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StopMeansStop
10-13-2010, 04:50 PM
So how is biking in Arlington during the cold months? I'm trying to keep at this but need to figure out what to do with the shorter daylight hours and extreme cold. :(

BigAgnes
10-14-2010, 02:57 AM
You need the right equipment---good quality headlight and tail light, at minimum. Also, decent, wicking, insulating clothing. Reflective top layers (jacket, tights/leg warmers, etc). The biggest challenge for me is keeping my hands and feet comfortable---I resort to chemical hand/toe warmers on the coldest days. Since I try to ride all winter, so long as the pavement is dry/clear, I've invested in winter bike shoes (Lake MTB). Once you acclimate to the cold (takes a couple rides), it's not too bad. One benefit is that the trails are less crowded.

Dirt
10-14-2010, 09:42 AM
Moose Mitts are wonderful.

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

I love mine and they make it comfy to ride 300+ days per year. :D

Rain gear and fenders really help too. When it gets icy, studded tires make it possible to ride on!

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4065/4324520209_659542df59_z.jpg

Joe Chapline
10-14-2010, 10:37 AM
Darkness is a bigger issue than cold, but lights and reflective gear are easy to obtain and use. The goal is to make sure you're seen by drivers; seeing where you're going is not much of a problem in Arlington. I don't like to deal with snow and ice, but most winters there isn't snow on the ground very many days. Hopefully last winter was an aberration, not the new normal. Streets are clear and ice-free sooner than trails; that may or may not improve. I agree with Dirt RE raingear and fenders. The fenders stay on my bike year-round. I actually welcome cooler weather because I can wear raingear when necessary without being too hot.

Joe Chapline
10-14-2010, 12:31 PM
Keeping ears warm used to be a challenge, since you can't wear most winter hats with a bike helmet. I'm happy with the ear warmers I have now, called "180s." (You can Google it.) They're earmuffs that wrap around the back of your neck, under the helmet. When you take them off, they fold up very small, easy to carry in your pocket. I also have a thin headwarmer - skullcap with fleece ear flaps that can be worn under a bike helmet. Those are available from bike accessory suppliers, here's one:
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=57708&gold_ses=

StopMeansStop
10-14-2010, 09:33 PM
Looks like I need to shell out more cold cash.

Joe Chapline
10-15-2010, 08:10 AM
Ha! It's true, but the stuff lasts. I've had the same headlight for ten years or more. I had to replace the taillight when I replaced a stolen bike. (The light bracket was attached and I couldn't find a replacement.) I got the 180s on sale and really like them. I actually don't find I need the skullcap. For reflective gear, they sell inexpensive mesh pullover things that you can wear over your regular clothes. I also have inexpesive reflective straps for my pants legs. Most bikes come with reflectors on the wheels, and helmets usually have some reflective stuff built in.

There are expenses, but the amount is very small compared to what it takes to keep a car going.

FrequentTraveler
12-30-2010, 12:04 PM
Joe, thanks for pointing out the reflective clothing and protective gear. I donít know how many times Iíve seen cyclists on the road in dark, non-reflective clothing, without any lights, and sometimes not wearing any helmets. Itís dangerous for everyone.