View Full Version : Breaking for winter?

12-16-2006, 10:59 AM
At what point, if any, do we put up our bikes for the winter?

I want to be all hardcore but even my short ride home from bus stop last night was pretty slick and annoying, including a near instant brain freeze (and I thought only Slurpees and ice cream did that).

What do y'all do about it?

12-16-2006, 12:34 PM
Dress for the weather and put fenders on my bike. The weather here is never bad enough to make riding undoable all it takes is a little preparation and dry clothes at your destination.

Tips, absolutely no cotton, wear wool and lycra and maybe some goretex in there. I find it easier to just wear clothing that is still warm when wet rather than trying to keep dry with proper goretex raingear which is always a losing battle.

12-16-2006, 12:38 PM
i'm from here, but lived in minneapolis for a little over 2 years. i rode daily no matter what. snow, ice, below zero daytime highs. i wasn't a fan of the snow, cold was sort of ok, but the snow. i hate it. but i have no license or car and worked in a bike shop (can you imagine the shit i'd get for not biking to work at a bike shop?) so keep riding...

12-16-2006, 06:14 PM
If I was really uncomfortable with the weather, I'd go find a bus and put my bike on the rack. I just don't see unridable weather week after week around here.

12-18-2006, 03:16 PM
So far this winter, I have ridden through: two feet of standing water and at least eight inches of fast current, winds gusting up to 45mph, torrential downpours, a snowstorm that dropped 4-5 inches in six hours, and roads covered in 3 inches of glare ice on long 9% grades. I have had to avoid fallen trees, detour around construction zones, and watch for cars moving completely sideways. Through it all I never had the slightest doubt that I was having a much better time getting where I needed to be than anyone in the cars, and frequently getting there faster. Most recently, the sight of traffic stopped for almost a mile because the drivers had found the one gas station in the vicinity that had not had its power interrupted by the windstorm made me chortle uproariously as I breezed past them. All you need is determination, a bit of skill, and appropriate equipment. See http://www.icebike.org/ for some extreme cases. Looks like fun, yes?

Cecil M
12-18-2006, 05:26 PM
In November we had that first freezing weather. I was riding across the Hawthorne bridge and slit out on a sheet of ice. I never saw the ice until i was sliding across it. I took the next two days off to make sure the ice was gone. If it's freezing temps outside and there is moisture on the road I am on the bus from now on.
as for this week. dress warm and enjoy the ride.

norse rider
12-18-2006, 07:08 PM
I fell on my arse this morning. Damn ice is hard to see. No big fall but I think I will take afew days off and wait for the temps to rise. The rain is alright to deal with but ice is a nothing to mess around with. Spring is sounding really good right now!

12-18-2006, 08:19 PM
Frankly, when the wind and the rain are lashing me about, the road barely visible through my glasses, and the water seeping through my socks, I just imagine Wagner's Ride of the Valkeries playing loudly. It makes me feel like I'm on a mission. God, I love the smell of wet spandex in the morning.

But seriously, it's all about the gear. Get yourself something that covers your head and ears -- under your helmet, of course. Get some coverings to go over your shoes, and some good underwear that wicks moisture. If you're going a long way, get an outer top and pants that are warm and breathable, along with a waterproof pack to put a change of clothes in. If you're going a shorter distance, get rainproof top and pants that will keep you dry. That's what works for me.

Freezing temperatures is where I draw the line. I don't mind the other conditions much, but ice is just plain dangerous, especially because you often cannot see it. Yup, it's the bus for me tomorrow morning. Damn I hate that rolling germ incubator, but slightly less than I hate falling on pavement, in traffic.

12-19-2006, 01:29 AM
move to the upper midwest (really, don't. it's not that great) and ride through the winter (surprising amounts of people do...) and nothing will phase you ever again. tonight on the way home the thermometer on 11th and sandy or so, it said 29 degrees. cold for sure! but after riding in 19 or 8 or -12 degrees (and then windchill of course), well, 29 don't seem too bad. i've been back home now for almost 3 years but cold like that leaves an impression.

keep riding...


12-19-2006, 07:38 AM
Remember that ice storm in January that shut down the city for 24 hrs ? I heard a rumor that Pete at the Bike Gallery rode in to the Hollywood store on a mere 10 lbs of air pressure in his MTB wheels ! Now, we can all learn from that ! Pete rocks in many other ways too...... :)

12-19-2006, 08:37 AM
Indeed, ice can be the joker in the pack when it comes to winter riding, and I must admit that among my other marvellous adventures this winter I have to include premature impact with the riding surface due to sheet ice. Low pressure in knobby tires will help a lot, and heightened awareness coupled with a willingness to slow down or put a foot down are also invaluable, but what really trumps the ice card is: studs. The trick is to have them on before you need them; not always easy. I have been known to carry them with me in uncertain weather, and even change tires on the road when conditions change. However you approach it, though, studs rule.

12-20-2006, 10:02 PM
I have ridden through winters in eastern washington, idaho and montana. portland is wetter but, my beard has yet to develope a thick layer of icecicles like it has in the past, just keep on riding you will be fine. on icey days run the lowest psi as possible, keep your cadence smooth and don't slam on the brakes. come this spring you will feel like a hero.