Do you bicycle? A cycling thread I guess


#261

I took a tumble hitting a patch of black ice when turning once so that was it for me riding when it’s below freezing and there’s any kind of moisture on the ground.

Also, I have a hard time keeping my hands warm. I wear mittens and use a chemical hand warmer in each. It works but it’s a bit of a pain. I rode to work once when it was 16 degrees. I can’t say I enjoyed it.


#262

This morning was a pretty good example of almost my perfect weather for biking into work. It was about 40F when I set out - cold enough for a long-sleeve jersey, full gloves (as opposed to open-fingers), and a hat under the helmet. I typically wear shorts unless it’s below freezing - my legs almost never get cold; I’m… hirsute.

The first couple miles, I was strongly considering turning around and getting a jacket because the jersey wasn’t doing much to keep the wind from my arms. But after three miles or so I was pretty comfortable. The last few miles (commute is eleven) the sun was up and hitting me so I arrived at work warm but not quite sweaty.


#263

My problem up here in Toronto is that with dwindling numbers of cyclists the public quickly loses their collective memory about how to drive around cyclists. Plus the long shadows in the morning make it harder to see us. So recreational rides around noon are ok, but otherwise tapering back.

In college I used to ride in severe cold weather, and relished the fact that people think you’re crazy. When in reality if you dress warm enough it is fine, and at the time my commute was mostly recreational trails and paths so it was relatively safe even on icy days.


#264

With warm weather on the way, anyone have any cycling goals for the year? Want to set some for some forum-encouragement? Plans for a new bike?


#265

I’m moving to a block away from a nice running/ biking trail. Given the last 3 years have been in a bad location for both, I’m looking forward to being able to hop on my bike and just go places without having to fight through industrial parks.

With the better access, I’m setting a goal of 1000 miles with my son in tow.


#266

That’s awesome. Also proof that there is an invisible demand for cycling out there in the public, but lack of infrastructure and feeling unsafe are obstacles.


#267

I have a different job and unfortunately biking to it is out. The traffic is too fierce.

The good news is I love my job. It’s probably the best job I’ve ever had. But I miss biking. I’ve done a poor job of substituting for it with other exercise.


#268

I may finally gut up and get prepared for the Hotter N Hell 100 this year. If so, I’ll train on my current bike (steel) and get a lighter bike sometime this summer before the ride. The heat isn’t my problem and I’ve done a 64-miler a few years ago (in some brutal damned wind) that didn’t totally kill me, though it probably did shave a couple of years off my lifespan.


#269

Hey Craig - you’re not talking about the North Branch trail in Chicago are you? Runs from Botanical Garden up N down into the city? That’s where I mainly ride, I can hop on my bike and 8 minutes later I’m on the trail. Maybe we can ride together sometime this summer.

We had good weather here (don’t expect winter is over yet though) this weekend. Picked up my baby from shop (tune up) and rode outside Saturday and Sunday.

My goal is to lose the 20 lbs I gained over the winter and not gain it back like I did this time!


#270

I wish! No, I’m much further south than that. The trail I am moving near is the Tinley Creek trail. Essentially I can tie in from the running path right off my (soon to be) back yard, and ride all the way to this loop, and even catch the spur all the way to the Cal Sag canal trail.

That said who knows what the year could hold.


#271

I had a dream last night I was bicycling to Chicago instead of driving. He trip is normally 4-5 hours away by car. I was also leaving at dusk, and had to put a flashlight into a clear container to keep it from getting damaged by moisture. Kind of funny trip for someone on oxygen.


#272

This winter has been unusually warm and almost utterly snowless here in Northern Virginia: no snow, no ice, little rain.

This means that I haven’t had any excuses not to bike into work two or three times each week, which is typically my spring/summer rate. It’s been nice: I managed to avoid the annual bloating that typically comes from the Thanksgiving/Xmas holiday time. I may actually look pretty good (for a man in his upper 40s) when we hit the beach this summer.

It’s wearing on my bike though. I think that maybe at the end of the season this year (meaning late Fall) I may take advantage of the sales and get a new bike to replace the steel commuter I have now.


#273

I took my bike out today for my first ride of the year, after a spot of maintenance. It’s still dark too early for commuting to work, as my ride home ends in a climb up a steep hill with no shoulder on the road, but another month or so and I’ll be ready.

I think I’ll set my goal this year at 30 round-trip commutes, which works out to a little over 1,200 miles.


#274

20 miles each way and you want to hit 30 times?That’s a pretty good goal, inspires me to try and hit my 15 mile commute a few more times. Tough this year with kids in daycare though. See I’m already coming up with excuses :).


#275

So I decided to bite on a Seasucker suction cup bike rack for my Abarth, which allows me to to make my commute from a nearby park & ride and bypass the steep hill by my house. It leaves my commute at 35 miles, but it’s on a trail and largely flat, so it’s not all that much longer than taking the bus. With a little investment in cold weather gear, I should be able to ride year-round except for ice and snow.


#276

Sweet! I’m looking forward to hearing about your exploits.

Hot weather has arrived here in Northern Virginia and I find myself oddly pining for the cold. This is weird since I despise the cold and don’t consider myself a “Winter Person” in any sense… but I’ve got decent gear for pretty much all the cold and cool-weather seasons, and I find myself missing the warming-up portion of the ride.

That is, let’s say it’s 40 degrees out (5 C for you dirty foreigners). I’ll wear my shorts, a thermal jacket, gloves and a balaclava head-piece and be utterly FREEZING for the first couple minutes of the ride. But after five minutes of hard pedaling, I’m utterly comfortable. Not sweating, not shivering, just… comfortable. And that lasts for the remainder of my commute (about an hour).

Contrast that with yesterday when it was in the low 80s (29C) for the ride home. Almost immediately I’m sweating, and halfway into it I keep having to swipe the sweat out from my eyes. And don’t get me started on the pollen. Yeesh.


#277

Ugh, that is the worst. Whenever I’m doing anything outside in the heat, whether it’s cycling, running, mowing the lawn, whatever, I’m Bandana Man for the duration. Usually with multiple back-ups.

Stupid eyebrows. What a weird body part to fail. What the hell are they doing up there?


#278

Right? And my eyebrows are nothing to sneeze at either. They’re like Mentat eyebrows or something. AND I’ve got cycling glasses that actually have a little foam piece that sits over them that is ALSO supposed to keep the sweat from my eyes. It’s like a multi-layered bundle of fail.


#279

It’s kind of gross and it leaves a line on your head that lasts for an hour or two, but there’s a headband called the gutr that channels the sweat away from your eye via an eaves-trough design. Personally I have a thin cloth headband that I made out of an old t-shirt. It will last about an hour on a hot day before becoming saturated at which point I either suffer or stop and wring it out, giving me another 30 or so minutes.


#280

I need to learn to take weather forecasts more seriously. Or invest in better rain gear. I’m used to typical Seattle rain (a light drizzle about two notches beyond fog) but I had to pull over a couple of times on my way home just because I couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of me through the rain.