Author Topic: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat  (Read 145736 times)

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1150 on: November 04, 2019, 09:10:50 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.

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).

There was a protracted discussion in another thread - I don't recall where and there's not any real reason to dredge it up - where a poster lambasted e-bike riders as 'further evidence of the increasing laziness of Americans.'  His/her opinion was predicated upon the assumption that e-bike miles were largely replacing bike miles for now-lazy bike riders.

Personally, I ride my e-bike everywhere and my car now gathers cobwebs.  Literally. 

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1151 on: November 04, 2019, 09:20:42 AM »
Haha, yes! The cobwebs collect on my side view mirrors and I can never seem to get rid of them.

Maybe if I washed my poor car a little more frequently...

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ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1153 on: November 04, 2019, 11:48:53 AM »
I was complaining about it being cold this morning but I think it was about 6*C. I cant fathom these truly cold temps you are talking about. Today I put a hoodie under my bike jacket, gloves, and these goofy ear cover things.


https://www.amazon.com/Earbags-Bandless-Fleece-Warmers-Medium/dp/B0027BFOQK/ref=asc_df_B0027BFOQK/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312546984196&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11134050977122354089&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031915&hvtargid=pla-571670165015&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=60294405337&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312546984196&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11134050977122354089&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031915&hvtargid=pla-571670165015

If you ever come to Canada, please leave those ear cover things at home. We will make fun of you ;-)
My husband already does a good job of making fun of me. ;)

How would you handle keeping ears warm under a helmet in true cold country?

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1154 on: November 04, 2019, 01:16:25 PM »
When it gets below -15 I wear a windproof headband over my ears under a balaclava.  The balaclava prevents frostbite, but the wind will still blast through it.  The headband crushes your ears to the sides of your head which keep 'em warmer.

I also use packing tape to tape over the vents of my helmet, which makes your lid somewhat insulating.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1155 on: November 05, 2019, 08:10:54 AM »
Hats, we wear hats!

I have 3 combinations I wear under my helmet.  A light scull cap, a balaclava, and a thick double layer winter wool cycling cap.  They all cover my ears, the cycling cap does fold up and down over my ears as needed, it is nice to be able to let some heat out fast if I start to get to hot. Add a thin or thick neckwarmer that can be pulled up over my ears, and/or face and I'm all set. I should probably work out some goggles though for my eyes. 

You can also get winter ski helmets rated for biking too - they have fewer vents and ear warmers built in.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1156 on: November 05, 2019, 10:14:27 AM »
Here in the Lotus Land of Canada I just wear a thin cycling toque under my helmet. When it gets close to 0C I add a thin neck/face warmer (Buff) and pull it partway up over my head so it doesn't slip off my face as I ride. Makes me look like a bandito ;-)

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1157 on: November 05, 2019, 06:31:57 PM »
Welp, @ysette9 I'm with you  I wear these: https://www.amazon.com/180s-Womens-Keystone-Warmer-Black/dp/B0056ZAPWW?ref_=ast_bbp_dp
@TrMama Are those acceptable or still in the realm of "silly desert dweller"?  :)

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1158 on: November 05, 2019, 09:47:13 PM »
Welp, @ysette9 I'm with you  I wear these: https://www.amazon.com/180s-Womens-Keystone-Warmer-Black/dp/B0056ZAPWW?ref_=ast_bbp_dp
@TrMama Are those acceptable or still in the realm of "silly desert dweller"?  :)
Dorky ear gear people unite!

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1159 on: November 06, 2019, 09:27:18 AM »
Welp, @ysette9 I'm with you  I wear these: https://www.amazon.com/180s-Womens-Keystone-Warmer-Black/dp/B0056ZAPWW?ref_=ast_bbp_dp
@TrMama Are those acceptable or still in the realm of "silly desert dweller"?  :)

Those are better, but I've still never understood the point of earmuffs. Why not just wear a hat and keep your entire head warm? ;-)

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1160 on: November 06, 2019, 10:27:18 AM »
I always thought that earmuffs were to prevent your hair from getting flattened by the hat.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1161 on: November 06, 2019, 03:49:32 PM »
Welp, @ysette9 I'm with you  I wear these: https://www.amazon.com/180s-Womens-Keystone-Warmer-Black/dp/B0056ZAPWW?ref_=ast_bbp_dp
@TrMama Are those acceptable or still in the realm of "silly desert dweller"?  :)

Those are better, but I've still never understood the point of earmuffs. Why not just wear a hat and keep your entire head warm? ;-)

Hats do not provide adequate ear protection. They generally do not cover the entire ear, especially if you wear glasses.

I suspect this is an issue only for people with unusually sensitive ears, like myself, but trust me--a hat cannot do the job of earmuffs. Or, as my younger child calls them, "ear puffs."

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1162 on: November 06, 2019, 06:52:49 PM »
Welp, @ysette9 I'm with you  I wear these: https://www.amazon.com/180s-Womens-Keystone-Warmer-Black/dp/B0056ZAPWW?ref_=ast_bbp_dp
@TrMama Are those acceptable or still in the realm of "silly desert dweller"?  :)

Those are better, but I've still never understood the point of earmuffs. Why not just wear a hat and keep your entire head warm? ;-)

Hats do not provide adequate ear protection. They generally do not cover the entire ear, especially if you wear glasses.

I suspect this is an issue only for people with unusually sensitive ears, like myself, but trust me--a hat cannot do the job of earmuffs. Or, as my younger child calls them, "ear puffs."

A winter hat should completely cover both ears and the forehead completely.


Idiots:




Correct winter hat usage:


Glasses should not impact winter hat usage (note that the hat is slightly incorrectly worn though as it could be further pulled down over the eyebrows):

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1163 on: November 06, 2019, 08:43:18 PM »
But try sticking a helmet over any of those and then you get into trouble. One of the thin bank robber masks would probably work though

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1164 on: November 07, 2019, 12:38:26 AM »
Ha! I use "One of the thin bank robber masks" and when combined with the ear muffs my head is toasty warm and my helmet fits :)

@TrMama I do have a hat that is long (?) enough to cover my ears but it never seems to stay down. I was thinking I was all acclimated to my cold weather area (biking to work in 12F is normal in the winter) but now I think I need to go visit you and become an apprentice for a season ;)


cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1165 on: November 07, 2019, 08:10:13 AM »
Just popping in to say that this is what I look like biking in "feels like 7 degrees F" weather:


And I still wear my helmet over it. And I stay SO warm!!

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1166 on: November 07, 2019, 08:26:43 AM »
Too much exposed forehead.  :P



What I re-learn to hate every winter while doing a long ride with a balaclava is the slow suffocation effect:
- Temps drop super cold
- I put on my balaclava for cycling
- Everything's cool for the first 15 - 30 minutes
- Then my heavy breathing starts to cause the area in front of my lips and mouth to become waterlogged
- Then every breath starts to become a mixture of air and half frozen sweat/condensed breath
- Waterboarding commences
- To battle the waterboarding effect, I start pulling the mask down so that my nose is free
- SWEET SWEET OXYGEN
- OW, THE AIR BEING SUCKED INTO MY LUNGS IS TOO COLD
- OH GOD I CAN'T FEEL MY NOSE
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- now it's all gross and even wetter than before somehow
- SWEET JESUS, WE'VE ADDED COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF FLOWING SNOT TO THE MIX
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
- *pulls mask down below nose*
- FUCK, IT'S COLD AGAIN.
- IS MY NOSE TURNING BLACK?
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
etc.

I've yet to make it past the 2 hr mark.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1167 on: November 07, 2019, 09:31:31 AM »
Try a thin layer of vaseline over your nose/exposed skin (think fat keeps you warm ala english channel swimmers).  I have never been able to pull my balaclava up over my nose because it seriously fogs up my glasses.  When I was doing longer winter distances I'd do this, but now I just let it ice up a bit and look like icicles when I get to work. My super cold limit is around the 1 hour mark... I think I start to run out of steam to keep warm enough past that.

I should have sent you a pic from yesterday, I had my super warm wool biking cap, then helmet over top, then a thin buff which I pulled up and over the outside of my helmet, and around my mouth... and a thicker neck warmer I could bury my face in if the wind came up.

And yes, hats should always provide full coverage for your ears... dear god no one here wears a hat and earmuffs! A good winter toque and a hood though... that's a good combo.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1168 on: November 07, 2019, 10:15:01 AM »
Too much exposed forehead.  :P



What I re-learn to hate every winter while doing a long ride with a balaclava is the slow suffocation effect:
- Temps drop super cold
- I put on my balaclava for cycling
- Everything's cool for the first 15 - 30 minutes
- Then my heavy breathing starts to cause the area in front of my lips and mouth to become waterlogged
- Then every breath starts to become a mixture of air and half frozen sweat/condensed breath
- Waterboarding commences
- To battle the waterboarding effect, I start pulling the mask down so that my nose is free
- SWEET SWEET OXYGEN
- OW, THE AIR BEING SUCKED INTO MY LUNGS IS TOO COLD
- OH GOD I CAN'T FEEL MY NOSE
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- now it's all gross and even wetter than before somehow
- SWEET JESUS, WE'VE ADDED COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF FLOWING SNOT TO THE MIX
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
- *pulls mask down below nose*
- FUCK, IT'S COLD AGAIN.
- IS MY NOSE TURNING BLACK?
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
etc.

I've yet to make it past the 2 hr mark.

Haha! Nailed it.
When it gets really cold I switch to ski goggles and the foam "gasket" keeps my nose a little bit warmer.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1169 on: November 07, 2019, 10:45:47 AM »
I'm struggling to remember my winter routine, but luckily it never gets below 2C/35F in the Bay Area for very long. At 10C/50F I start wearing some longer running pants and a light wind breaker instead of basketball shorts and an athletic shirt. I think when it gets below 5C/41F I start wearing some long underwear. My ride replaces any time I would spend at a gym, so I sweat to and from work - pedaling keeps me warm.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1170 on: November 07, 2019, 11:02:52 AM »
Too much exposed forehead.  :P



What I re-learn to hate every winter while doing a long ride with a balaclava is the slow suffocation effect:
- Temps drop super cold
- I put on my balaclava for cycling
- Everything's cool for the first 15 - 30 minutes
- Then my heavy breathing starts to cause the area in front of my lips and mouth to become waterlogged
- Then every breath starts to become a mixture of air and half frozen sweat/condensed breath
- Waterboarding commences
- To battle the waterboarding effect, I start pulling the mask down so that my nose is free
- SWEET SWEET OXYGEN
- OW, THE AIR BEING SUCKED INTO MY LUNGS IS TOO COLD
- OH GOD I CAN'T FEEL MY NOSE
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- now it's all gross and even wetter than before somehow
- SWEET JESUS, WE'VE ADDED COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF FLOWING SNOT TO THE MIX
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
- *pulls mask down below nose*
- FUCK, IT'S COLD AGAIN.
- IS MY NOSE TURNING BLACK?
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
etc.

I've yet to make it past the 2 hr mark.

My brother swears by a mask like #5 in this article for snowboarding in super cold temps. https://www.outsidepursuits.com/best-balaclava-ski-masks/

I think his even has the crazy scary print. The holes around the mouth are important for letting all that wet air out.

Full disclosure, I live on the Canadian side of the PNW. We call it the SW Coast, or Lotus Land, because it's basically the Hawaii of Canada. However, I have lived in colder parts of the country, so I'm not a total poser. And it does get coldish here ;-)

@TrMama I do have a hat that is long (?) enough to cover my ears but it never seems to stay down. I was thinking I was all acclimated to my cold weather area (biking to work in 12F is normal in the winter) but now I think I need to go visit you and become an apprentice for a season ;)

Your hat might not be the right size. When it's below 0C here I wear a thin cycling toque and a thin Buff neck warmer with the neck warmer pulled partway up over my head. That means my ears are covered by 2 layers of fabric so even if the hat starts to slide up the neck warmer will still keep my ears warm.

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1171 on: November 07, 2019, 12:24:01 PM »
Too much exposed forehead.  :P



What I re-learn to hate every winter while doing a long ride with a balaclava is the slow suffocation effect:
- Temps drop super cold
- I put on my balaclava for cycling
- Everything's cool for the first 15 - 30 minutes
- Then my heavy breathing starts to cause the area in front of my lips and mouth to become waterlogged
- Then every breath starts to become a mixture of air and half frozen sweat/condensed breath
- Waterboarding commences
- To battle the waterboarding effect, I start pulling the mask down so that my nose is free
- SWEET SWEET OXYGEN
- OW, THE AIR BEING SUCKED INTO MY LUNGS IS TOO COLD
- OH GOD I CAN'T FEEL MY NOSE
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- now it's all gross and even wetter than before somehow
- SWEET JESUS, WE'VE ADDED COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF FLOWING SNOT TO THE MIX
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
- *pulls mask down below nose*
- FUCK, IT'S COLD AGAIN.
- IS MY NOSE TURNING BLACK?
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
etc.

I've yet to make it past the 2 hr mark.
There are definitely upsides to my HCOL area, one of them being that this dance is not a thing. :)

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1172 on: November 07, 2019, 01:49:05 PM »
My brother swears by a mask like #5 in this article for snowboarding in super cold temps. https://www.outsidepursuits.com/best-balaclava-ski-masks/

I think his even has the crazy scary print. The holes around the mouth are important for letting all that wet air out.

Full disclosure, I live on the Canadian side of the PNW. We call it the SW Coast, or Lotus Land, because it's basically the Hawaii of Canada. However, I have lived in colder parts of the country, so I'm not a total poser. And it does get coldish here ;-)

@TrMama I do have a hat that is long (?) enough to cover my ears but it never seems to stay down. I was thinking I was all acclimated to my cold weather area (biking to work in 12F is normal in the winter) but now I think I need to go visit you and become an apprentice for a season ;)

Your hat might not be the right size. When it's below 0C here I wear a thin cycling toque and a thin Buff neck warmer with the neck warmer pulled partway up over my head. That means my ears are covered by 2 layers of fabric so even if the hat starts to slide up the neck warmer will still keep my ears warm.

Nice list, I have one similar to #3. I'll definitely keep the neck warmer in mind, thanks!

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1173 on: November 07, 2019, 01:55:13 PM »
Too much exposed forehead.  :P



What I re-learn to hate every winter while doing a long ride with a balaclava is the slow suffocation effect:
- Temps drop super cold
- I put on my balaclava for cycling
- Everything's cool for the first 15 - 30 minutes
- Then my heavy breathing starts to cause the area in front of my lips and mouth to become waterlogged
- Then every breath starts to become a mixture of air and half frozen sweat/condensed breath
- Waterboarding commences
- To battle the waterboarding effect, I start pulling the mask down so that my nose is free
- SWEET SWEET OXYGEN
- OW, THE AIR BEING SUCKED INTO MY LUNGS IS TOO COLD
- OH GOD I CAN'T FEEL MY NOSE
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- now it's all gross and even wetter than before somehow
- SWEET JESUS, WE'VE ADDED COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF FLOWING SNOT TO THE MIX
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
- *pulls mask down below nose*
- FUCK, IT'S COLD AGAIN.
- IS MY NOSE TURNING BLACK?
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
etc.

I've yet to make it past the 2 hr mark.

Yep. Reminds me of a "high-altitude mask" someone gave me one year for the Office Christmas Party (I believe he had gotten it for free as an Amazon reviewer). I really can't fathom that people would actually pay money for a device to suffocate oneself (outside of the autoerotica crowd).

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1174 on: November 07, 2019, 02:19:19 PM »
Too much exposed forehead.  :P



What I re-learn to hate every winter while doing a long ride with a balaclava is the slow suffocation effect:
- Temps drop super cold
- I put on my balaclava for cycling
- Everything's cool for the first 15 - 30 minutes
- Then my heavy breathing starts to cause the area in front of my lips and mouth to become waterlogged
- Then every breath starts to become a mixture of air and half frozen sweat/condensed breath
- Waterboarding commences
- To battle the waterboarding effect, I start pulling the mask down so that my nose is free
- SWEET SWEET OXYGEN
- OW, THE AIR BEING SUCKED INTO MY LUNGS IS TOO COLD
- OH GOD I CAN'T FEEL MY NOSE
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- now it's all gross and even wetter than before somehow
- SWEET JESUS, WE'VE ADDED COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF FLOWING SNOT TO THE MIX
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
- *pulls mask down below nose*
- FUCK, IT'S COLD AGAIN.
- IS MY NOSE TURNING BLACK?
- *pulls mask back over nose*
- GARGLE GARGLE CHOKE
etc.

I've yet to make it past the 2 hr mark.

Lol!! Luckily my commute to work is only about 15 minutes long so I don't really deal with this. At the very end of the ride, it can get kinda steamy but by then I'm at work and taking it off completely anyway.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1175 on: November 07, 2019, 05:15:18 PM »
I think I will not be biking in weather that is so cold I want to cover my nose. I hope. The coldest I have ever done is 14 degrees F but it was sunny and not windy and my nose was more or less OK. I do want to get something like a balaclava with a most-of-the-face opening so that my neck is well-protected. One continuous piece seems like the best way.

It is my lived experience that ear-specific covers are more satisfactory than hats. I would like to be accepted as the expert on my personal head.

acepedro45

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1176 on: November 08, 2019, 09:01:01 AM »
Just a note to say that I have recovered from the debilitating theft of my bike, trailer and helmets. I rode in today on a brisk 31 degree day in fine style (should've remembered gloves though, brrrrr).

I got straightened out at the community bike shop in my neighborhood with a used commuter bike, replacement trailer and some helmets for $235.

Plus, I like supporting this bike shop. With a caseworker referral and $25, someone looking to get back on their feet can get a beater bike, helmet, lockup and lights from the shop, which I think is an awesome way to speed the biking revolution towards its logical terminal state of alleviating poverty, air pollution, obesity and depression for all of humanity.

Viva la revolucion!

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1177 on: November 08, 2019, 11:33:56 AM »
Just a note to say that I have recovered from the debilitating theft of my bike, trailer and helmets. I rode in today on a brisk 31 degree day in fine style (should've remembered gloves though, brrrrr).

I got straightened out at the community bike shop in my neighborhood with a used commuter bike, replacement trailer and some helmets for $235.

Plus, I like supporting this bike shop. With a caseworker referral and $25, someone looking to get back on their feet can get a beater bike, helmet, lockup and lights from the shop, which I think is an awesome way to speed the biking revolution towards its logical terminal state of alleviating poverty, air pollution, obesity and depression for all of humanity.

Viva la revolucion!

That's really cool! We have a shop where low-income adults can volunteer for 6 hours and get a free refurbished bike. Low-income kids can attend a bike rodeo to get one.

Kmp2

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1178 on: November 09, 2019, 12:58:36 PM »

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1179 on: November 10, 2019, 02:07:38 PM »
There are definitely upsides to my HCOL area, one of them being that this dance is not a thing. :)

Yep... when it gets into the 50s F here I put on my helmet over a thin sweatshirt hood.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1180 on: November 10, 2019, 02:48:02 PM »
Can I just say that I lost my ear-wrap thingie (I think I maybe left it in my sister's rental car hiking? We had three adults and kids ages 7, 8, and 9, and just too much gear) and the replacement I bought is just not satisfactory? It is too bulky. I am very sad. I will keep looking Everywhere for a lighter one.

My night rides are going OK so far but I don't love it. I'm just not convinced people can see me from behind, even though I have a cherry bomb light and reflective fenders and I literally bike in a reflective construction-type vest. Or people turning. If I ever get moved down, it's going to be someone making a left-hand turn across the bike lane.

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1181 on: November 10, 2019, 02:52:02 PM »
My night rides are going OK so far but I don't love it. I'm just not convinced people can see me from behind, even though I have a cherry bomb light and reflective fenders and I literally bike in a reflective construction-type vest. Or people turning. If I ever get moved down, it's going to be someone making a left-hand turn across the bike lane.

I've been feeling nervous about this too, now that DST is over. I just bought this light to wind around my bike frame, I believe on the recommendation from someone on this thread: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017GCSV2S/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_jReXDb3B6B4JK

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1182 on: November 10, 2019, 07:23:18 PM »
I run multiple taillights, which I started because I've had my rear light go out on occasion than just for brightness . . . but it does make you more visible.  I've also put several cheap CR2032 powered LED lights on my backpack (you can pick 'em up for a couple dollars at the dollar store - I think they make them for putting on pet collars), and I'll turn them on when visibility is poor (snow/rain) and I'm out in the dark.  More the merrier.

If you're really concerned about how visible you are, get your wife/husband to ride your bike after dark down the street and see how visible things are from your car.  That's how I tested all the lighting and reflective stuff I've got to figure out what made the most sense to use.  My observations:
- Reflective stuff on the ankles is better than anywhere else.  The movement they generate really draws attention.
- Certain types of reflective stuff work better in different conditions.  You'll have to test out a variety to figure what works for the conditions you're cycling in.
- If you're running multiple lights, spread them out.  Try to put one high, one low, one right, and one left.  Keep your brightest one running solid, and the others flashing.  The flashing ones grab attention, but the solid one makes it easier for a driver to gauge distances.
- Unless you have reflective stuff on your gloves, there's no point signalling at night.
- Fluorescent clothing is best at around dusk, but not any better than any bright coloured stuff when it's pitch black.
- Standard bike reflectors are useless compared to modern bike lights.  Replace your reflectors with more lights if you have the option.

Coldbike

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1183 on: November 10, 2019, 08:50:04 PM »
@GuitarStv this might be of use to you:

https://www.coldbike.com/2019/02/13/heat-exchanger-masks-a-love-story/

I'm the author of that article, I was surprised to see traffic on my blog coming from here!
I've spent a great deal of time with a bike sandwiched between my butt and snow, so I've developed a bunch of techniques for coping with the cold that goes with that. Anyway. I am available to answer questions about the masks or any other aspect of winter cycling.

Tass

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1184 on: November 11, 2019, 07:28:52 PM »
- Unless you have reflective stuff on your gloves, there's no point signalling at night.

I have a couple of light-up snap bracelets for this purpose.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1185 on: November 13, 2019, 02:13:38 PM »
I've been toying with the idea to get an inexpensive action camera for my biking (for safety/documentation) and kayaking.  Then, yesterday, I nearly had my first accident - someone veered out from a parking spot into the bike lane without looking.  They saw me at the last second (but were blocking the entire bike lane by that point), and I almost lost control of my bike while braking hard. 

Helped convince me to make the leap.  No, I don't really think it's going to make things a lot safer, but there are certainly cases where at least I'll have a good shot of the driver and license plate after they peel off, leaving me crumpled on the pavement.

Plus, I want to get some good kayaking shots.  Hopefully the cheapo Chinese GoPro knockoffs work as well as everyone reviewing them seems to indicate.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1186 on: November 13, 2019, 09:20:34 PM »
I've been toying with the idea to get an inexpensive action camera for my biking (for safety/documentation) and kayaking.  Then, yesterday, I nearly had my first accident - someone veered out from a parking spot into the bike lane without looking.  They saw me at the last second (but were blocking the entire bike lane by that point), and I almost lost control of my bike while braking hard. 

Helped convince me to make the leap.  No, I don't really think it's going to make things a lot safer, but there are certainly cases where at least I'll have a good shot of the driver and license plate after they peel off, leaving me crumpled on the pavement.

Plus, I want to get some good kayaking shots.  Hopefully the cheapo Chinese GoPro knockoffs work as well as everyone reviewing them seems to indicate.

Do the police in your part of the world actually respond to "near miss" reports?

I live in an area that's covered by 3 different police forces. Depending on what part of town I'm in, responsibility could fall to one of 2 city police forces or the RCMP. The RCMP take near miss complaints seriously and will follow up with the driver (if you can give plate# and a decent description), but the city forces just blow me off completely. Video would only be helpful if it's taken seriously.

The one thing video might be more helpful with is if you're ever physically assaulted by another person. Even attempted assault is a crime so hopefully it would help and it'd give the police a better description of the person(s). Or better yet, maybe an obvious camera would simply deter anyone considering beating you up.

If you want a toy for kayaking, that's a totally different discussion ;-)

35andFI

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1187 on: November 14, 2019, 07:44:55 AM »
Cold commute this morning at 20F (-7C).

I overdressed up top with a sweatshirt and windbreaker
Underdressed my hands with two pairs of thin gloves
Did just right with my feet with cycling shoes and thick socks
Did just right with my legs with compression pants and workout pants
Did just right with my head with a winter hat, safety glasses, and the hoods over my head

Planning on bringing my snowboarding gloves back to my place from my parents next time I visit and maybe just wearing the windbreaker next time.

I'm learning.

Just Joe

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1188 on: November 14, 2019, 07:57:15 AM »
Discovered a new benefit of bike commuting last night. You'll have lots of extra lights on hand for when the power goes out. Hooked my extra bright front light onto the kitchen cabinet pull so I could see well enough to cook dinner last night. Then used the less bright one to read before bed.

Note to self: Buy more batteries and candles . . .

Old post but just jumping in here to say - using an ebike battery with USB port, a person can keep their phone or tablet or lights charged for a long time in case of a storm event that knocks out power.

Google says 19.2 WH to charge a phone. 674 WH (my battery) / 19.2 = 35 days. Of course the low voltage cut off would prevent accessing the whole 674 WH I'd guess.

A his and her pair of ebikes would be a nice tool for storms.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1189 on: November 14, 2019, 12:03:36 PM »
Discovered a new benefit of bike commuting last night. You'll have lots of extra lights on hand for when the power goes out. Hooked my extra bright front light onto the kitchen cabinet pull so I could see well enough to cook dinner last night. Then used the less bright one to read before bed.

Note to self: Buy more batteries and candles . . .

Old post but just jumping in here to say - using an ebike battery with USB port, a person can keep their phone or tablet or lights charged for a long time in case of a storm event that knocks out power.

Google says 19.2 WH to charge a phone. 674 WH (my battery) / 19.2 = 35 days. Of course the low voltage cut off would prevent accessing the whole 674 WH I'd guess.

A his and her pair of ebikes would be a nice tool for storms.

I have a car battery charger that has a USB port. Haven't used for this purpose but in theory, it should work.

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1190 on: November 14, 2019, 01:27:54 PM »

Do the police in your part of the world actually respond to "near miss" reports?

I live in an area that's covered by 3 different police forces. Depending on what part of town I'm in, responsibility could fall to one of 2 city police forces or the RCMP. The RCMP take near miss complaints seriously and will follow up with the driver (if you can give plate# and a decent description), but the city forces just blow me off completely. Video would only be helpful if it's taken seriously.

The one thing video might be more helpful with is if you're ever physically assaulted by another person. Even attempted assault is a crime so hopefully it would help and it'd give the police a better description of the person(s). Or better yet, maybe an obvious camera would simply deter anyone considering beating you up.

If you want a toy for kayaking, that's a totally different discussion ;-)

It wasn't a near-miss such as the one I experienced that I would report, it would be if I ever actually got in an accident and was injured and/or had bike damage.  As an example, dashcam video would've been very helpful when I was rear-ended in my car a few years back after stopping for a traffic light.  The lady's story was that I was driving backwards at high speed down a busy street.  Thankfully, my insurance company disregarded that as nonsense, but they couldn't get the other driver's insurance to pick up the tab. 

cari8285

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1191 on: November 14, 2019, 01:31:53 PM »
@Arbitrage Way off topic, but that reminds me of this time in high school that I got hit by a car. The driver told them that I walked into his car. What? People will surely say nonsense to try and shift the blame.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1192 on: November 18, 2019, 08:07:32 PM »
I'm the author of that article, I was surprised to see traffic on my blog coming from here!
I've spent a great deal of time with a bike sandwiched between my butt and snow, so I've developed a bunch of techniques for coping with the cold that goes with that. Anyway. I am available to answer questions about the masks or any other aspect of winter cycling.

Thanks for popping by @Coldbike , we're always happy to gain a fellow rider in the conversations. You have any fun winter biking stories?

ysette9

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1193 on: November 18, 2019, 09:21:16 PM »
Now that it is getting darker Id like to light up my bike trailer like a Christmas tree when I take my kid to and from school. Can anyone recommend a cheap and easy way of doing that?

Arbitrage

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1194 on: November 19, 2019, 07:53:21 AM »
I'm sure there are many solutions, and probably some really elegant ones out there, but I'm just using some clip-on LED lights from ebay to augment my primary rear light.  Something like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2Pcs-LED-Safety-Light-w-Strap-Clip-On-Strobe-Running-Lights-for-Bike-Runner-Dog/392312090639?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908103841%26meid%3D44becb8b029d4f1bbca0fa2eadc3e979%26pid%3D100227%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D5%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D392312090639%26itm%3D392312090639%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2053904&_trksid=p2053904.c100227.m3827

Seems to be reasonable battery life on them...and just takes a coin battery replacement.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1195 on: November 19, 2019, 09:08:41 AM »
I'm sure there are many solutions, and probably some really elegant ones out there, but I'm just using some clip-on LED lights from ebay to augment my primary rear light.  Something like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2Pcs-LED-Safety-Light-w-Strap-Clip-On-Strobe-Running-Lights-for-Bike-Runner-Dog/392312090639?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908103841%26meid%3D44becb8b029d4f1bbca0fa2eadc3e979%26pid%3D100227%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D5%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D392312090639%26itm%3D392312090639%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2053904&_trksid=p2053904.c100227.m3827

Seems to be reasonable battery life on them...and just takes a coin battery replacement.

I use very similar on my backpack during the winter.  They're cheap and effective.  Batteries will die if you leave them in the lights for a whole year though.

Boofinator

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1196 on: November 19, 2019, 09:13:45 AM »
Just want to vent that I've had six flat tires in my last four rides. WTF!?!?!?

As far as I can tell, one (possibly two) was a pinch flat (my fault for being too lazy to fully air my tires and gawking at somebody being pulled over as I smashed over an uneven portion of sidewalk), two have been thorns, and the other two are a mystery.

I've switched over to slime tubes in hopes to stem the tide, fingers crossed. Also, props to the Tube Fairy, who stopped and gave me his spare tube when I was ten miles from home and had already used my spare tube on an earlier flat just a few miles back.

Seriously considering switching to tubeless for my road bike if my failure rate doesn't start decreasing significantly.

GuitarStv

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1197 on: November 19, 2019, 09:21:14 AM »
Try some Continental Top Contact IIs.  Won't help the pinch flats, but they're damned near unpuncturable.

ysette9

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Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1198 on: November 19, 2019, 10:21:45 AM »
Does anyone have experience with something like an LED light strip? Im hoping to minimize the number of buttons I have to push as I already have three. I know that sounds petty but it all adds up when I also have to strap my kid in, her helmet, her backpack, the buckles on the bike trailer, etc. and Im doing this all four times a day.

TrMama

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Re: Start Biking To Work - cycling newbies chat
« Reply #1199 on: November 19, 2019, 10:35:28 AM »
Just want to vent that I've had six flat tires in my last four rides. WTF!?!?!?

As far as I can tell, one (possibly two) was a pinch flat (my fault for being too lazy to fully air my tires and gawking at somebody being pulled over as I smashed over an uneven portion of sidewalk), two have been thorns, and the other two are a mystery.

I've switched over to slime tubes in hopes to stem the tide, fingers crossed. Also, props to the Tube Fairy, who stopped and gave me his spare tube when I was ten miles from home and had already used my spare tube on an earlier flat just a few miles back.

Seriously considering switching to tubeless for my road bike if my failure rate doesn't start decreasing significantly.

If the tires are old, consider replacing them. I find that as tires age, they become unreliable. I've got Armadillo tires on my commuter, but Gatorskins are highly recommended too. For commuting you want a puncture resistant tire because you'll be rolling over all kinds of metal trash and glass.

I also don't buy the cheapest tubes. I find higher end tubes hold air longer, so I only have to top up once every couple of weeks. I usually buy Continental tubes.

Check the outside of your tire. Note any gashes or punctures in the tire. If there's a gash large enough to pinch the tube it'll just keep flatting. If the gash isn't in the sidewall and isn't very big, you can use a patch on the inside of the tire to protect the tube.

Otherwise if your tires aren't terribly old and you're still getting unexplained flats, there's probably something sharp embedded in them somewhere. Take the tire off and very carefully run your fingertips all over the inside. If you still can't find the sharp thing, run a piece of tissue paper over the inside. It should catch on whatever's causing your flat.

If you have a long commute, seriously consider carrying two tubes.