to fit so it was level, but wasn't interfering with the V-brakes was a problem.

Also, I'm back to squatting here because apparently plague season has arrived with a vengeance. No biking for me until I can get this cold/asthma flare up under control.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 10:56:25 AM by TrMama »

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1119 on: October 28, 2019, 11:05:06 AM »
Side note - I really want an e-cargo bike...
A Radwagon showed up at the bike racks at work today - that's the first cargo bike I'd be looking at if I could actually justify getting a cargo bike.


It's usually not that hard to install fenders on your own.  I've installed six or seven different sets for people.  It's just a matter of bolting stuff into the eyelets.  The most complicated part is usually if you need to use a longer screw because the same eyelets are also holding on a rack.
Certainly many bikes are easy to install fenders on, but I'm sure you're aware of exceptions.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1120 on: October 28, 2019, 11:11:41 AM »
Guess who just got lasik and can now see when on the bike?? :D
Yay!!
I hope it went smoothly and that your recovery is fast. Mine took maybe a week to get over the worst of the sensitivity and a couple of months for the dryness. I have lots of techniques honed for dealing with dry eyes if that becomes a problem for you.

Overall it was money very well spent for me.
I hope it is the same for you.

Guess who just got lasik and can now see when on the bike?? :D

Oh, I'm so jealous!  Enjoy!!

Thanks! Without a doubt the most increase in quality of life per dollar spent thus far.
I biked to work for the first time since the procedure and it was so wonderful being able to see everything.

ysette9, I'll be sure to reach out if I have problems with dry eyes. Thanks!
Right now, they have me taking these pills for it and using artificial tears.
I get crazy bad burning every now and then but it seems to go away with time.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1121 on: October 28, 2019, 11:58:30 AM »
It's usually not that hard to install fenders on your own.  I've installed six or seven different sets for people.  It's just a matter of bolting stuff into the eyelets.  The most complicated part is usually if you need to use a longer screw because the same eyelets are also holding on a rack.
Certainly many bikes are easy to install fenders on, but I'm sure you're aware of exceptions.

There's almost nothing that some duct tape and zip ties can't fix.  :P

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1122 on: October 28, 2019, 01:24:19 PM »
Side note - I really want an e-cargo bike...
A Radwagon showed up at the bike racks at work today - that's the first cargo bike I'd be looking at if I could actually justify getting a cargo bike.

Oh, I've already justified getting a cargo bike (actually 2)... I (or the hubby) regularly carry 1-3 kids, and their paraphenalia (stroller, diaper bag, picnic, the oldests bike, scooters), and of course we get lots of groceries/errands by bike.

The kids just keep getting heavier, I want electric assist. It's starting to be a bit of a barrier to how far I'm willing to ride... and it can either be carry the 6 year old - or take 2x as long navigating her on her own bike.

And in other news - there were 5 bike tracks ahead of me on my short commute today - note it was lightly snowed, -10C temperature but with wind of 30km/h and gusts upward of 50... the windchill was -20. I needed goggles! Everything else was fairly protected from the wind but I was teary, snowed, iced up eyelashes by the time I got to work.

acepedro45

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1123 on: October 29, 2019, 02:31:47 PM »
I'm in need of a pick-me-up. My bike, trailer and three helmets were stolen this weekend.

This was my stupid fault as I left them all sitting overnight in a playground but still. Nothing hugely expensive. I had planned on retiring the bike soon anyways.

I commuted to work today in a 21 mpg minivan like all the other Consuma Suckas. I think about rebuilding my rig and feel a little sad that someone out there is riding around with my stuff.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1124 on: October 29, 2019, 04:40:43 PM »
Ah, that is sad. Can you set up a search on FB marketplace and Craigslist for anew trailer? I got really lucky and got mine for free from someone who was moving.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1125 on: October 29, 2019, 05:00:59 PM »
I'm in need of a pick-me-up. My bike, trailer and three helmets were stolen this weekend.

This was my stupid fault as I left them all sitting overnight in a playground but still. Nothing hugely expensive. I had planned on retiring the bike soon anyways.

I commuted to work today in a 21 mpg minivan like all the other Consuma Suckas. I think about rebuilding my rig and feel a little sad that someone out there is riding around with my stuff.
Can you count it as a charitable donation? Theft is actually deductible: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc515

acepedro45

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1126 on: October 30, 2019, 07:31:24 AM »
Ah, that is sad. Can you set up a search on FB marketplace and Craigslist for anew trailer? I got really lucky and got mine for free from someone who was moving.
I've already been watching CL and FB hoping to see my own stuff for sale. But yeah, hoping to pick up a beater bike later this week. Once I have that, I'll start shopping for a used trailer.

EscapedApe

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1127 on: October 30, 2019, 11:58:08 AM »
Thanks! Without a doubt the most increase in quality of life per dollar spent thus far.
I biked to work for the first time since the procedure and it was so wonderful being able to see everything.

ysette9, I'll be sure to reach out if I have problems with dry eyes. Thanks!
Right now, they have me taking these pills for it and using artificial tears.
I get crazy bad burning every now and then but it seems to go away with time.

Hey. I've just hit 3 years after having had LASIK, and it was the best decision I ever made.

Depending on where you live (dry or windy climate), you'll want to carry a little bottle of artificial tears with you for the first couple of months. After that the chronic dryness should pass.

Having corrected vision is definitely amazing, but biking without glasses or contacts really does bring the experience to a whole new level. Now you can even go on a long-distant all-day ride without having to worry about itchiness or irritation from contacts or glasses.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1128 on: October 30, 2019, 01:37:55 PM »
Thanks! Without a doubt the most increase in quality of life per dollar spent thus far.
I biked to work for the first time since the procedure and it was so wonderful being able to see everything.

ysette9, I'll be sure to reach out if I have problems with dry eyes. Thanks!
Right now, they have me taking these pills for it and using artificial tears.
I get crazy bad burning every now and then but it seems to go away with time.

Hey. I've just hit 3 years after having had LASIK, and it was the best decision I ever made.

Depending on where you live (dry or windy climate), you'll want to carry a little bottle of artificial tears with you for the first couple of months. After that the chronic dryness should pass.

Having corrected vision is definitely amazing, but biking without glasses or contacts really does bring the experience to a whole new level. Now you can even go on a long-distant all-day ride without having to worry about itchiness or irritation from contacts or glasses.

Iím in central NJ, USA. Itís not very dry here but can get windy at times.
I hear more and more how important it is to keep the eyes lubricated.

They told me to keep using the artificial tears for the first month but I think Iíll take your advice and buy my own bottle when the ones they gave me run out.

I use safety glasses on the bike now and think Iíll continue doing so.

I canít wait to go snowboarding for the first time with vision this winter!

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1129 on: October 30, 2019, 01:44:42 PM »
Thanks! Without a doubt the most increase in quality of life per dollar spent thus far.
I biked to work for the first time since the procedure and it was so wonderful being able to see everything.

ysette9, I'll be sure to reach out if I have problems with dry eyes. Thanks!
Right now, they have me taking these pills for it and using artificial tears.
I get crazy bad burning every now and then but it seems to go away with time.

Hey. I've just hit 3 years after having had LASIK, and it was the best decision I ever made.

Depending on where you live (dry or windy climate), you'll want to carry a little bottle of artificial tears with you for the first couple of months. After that the chronic dryness should pass.

Having corrected vision is definitely amazing, but biking without glasses or contacts really does bring the experience to a whole new level. Now you can even go on a long-distant all-day ride without having to worry about itchiness or irritation from contacts or glasses.

Iím in central NJ, USA. Itís not very dry here but can get windy at times.
I hear more and more how important it is to keep the eyes lubricated.

They told me to keep using the artificial tears for the first month but I think Iíll take your advice and buy my own bottle when the ones they gave me run out.

I use safety glasses on the bike now and think Iíll continue doing so.

I canít wait to go snowboarding for the first time with vision this winter!
Systane is more expensive than other drops but I found it is significantly better. Longer lasting and does a better job of making the eye feel comfortable. Spend the money on this one and skip the cheap generic drops.

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1130 on: October 30, 2019, 07:53:14 PM »
Systane is more expensive than other drops but I found it is significantly better. Longer lasting and does a better job of making the eye feel comfortable. Spend the money on this one and skip the cheap generic drops.

I appreciate the recommendation! Iíll definitely check them out.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1131 on: October 30, 2019, 08:19:03 PM »
Systane is more expensive than other drops but I found it is significantly better. Longer lasting and does a better job of making the eye feel comfortable. Spend the money on this one and skip the cheap generic drops.

I appreciate the recommendation! Iíll definitely check them out.
If I can keep throwing stuff at you, I struggle with dry eyes unrelated to LASIK. The single best thing that helps me is fish oil capsules twice a a day. Go for the Burp Less variety. ;-)

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1132 on: October 31, 2019, 08:59:34 AM »
First colder bike ride this morning (meaning I needed to wear a jacket - I also layered my new bike pants over my work clothes for the first time).  I feel like it's actually empowering and invigorating to bike in weather like that, as long as you're 'armored up' properly in gear.  I'm not sure how bad the weather needs to be for me not to feel that way, but it seems a bit reminiscent to how I feel when skiing.  Cold rain on my face might be where I don't feel great about it, since I don't have a way to waterproof my face.

Now, I'm not going to pretend that it was bad weather by any stretch...just in the 40s with no precipitation.  I'm not sure if I could manage to bike very far in what I just experienced in Denver during a trip this week - snowing, icy, and 5 degrees F.  Of course, people weren't even driving much in that weather either.  Kudos to those of you who soldier on through weather like that; I think the road conditions would scare me even if I geared up.

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1133 on: October 31, 2019, 09:08:40 AM »
Biked in the snow for the first time this morning. Not too bad but it's definitely a lot harder to brake and I need some goggles because it's very hard to see when the snow is flying into your eyes every time you attempt to look up at the road. One day I will be able to invest in a bike with disc brakes and I will not need to drag my foot on the ground to slow down... Hahaha.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1134 on: October 31, 2019, 09:16:49 AM »
Congrats both of you! I love biking in the colder weather, it's amazing what you can get used to.

Yep rim brakes aren't great in wet cold weather - like an active snow storm. But they usually work the rest of the time. I miss my disc brakes. Using legs to stop, and as ballasts in the ice can work great.

Winter biking requires some creativity, both in what to wear and how to go about it. Conditions can vary alot from cold and dry, to very wet heavy slushy snirty stuff, to just plain slick ice - my route actually varies base on the conditions, and there is some skill involved, it took me at least a winter to feel comfortable biking in somewhat deep snow. The lighter stuff is nicer than the heavier stuff.  When it's dry or just icy I take my regular route (but I have studs, so icy isn't really that slippery), when it's a lot of new snow I might take the major road that's plowed and has two lanes so cars can pass easily - usually they are going so slow that I can keep up in really bad conditions - and everyone gives you lots of space, like you'll slip under their tires if the blink.  If it's slushy/melty or lighter new snow I take a longer route with a lot of alleys, and connect with a plowed bike path.

I've now biked in my winter boots, and an extra sweater under my shell... I've forgotten how much hungrier you get in the winter. I'm so grateful to my hindu coworker who keeps bringing samosa's for Diwali. Between the heavier boots, the increased snow resistance and the cold it's a calorie burning workout.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1135 on: October 31, 2019, 09:59:47 AM »
Quick question on riding in the cold: I don't mind riding a few miles in the cold, and in fact I somewhat enjoy it. My commute though is 20 miles, and if it's anything below freezing my hands go completely numb and I'm oozing out major snotsicles by the time I arrive at work. Not personally fun. Anybody else experience these particular issues and find a way to prevent them?

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1136 on: October 31, 2019, 10:27:33 AM »
Quick question on riding in the cold: I don't mind riding a few miles in the cold, and in fact I somewhat enjoy it. My commute though is 20 miles, and if it's anything below freezing my hands go completely numb and I'm oozing out major snotsicles by the time I arrive at work. Not personally fun. Anybody else experience these particular issues and find a way to prevent them?

Below freezing temperatures, you always need to cover your face.  Use a scarf, buff, balaclava, whatever.  But your face needs to be covered.

If your hands are going numb, you might benefit from heavier gloves.  When it gets -10 or -20, I use a pair of jogging gloves inside of a pair of ski gloves.  (This way I can keep my hands covered while I am doing stuff that requires more dexterity - locking up/unlocking.)  Some people swear by pogies or lobster gloves as well.  But one secret I discovered is:

Keep your core warm.

My core always feels fine, but if I don't have enough clothing over my torso, my toes, nose, ears, and fingers freeze.  If I am very warm at my core, I can wear less stuff on my hands/feet and still feel comfortable.  So try dressing a little warmer over your upper body and see if the problem goes away.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1137 on: October 31, 2019, 12:10:24 PM »
Quick question on riding in the cold: I don't mind riding a few miles in the cold, and in fact I somewhat enjoy it. My commute though is 20 miles, and if it's anything below freezing my hands go completely numb and I'm oozing out major snotsicles by the time I arrive at work. Not personally fun. Anybody else experience these particular issues and find a way to prevent them?

20 miles is far in the cold, I've only done a 19km, but I'd only go in one way, bus home and then bike home the next day.  I find that if I can keep my hands warm to start with (while doing all the dextrous things) then put mitts on my hands stay warmer longer. If they start out cold because of loading/unlocking my bike... they never warm up.  I wear merino glove liners, and then ski mitts, or heavy duty sheepskin mitts overtop of the liners. Bar mitts are on my list of things I'd like this year, and some people around in my town swear by electric or chemical heated gloves/socks toe warmers etc. You can also wrap you handlebar in something insulating - like foam. My ski mitts don't have a lot of padding in the palm so I think about doing this every once and a while, but then I just wear the sheepskin mitts.

As for my face, I have a wool cycling hat that pulls down over the ears, and a heavy duty neck warmer. I don't as of yet ride with goggles. I have glasses that easily fog up, and so I'm constantly pulling my neck warmer up and down - up over my nose when I'm riding into the wind, down if the winds at my back, or if I stop for a light. I also have a pare of gloves with a nose wipe spot, so there's that.

Right now my commute isn't very far, so I tend to underdress the core, and over dress the extremities. I'm biking in dress clothes so avoiding a sweat drenched shirt is kind of high on my list. I do pack a down vest in case I get stopped/stuck/have to walk anywhere because I know I'm not actually dressed very warm to be outside and stationary.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1138 on: October 31, 2019, 02:26:26 PM »
Any difficulties with the shifting mechanisms from the thick gloves? That's the primary reason I haven't gone to them yet (been using thin gloves), but maybe I need to just get over my hesitation and go for it. It took me a while to figure out how to shift with numb hands on the integrated upshift/downshift levers, but its doable, so I guess thick gloves probably work similarly.

As for the face, I have been wearing a balaclava, but it still comes out a snotty mess by the end. Perhaps my nasal issues are a somewhat unique problem that will either go away with experience or become a badge of pride down the road.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1139 on: October 31, 2019, 02:45:45 PM »
I do know that there is one guy who comments on my hometown cycling forum that complains vociferously of wheel suckers in the winter time, because he can't blow snot out his nostrils behind him like he likes to - or he'll hit them (some would say they deserve it). 
I'm sure there's a better slang word for that, but it escapes me.

As for shifting, I have a twist shift on one bike, and a thumb/forefinger trigger shift on the winter cargo bike... twist shifts are pretty awesome for mittens.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1140 on: October 31, 2019, 03:47:49 PM »
Keep your core warm.

My core always feels fine, but if I don't have enough clothing over my torso, my toes, nose, ears, and fingers freeze.  If I am very warm at my core, I can wear less stuff on my hands/feet and still feel comfortable.  So try dressing a little warmer over your upper body and see if the problem goes away.
Yep, if your core is not warm enough your body simply won't circulate enough blood to your extremities to keep them warm at all.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1141 on: October 31, 2019, 04:19:47 PM »
Any difficulties with the shifting mechanisms from the thick gloves? That's the primary reason I haven't gone to them yet (been using thin gloves), but maybe I need to just get over my hesitation and go for it. It took me a while to figure out how to shift with numb hands on the integrated upshift/downshift levers, but its doable, so I guess thick gloves probably work similarly.

As for the face, I have been wearing a balaclava, but it still comes out a snotty mess by the end. Perhaps my nasal issues are a somewhat unique problem that will either go away with experience or become a badge of pride down the road.

You'll probably have an easier time shifting with warm hands wearing thick gloves, than with numb hands. Either way, try riding around the block with the thicker gloves to start. That way there's no pressure to actually get anywhere. Although I didn't love the brifters on my road bike while wearing thicker gloves, I could still manage. The gloves were a 2 part system of thinner liners plus an waterproof outer. Gave me better dexterity than thick ski gloves.

As for the sniffles, I find I sniffle less when I'm warm enough. Sounds like you're underdressed and it may be making your nose run more.

I biked partway today! It was only 3C and I didn't have my face warmer on (need to find it) so my lungs burned the whole way. Asthma inflammation + cold air + coughing wasn't fun, but was still better than being stuck in traffic.

robartsd

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1142 on: October 31, 2019, 05:27:11 PM »
I biked partway today! It was only 3C and I didn't have my face warmer on (need to find it) so my lungs burned the whole way. Asthma inflammation + cold air + coughing wasn't fun, but was still better than being stuck in traffic.
3 C = 37.4 F. That's a bit warmer than it's been here for my morning commute. I don't have trouble without a face covering at that temperature (but I don't have asthma).

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1143 on: October 31, 2019, 06:33:33 PM »
Any difficulties with the shifting mechanisms from the thick gloves? That's the primary reason I haven't gone to them yet (been using thin gloves), but maybe I need to just get over my hesitation and go for it. It took me a while to figure out how to shift with numb hands on the integrated upshift/downshift levers, but its doable, so I guess thick gloves probably work similarly.

As for the face, I have been wearing a balaclava, but it still comes out a snotty mess by the end. Perhaps my nasal issues are a somewhat unique problem that will either go away with experience or become a badge of pride down the road.

Yes.  Shifters are definitely something you have to keep in mind when choosing gloves.

I will use my summer bike until about -4 or -5 C.  At that point I'm running a small pair of jogging gloves under a larger pair of the same, and shifting works OK.  Below that I run into troubles because I need more over my fingers.

I use bar end shifters on my winter road bike because I can't work the STI shifters with heavy gloves.  Bar ends you can shift even with mittens on.  When I was using a flat bar I found that Shimano's trigger shifters were pretty easy to shift with heavy gloves.

katscratch

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1144 on: November 01, 2019, 07:04:12 AM »
I have mittens that I think were labeled for nordic skiing - they're split in between the first and middle fingers, so my forefinger is solo and this happens to be exactly how I hold my hands on my bars. With these over a pair of regular gloves I've been able to use Shimano integrated shifters and my brakes without trouble. I used regular mittens a few times and it was still doable but took a little practice.


Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1146 on: November 02, 2019, 06:42:58 PM »
I dropped my bike at the bike shop today, studs are going on (I have a full chain guard, internal hub and dynamo lighting... that's a little too much for me to work around to switch the tires myself besides I want my LBS cargo bike shop to stay in business)..  I also splurged on some bar mitts and a much thicker studded tire for the rear wheel on the cargo bike. Right now it's definitely a trade off to switch to studs on the extracycle... ride quality & comfort drops with the narrower tire - I'm so glad someone convinced schwalbe to make a 2.15" studded tire.  Note we aren't wasting the thinner tire, at 20" it'll fit on my daughters bike :) - it's time to start her learning how to ride in the ice and snow!

I'll report back on what learning to ride with bar mitts is like, I'm a little worried about bell use and signalling.




Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1147 on: November 03, 2019, 11:18:19 AM »
Another nice article on the benefits of e-biking.  Always good to see these, especially since (even in biking-'woke' places like this) there are people with significant prejudices against e-bikes.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2404475/riding-e-bike-not-cheating

By the way, I don't think that all e-bikes are great - my biggest fear is of people abusing the system with overpowered, non-street-legal e-bikes (since there's basically no enforcement right now in the USA), causing the hammer to drop on all e-bikes.  People building and riding bikes like that need to suck it up and register/drive them as motor vehicles. 

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1148 on: November 03, 2019, 01:33:08 PM »
Another nice article on the benefits of e-biking.  Always good to see these, especially since (even in biking-'woke' places like this) there are people with significant prejudices against e-bikes.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2404475/riding-e-bike-not-cheating

By the way, I don't think that all e-bikes are great - my biggest fear is of people abusing the system with overpowered, non-street-legal e-bikes (since there's basically no enforcement right now in the USA), causing the hammer to drop on all e-bikes.  People building and riding bikes like that need to suck it up and register/drive them as motor vehicles.
Good article. It very much lined up with my anecdotal experience. I ride as much as I can now and all to destinations I would otherwise go to in a car. The one thing that is missing though is why: I think riding an ebike is so much fun!

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1149 on: November 03, 2019, 03:25:28 PM »
Another nice article on the benefits of e-biking.  Always good to see these, especially since (even in biking-'woke' places like this) there are people with significant prejudices against e-bikes.

Maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen any put downs of e-bikes on this site. My observation is similar to the one made in the article: many of the people I've spoken with IRL who are riding e-bikes are replacing car-miles, not bike-miles.

I have made the observation that I get an uncanny (and perhaps momentarily jealous) countenance when getting passed by somebody on an e-bike, but I think that's because e-bikes are not yet ubiquitous and hence there's some cognitive dissonance for a few moments (holy shit I suck! oh wait, that's probably an e-bike).