Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cold weather update

As for cold weather commuting, I needed to just get out and do it. The more reading and research I did on it was just discouraging me, because it all focused on what could go wrong and how ruined your bike will be by the time spring shows up.

The local temperature was -8 to -7 C (high teens F) on my way in today. I know this isn't setting any North American records, but it was cold enough that most people went out the door of their house and wished their car was already warmed up. My fingertips were cold at the start, then after my core heated up, my fingers warmed up too. I've been planning to get some new gloves for weeks now.

My toes got cold by the end of my ride. This morning I tried wearing running shoes with warm ski socks with a layer of plastic on the outside of my socks. I figured the plastic would cut down on the air flow through my shoes. I'd give it about a B+ for effectiveness. It worked, but if it were much colder it could have been bad.

I installed my studded tires last night. They definitely feel more sluggish. Noise was not an issue at all. All those complaints must have been referring to tires with full ice studs. My tires have about 100 studs and they don't stick out very far.

When my ride started, I was thinking about how my tires were a bit of overkill for these dry clear roads. Then in the final 20 minutes it started to snow and the roads turned a deep grey colour with a mischievous glisten. I was happy to have the little bit of extra grip in case the asphalt decided to ice over. A little later on, I hopped up onto a paved snow covered shoulder and felt no slipping at all. I haven't put them to the real test yet thought.

With the tires, the cold, and a general feeling of calm this morning, my ride took a full hour instead of the usual 50 to 55 minutes. That's perfectly fine with me.

On top of all the usual benefits of cycling, exercising in this colder weather is great decongestant. It gives me that feeling of having satisfying, lung clearing coughs. Everyone around me is probably convinced I'm getting a cold, but I'm sure they're wrong. (really, I'm sure)

Darren J 12/07/2005 11:03:00 a.m.


I've been dying to do some snow riding. I'm happy that I'll be picking up my winter bike from the shop on Saturday. Woowoo!

I was standing around, waiting for the bus on my way home last week during a snowfall and I was practically leaping out of my skin wanting to just run home or something.

I love bikes, and I love snow. Bring it on!

Make sure you are wearing wool socks. Much toastier/warmer than cotton ones.

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