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View Full Version : Ok, bike commuting is not *always* fun!



CCrew
01-06-2011, 09:35 AM
At least not when it was 23 degrees this am when I got on the bike!

But to it's credit, it'll seem balmy compared to the 19 degrees they're calling for tomorrow :)

Dirt
01-06-2011, 10:00 AM
My approach to this is to selectively throw clothing/equipment at the areas of greatest cold. Unfortunately that takes money. It takes time to amass the stuff you need to ride in any weather, but it is easier when you take a "tool kit" approach. There isn't any one garment that instantly makes you warm. It is the combination of things and how you put them together that arrives at warmth.

We're all different and have different tolerances for cold too. I grew up with this, so I actually enjoy this stuff. For me, once I'm out the door, I'm having fun... no matter what the temperature is. The tough days for me are not the cold ones. The really tough ones are the 35 degree days with dumping/freezing rain. I think I have most of what I need for dealing with that though. I still need to get shoes to handle it better than my current shoe covers.

I saw an advert for heated bar tape this week. I gotta go out and find that. I think it was in the back of Velonudes (sorry... I really mean VeloNews.... I just have to use my derogatory term for it.) :D

CCrew
01-06-2011, 10:37 AM
I've been doing it a couple years, trust me - lack of equipment is *NOT* the issue here :) 23 degrees is just stretching my fun level when I commute 25 miles each way

My biggest issue with cold is my toes. I can dress them well, but they still suffer. It's a crappy circulation in the feet /diabetes thing. That said, that they're hurting is a good thing, as nerve damage is what usually occurs in diabetics.

eminva
01-06-2011, 12:03 PM
CCrew, would the chemical toe warmers (brand names are Grabbers, Toastitoes, etc.) be okay for you? I use those on the coldest days and my toes don't complain so much.

Dirt
01-06-2011, 12:14 PM
Oh yah. Forgot you've got the long commute. That is a long way to ride on a cold day.

You're riding Leesburg to Arlington? I met someone along Custis and W&OD before the holidays who was doing that ride. I don't remember what we discussed.

My toes are actually my weak link right now. I'm fine if I put the MTB pedals on and use the lake boots. I don't like the feel of the MTB pedals on a road fixie though. I may get a set of their road shoes. Who knows.

Keep on rolling. :D

CCrew
01-06-2011, 12:25 PM
You're riding Leesburg to Arlington? I met someone along Custis and W&OD before the holidays who was doing that ride. I don't remember what we discussed.



Depending on how froggy I feel on any given day, I ride from Ashburn/Herndon/Reston to downtown not far from Dupont Circle. Minimum is 22 one way, if I park out by Ashburn closer to 30. Minimum is Reston.

I live in Winchester, so part of the commute is bike on car, since door to door the commute is 84 miles.

Like you, toes are my weak link.

OneEighth
01-06-2011, 12:33 PM
Sidi's winter road boots work have worked very well for me. No need to switch from your road pedal this way either. They do run a bit big---I am a 1/2 size and wish I had rounded down rather than up even with heavy socks---and, if its pouring rain, odds are, the water will work its way in through the top of the boot. Other than that, they are well worth it and are significantly warmer than just toesties over road shoes.

Dirt
01-06-2011, 01:31 PM
Nice commute, CCRew. Not sure even a long bike ride in could vanquish the scars a 50 mile drive each way each day would leave on me.

CCrew
01-06-2011, 04:46 PM
CCrew, would the chemical toe warmers (brand names are Grabbers, Toastitoes, etc.) be okay for you? I use those on the coldest days and my toes don't complain so much.

I don't honestly know, I haven't tried them.

One of the biggest problems with being diabetic is a thing called peripheral neuropathy. You essentially start to lose nerve endings in hands and feet. As a result, they're particularly adamant about things like Toasti-Toes, and foot baths, Epsom Salts, being no-no's. I assume that it's because as those endings start to die off you could put your extremities in boiling water and not feel it until the skin peels. Heck, as much as my feet hurt when cold I questioned the Dr if it was possible that I was going hyper-sensitive, and was told that does happen.

Basically what I try to do is just use common sense. Dress like you think you should but sometimes you honestly have to slug it out. It's not the 10-20-40 minutes that gets me, it's about an hour in that it starts to hurt.
I change out of bike shoes into regular and have a shower at the office, so can warm up pretty quickly. Then I'm usually fine.

PrintError
01-12-2011, 08:30 AM
Hey CCrew, I upgraded this year to a pair of Lake 302s. My feet have been toasty warm even in the arctic cold and snow. 17 this morning on my Kestrel meter and my toes were toasty warm, even with the snow. Not cheap, but Bikeman had a good price on em.

My commute is a little over 18 miles each way, every single day.

brendan
01-12-2011, 09:37 AM
I also purchased a pair of Lake MXZ302 winter shoes from Bikeman which arrived last week (ordered a size larger than my feet measure based on multi-forum recommendations). My standard full leather hiking boots w/ two pairs of wool socks was not working at all near or below freezing. So far, so good, they do work well and aren't snagging on the power grips. Between the lakes and the bar mitts i installed a few weeks prior, my extremities are much happier.

I probably could have gone with winterized hiking boots and saved $50-$100, though. But I suspect I might be trying out clipless pedals this year.

PrintError
01-19-2011, 06:12 AM
Brendan, I tried boots and flat-pedals last winter. Being in the Lakes + SPDs on my studded tire bike this winter makes a HUGE difference. Plus, they're somehow warmer than my big nasty Timberland hikers.