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jrenaut
01-03-2012, 08:59 AM
It's a cold one out there today, huh? Happy to see a good number of bike commuters anyway. Glad to see all of you/them out there, even the annoying woman on CaBi who jumped the red light to pass me so I had to wait a block or two before it was safe to go around her.

It won't last the whole year, but it's nice to be at 100% bike commuting for now.

Dirt
01-03-2012, 09:42 AM
It was really nice this morning... definitely a chilly one. I noticed that traffic was much less than I normally see.... both cars and bikes. I was pretty early this morning though.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7017/6627764659_4802c91f0f_b.jpg

Hopefully this is the beginning of something that might resemble winter. :D

eminva
01-03-2012, 10:17 AM
I thought traffic was light, too, until I got to our bike cage here at work. There were a lot of New Year's Resolutions parked in there . . .

Liz

Dirt
01-03-2012, 10:24 AM
I thought traffic was light, too, until I got to our bike cage here at work. There were a lot of New Year's Resolutions parked in there . . .

Liz
Awesome! Cool to see that a chilly morning didn't keep them away.

5555624
01-03-2012, 10:38 AM
Traffic was about the same. (At that hour, it's always "light.")

No New Year's Resolutions here, though.

Greenbelt
01-03-2012, 10:44 AM
I bundled up for arctic gales this morning, but it turned out more like just a fairly normal chilly/breezy January day. I shouldn't have paid attention to my own forecast -- was overdressed.

jrenaut
01-03-2012, 01:36 PM
I bundled up for arctic gales this morning, but it turned out more like just a fairly normal chilly/breezy January day. I shouldn't have paid attention to my own forecast -- was overdressed.
You'll be happy for the clothes on your way home. The wind has picked up considerably - I was nearly blown over by the first gust that hit me after leaving the garage. Pennsylvania Avenue is like a wind tunnel through a foot of mud. I don't think I've been this tired from a ride home since my first week of bike commuting.

Be careful out there.

KLizotte
01-03-2012, 02:18 PM
Lots of bikes in front of my workplace so the wind/cold didn't deter most. I must admit that I chickened out though; hitting that snooze button just seemed like a nice alternative this morning when I heard the wind howling against the windows....

PrintError
01-03-2012, 04:45 PM
25 and falling with 20+ mph headwinds? Sure. Bring it. 8-)

OneEighth
01-03-2012, 04:51 PM
The wind was aggressive. So were the drivers---more than usual.
I prefer the wind.

SilverSpring
01-04-2012, 08:34 AM
I thought yesterday afternoon was pretty bad, but this morning (despite, I should note, ample Christmas eggnog-focused efforts to create my own personal base layer), I just about froze my keester. Time to start tripling my gloves and doubling my socks....

jrenaut
01-04-2012, 08:36 AM
Yeah, the weather forecast for today made it sound like yesterday, but without the wind. My still-frozen toes beg to differ.

Rootchopper
01-04-2012, 08:38 AM
I missed all the fun yesterday due to family obligations but I was out there today in my Charlie Brown cycling kit. Normally I am passed by a dozen cyclists on my way to work. Not today. Only 3, and all after I crossed Four Mile Run on the Mount Vernon Trail. When I got to the Rosslyn connector, however, the same group of bike commuters that I always see was coming down the hill. A tough bunch, for sure. As it turned out I was late getting to the office because it took so long to get all the clothes off. I am looking forward to tonight's balmy ride home.

pfunkallstar
01-04-2012, 08:44 AM
I passed about three bike commuters this morning on the Custis/W&OD - the same three that are out there in the middle of blizzards, hurricanes, and other seemingly unbikeable circumstances. I think an interesting question is exactly when one should stop biking? I have gone down to about -5 degrees Fahrenheit and been okay. I had to curtail things a bit after Snowmaggedon as well. Otherwise, rain and snow don't really bother me that much. That said, I was not keeping up my normal pace this morning and despite the neoprene booties and wool socks my toes were bright red by the time I got into work.

dasgeh
01-04-2012, 09:03 AM
Today was my first of the year as well (I had excuses yesterday, but they were just excuses). Wow, it was cold. But I'm a total Sporthill convert -- one pair of tights of Sporthill pants kept my legs toasty. Three layers on top were great. I'm still over the moon about my Shimano MW80s (the WARM shoes I got as an early Xmas present) - I was fine with those and a normal pair of winter wool socks. Add to that a balaclava and scarf and my only complaint was that the tips of my fingers went numb despite 3 layers of gloves -- but I wonder whether I just cut of blood supply with overkill...

americancyclo
01-04-2012, 09:07 AM
my only complaint was that the tips of my fingers went numb despite 3 layers of gloves -- but I wonder whether I just cut of blood supply with overkill...

Moosemitts. (http://www.trails-edge.com/retail/te_shirts/amfbikemits.htm)

5555624
01-04-2012, 09:22 AM
I think an interesting question is exactly when one should stop biking?

Since I moved here, I can't recall it ever being too cold to bike in this area. (I used to say "never," but I am sure someone will look up some record low and I might agree it's too cold.)

Dirt
01-04-2012, 09:28 AM
Obviously I'm a complete junkie with this stuff. I can stop riding my bike any time I want. *Reflexively scratching my track marks.*

There are, however, some conditions where I will not ride. There's a point in a snow storm where road conditions are bad enough that cars are really struggling to move and drivers are making questionable decisions to move their vehicles. Even though I'm mobile, agile and having no problems getting around, I've had a few commutes in the last few years where I turned back and worked from home. I would love to never add to my encyclopedic knowledge of how a car hood feels when I bounce off it.... though usually the times that has happened in the snow have not been so bad because speeds are slow, my clothes provide some padding and the snow makes for a somewhat softer landing.

Snowpocalypse limited riding distances quite a bit since it was quite a while before the trails were passable by bike. Made for great XC skiing and snowshoeing though.

KLizotte
01-04-2012, 09:55 AM
Everyone please take the possibility of frostbite seriously.

I used to teach figure skating many eons ago and developed the beginning stages of frostbite (also known as frost nip) in both feet one day after standing on the ice for only an hour in an unheated indoor rink in MA (so no wind to contend with). Sure, my feet felt cold but not much more so than usual while coaching. When I went to take off my skates I was surprised to discover my feet had swelled up and had turned a funny purplish color. Not long afterward I was in *agony* as blood began to flow back to my feet and they swelled up to the size of balloons and turned lobster red. When leaving the rink I actually had to walk through the snow with bare feet because I could not put my boots or socks on. I could not wear shoes for the rest of the day and still had after effects the next day forcing me to hobble around painfully.

Fortunately no long-term damage was done but now I am careful about my feet since I know how quickly and unexpectedly frost nip can occur. Since cyclists aren't exercising their feet like runners (or skaters) it is difficult to keep them warm and frost nip/bite can occur without you knowing it right away. This is particularly true since cold will seep through the bottom of clipless shoes via the clip.

Stay warm out there!

5555624
01-04-2012, 10:46 AM
There are, however, some conditions where I will not ride. There's a point in a snow storm where road conditions are bad enough that cars are really struggling to move and drivers are making questionable decisions to move their vehicles.

While the temperature won't stop me, snow and ice can. As you point out, it's normally not because I can't get around, it's because others can't. As I told someone once, if I can go faster and straighter on my bike than you can drive, you should not be out on the road.

OneEighth
01-04-2012, 11:22 AM
As a former year-round motorcycle commuter, I remain convinced that how fast and straight people can drive their cars has more to do with competence/ability than with conditions...
Just check out traffic around here when it rains.

Overtone
01-04-2012, 11:33 AM
I missed out on the fun-in-the-cold this morning. Had a breakfast meeting at the Pentagon so was on the metro - but what a disaster that was! Wish I'd been on the bike. For those of you lucky enough to ignore metro goings-on, the deep cold overnight snapped a rail just N of pentagon station. Major delays on blue and yellow and major crowds and little information from the authorities. Then both red and green lines had single tracking for their own reasons on top of it. Looking forward to riding home tonight... cold fingers are better than being a stressed out sardine.

john

rcannon100
01-04-2012, 01:01 PM
Just give me traction (no ice and snow covering the paths) and not crazy winds (like yesterday that make your entire ride as if uphill). Cold. What cold?

Used to jog cross country in the middle of winter in the middle of Ohio. By the end of the run ice would be crusted over the beard keeping me nice and warm. Beards good. Highly recommended.

And a skull cap under your helmet. Amazing how hot those things can be.

Drove down to Alexandria Sunday. Remember Sunday? Almost 50 degrees. Looked over on the MV trail and there were newbies -- did I say 50 degrees??? --- in long tights and full jackets! :rolleyes:

consularrider
01-04-2012, 01:35 PM
This morning my backyard temperature reading was 15.8F, my third coldest ride in my five winters of commuting in the DC area. I managed to miss the single digits during the second week of 2009 since I stayed home with a cold.

And we'll have 50 temperatures again by Saturday. :D

eminva
01-04-2012, 04:04 PM
Apparently, I have been bicycle commuting too much. Last year, I took Metro about 40% of the time I came to the office. Through my employer I can designate pre-tax dollars for public transportation. It has been tough to get a handle on how much to designate each month, and for the last few months, I've been dropping my set-aside because it keeps proving to be too much. Today I got the following message from WageWorks, which just started loading this money on a debit card ("The Transit Commuter card"), which I am supposed to load onto my farecard at the Metro station:

Dear [eminva],

Our records indicate that you did not use your new Transit Commuter card last month. Your Commuter benefit is intended to be used each month to pay for your daily commuting costs. Please be sure to use your card and enjoy your pre-tax benefit.

Thank you,

WageWorks Customer Service



Guess I better take Metro one of these days so I can load up the farecard . . . or at least walk over to the station at lunch time.

Liz

Justin Antos
01-04-2012, 06:52 PM
I started double-socking in November!

Arlingtonrider
01-04-2012, 07:10 PM
I just got home from my first commute of the year, and am now kicking myself for leaving the bike in the basement from January to mid-April last year.

Stayed toasty warm both ways by adding Moose Mitts, and for the exceptionally cold morning --chemical toe warmers in my running shoes and a skull cap beneath my biking helmet. Other than those additions, wore my usual cold weather get-up, which includes a face shield and 2nd pair of socks.

Thanks, everyone, for all the great info, advice and encouragement. It was a great ride in and a gorgeous ride home!

PrintError
01-05-2012, 08:04 AM
I look at it this way, if it's too miserable with snow/ice to be out on my MTB, then I REALLY don't want to be out in my car putting myself and my family at risk of the countless acts of stupidity of NoVA drivers. I stay home.

Although the day after the January snowstorm, I rode to work anyway. Cars were barely moving, and I had a blast pedaling past a few.