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Did you fight the cold today? If so, who won?

Posted by on December 7th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Brrrr. See how others bundled up below.
(Photos © J. Maus)

This morning’s commute was one of the coldest (mid-20s without windchill) and windiest I can remember in the five years I’ve lived in Portland. I was curious how many people would set out on their bikes this morning (I know several friends who opted to bus or drive) and I thought it’d be fun to capture those that did on camera.

Did you ride today? If so, share your experiences/tips. If not, perhaps the photos below will inspire you to try tomorrow…

A cold commute-14

A cold commute-13

A cold commute-12

A cold commute-11

A cold commute-10

A cold commute-9

A cold commute-8

A cold commute-1

A cold commute-7

A cold commute-6

A cold commute-5

A cold commute-4

A cold commute-3

A cold commute-2

The forecast will remain cold for several more days. Check out Elly Blue’s article (and all the helpful comments) about how to stay warm on the cheap.

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Tyler
Guest

Decided to walk/mass transit today. More worried about getting blown over than the cold because I figured I could bike hard enough to stay warm.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

I forgot my scarf and instantly regretted it. I also realized that my gloves actually aren’t that great at keeping my fingers warm.

But it was the first time I’d ridden in about a week, and it was still better than taking the bus.

Tyler
Guest

That said, I’m going to give it a shot tomorrow I think. I can’t live with myself without at least trying to brave it.

Paul
Guest
Paul

All hail the mighty balaclava! I was biking around Southeast this morning with nary a chill thanks to mine and a warm pair of gloves.

bikey mama carie
Guest
bikey mama carie

I was inside for 1.5 hr meeting, came out & shifter was frozen in first. Luckily meeting was close to home. Thaw in garage tmrw before morning school commute? Hope so!

Dave
Guest

Longer heavy wool coat over light sweater and mittens did great, I just need a hat that has ear flaps or something, my ears were killing me.

matt
Guest

My commute is pretty much directly East. The biting wind made me want to cry! I’ll be heading out again tonight to
bike the lights at PIR. I’m be working the event, handing out hot cocoa. Brave the cold and check it out!

Cecil
Guest

I walked in to work today, but only because I rode 126 miles in the Willamette Valley yesterday, fighting a steady wind of 15 mph+ with gusts above 25 mph, and windchills in the teens. Praise be for chemical digit warmers, multiple layers of wool and thermal carafes that fit in bottle cages . . .

Anne Hawley
Guest
Anne Hawley

I rode yesterday (merino Ice Breaker cap under helmet, cashmere-lined leather gloves, big pashmina around neck, many layers elsewhere) and the headwind going home northeastward from downtown was enough to wear me out. That’s when it wasn’t a side wind trying to tip me over.

I’m already a pretty large target for the wind; bundling up against the cold just makes me more so, so I gave it a miss today. May brave it tomorrow.

Anne Hawley
Guest
Anne Hawley

PS I LOVE these photos as a group! Nice work.

A-Dub
Guest
A-Dub

The cold wasn’t the problem it was the wind. I, like Matt, had a ride this morning that was headed into the wind the whole way. The only difference from my normal attire was a baclava, an extra pair of socks, my winter riding gloves and long underwear bottoms.

andy
Guest
andy

Meh. When I was in grad school in Winnipeg, my coldest morning ride was -35F (air temperature, not windchill). Regardless, the strategy is the same, and pretty easy: Layer, layer, layer! The outermost layer should be at least some tight-knit fabric which will stop the wind. Wear mittens (if you can) as opposed to gloves. Wear a hat. If you’re going to be outside in the wind for an extended period of time, cover your face with a scarf you can breathe through.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Broke out with the scarf today for the first time. Hate to ride with it on, but it’s the only way to combat weather this cold. But even with my winter gloves my hands still froze.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Layers! And snow gloves instead of bike gloves.

Got a little bit of an ice layer on my mustache generated by my breath by the time I got to work. It was fun having the tail wind going over the Broadway bridge for once. It’s going to be a PITA on the way home if the wind keeps up without changing direction.

Really wasn’t too bad with the layers and gloves.

hemp22
Guest
hemp22

i learned that the AAA batteries in my superflash tail lights don’t hold up well to the cold temps – i have 2 of them and both were extremely faint by the time i got in to work (before the sun came up).

I didn’t wear my super-warm gloves, so my hands could’ve been warmer – but the eyes were the only thing that really bothered me – could’ve used ski goggles

Nick V
Guest
Nick V

I rode today and I can’t say enough out my Pearl Izumi lobster claw gloves. I was amazed at how warm my hands were when I got to the office. Cold hands and fingers are usually my undoing. I’ll have to break out the balaclava this evening and I am, for once, NOT looking forward to the ride home.

Wind + cold + dark = Unhappy Nick V

Nick V
Guest
Nick V

PS – I’d trade this weather for the 107 degree temps last summer in a heartbeat. Just saying…..

Ed
Guest
Ed

Layers, mittens, balaclava worked fine for me.

Don’t have a balaclava? Make a ninja mask out of a thermal shirt. Looks really goofy but it works great.

Paul S
Guest

It was a draw. I rode into work, but I didn’t take my son to daycare. My wife chauffeured him in the car. I wore my usual rain kit but closed all the perspiration vents, which was…sufficient.

But my ride home is all uphill, and the wind at my back.

Cold + windy but nothing like other places I’ve lived like Billings, MT. I kept my brain warm today thinking of my brother in Minneapolis. Meh, I guess it’s always worse somewhere else.

Nick V: I will meditate on 107F on the way home…

toddistic
Guest
toddistic

It was cold today but I’m thankful we aren’t contending with black ice.

Kate
Guest
Kate

The only thing that saved my morning commute was the fact that practically the entire commute is up a really, really steep hill. While I was cursing the lack of a scarf when I set out, by the time I got 1/3 of the way up the hill, I was no longer cold at all.

The ride down was a different story! Despite my layers (wool tights and jeans on the bottom, 5 layers of wool and silk, plus a Burley coat on top), and gloves (Cyclone) I could hardly tolerate it. My fingers were so numb I could barely hold my housekeys to open the door. And this is an easy 15 minute ride home!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

oy. It’s a draw. My ride is short, but the wind put up a pretty good fight. I was just warm enough, but my eyes were streaming and I could barely get moving forward. I’m still on the fence about bike past the lights; icy cold + dark + wind may be too much for me.

Grimm
Guest
Grimm

Today is the first day I have noticed my eyebrows got cold. Its seriously colder than it was during epic snow storm ’08.

Ryan G.
Guest
Ryan G.

I was comfortable this morning, and my “kit” wasn’t too different from most days. My only regret was not having my balaclava (definitely digging that out for tomorrow!) because my face was really cold when I was screaming downhill on 15th just south of Alberta.

Things that were lifesavers: my Mountain Hardwear gore-tex windstopper fleece; my sweet Shaun Deller wool cycling cap with cashmere ear-flaps (which I picked up Saturday at Bike Craft); delicious, strong, black, hot coffee at Stumptown (right by my office- sweet!) before going to the office.

Case
Guest
Case

Grimm, I like to think of the epic snow storm as “The Great Whiskey Shortage of 2008”. Anyhow, winter cap with earflaps, winter lobster gloves, double front pants, wool wife beater below shirt below wool sweater below Team Beer (Brrrrrr?) winter jacket kept me pretty toasty. Could have used shoe booties though.

velo
Guest
velo

It was 16 when I left this morning, in St. Paul MN. I’m a recent transplant to MN from Portland and it’s brisk riding here.

It’s supposed to snow 6-8 inches on Wednesday, I’ve got the studded tires ready! Hopefully it’ll warm up in Portland.

Some thoughts on staying warm in the cold:

Generally layers are good. Don’t over dress or you’ll end up drenched in sweat and then cold.

Hands: Mittens beat gloves. Get something large, well insulated and windproof. Liner gloves inside mittens also help. Pogies, basically giant mittens attached to your bars, are super warm and popular with friends who ride all winter in Alaska.

Face: Goggles or glasses are good to cover the eyes. I cover my face with a mask when it drops below ~10-15.

Head: A windproof hat is good. Swix also makes little ear muffs that keep the ears toasty.

Legs: Windproof insulated tights rock, add some long underwear and I’m set. Wool pants are also good. Leg bands seal out the drafts. Rain pants over other pants are also pretty warm.

Torso: A windproof insulated jacket is a good start, or a rain shell over fleece. Toss that over a wool sweater, long underwear and good to go! I’ve worn my down jacket when it is really bitter. The new wool long underwear by Ibex, Icebreaker and Smartwool rocks. It’s spendy, but great if you can afford it. Mine has lasted very well.

Feet: Liner socks and then Smartwool socks work great. For bike shoes toe/shoe covers are nice. My feet are usually warm so others might have better advice.

I’ve been working on my attitude and keep trying to think, it’s never a bad time to ride! It’s never a bad time to ride! Ride on!

katelyn
Guest
katelyn

I usually ride my bike to work MWF, bus it on TTH: today I checked the temp while eating breakfast: 24 degrees WOAH. But, even though I didn’t know if it’d be for better or for worse I decided to stick to the ol schedule.
What worked:
– rain jacket with all them vents closed up and hoodie up! (never do this, but that hood protects agains wet AND cold! yes.)
– alpaca scarf up over the chin. But not under the chinstrap.
– windproof gloves, under alpaca mittens (i thought it should have been windproof over warmie-warm, but those mittens did the trick!)

yay. gear. thank you!

dan
Guest
dan

I used: earwarmers, neck warmer/neck gaiter, ski/snowboard gloves rather than bike gloves, and some cheap plastic rain pants that don’t breathe. I was acceptably warm – mitts would have been more comfortable, but I still had feeling in my fingers when I got into work.

davidio
Guest
davidio

There is no bad weather – only poor preparation.

JP
Guest

I had to get to work an hour early, so I took the 6 A.M. bus. It’s the first time this winter I’ve wimped out, I’ll be back to riding tomorrow, my balaclava, scarf and mittens are ready.

John Lascurettes
Guest

I be remiss if I didn’t plug my wife’s ingenious helmet muffs. They kept my ears plenty warm this morning. She sold a lot at Bike Craft and is working crazily to get her Etsy storefront complete.

Helmuffs by Gigi’s Handy Work.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Oh, blast. I got that URL wrong (bad hubby!). Here it is:

Helmuffs by Gigi’s Handy Work.

Ethan
Guest

Sadly, my bike was at my destination (work) . . . I walked to work for the first time ever. I could have picked a better day.

BicycleDave
Guest
BicycleDave

The cold and Dick’s Sporting Goods were the winners on my commute. My lobster gloves are usually warm enough, but after 11 miles my fingers could barely hold the keys to lock my bike. Bought some thermax glove liners for the trip home at the mall.

Anon
Guest
Anon

Skateboarded to work today. Woohoo!

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

Toasty on Sun night and Mon morning. Bike tights underneath lycra sport pants, wind resistant gloves, 1 cotton layer under a wind resistant neoprene jacket. Sunday I wore a fleece cap under my helemt but that was way too warm.

If it had actually been cold (e.g. below zero) I would have added another cotton layer, double gloves, long johns, rain pants, double wool socks, and a baclava.

cold worker
Guest
cold worker

+1 for andy(12) and nick v.(17)

my ride was cold but *nothing* compared to many of my mpls winter rides. that’s what i kept telling myself anyways.

wind-proofing is the key. you can wear surprisingly light clothing, even in sub-zero temps, if you have an outer wind-proof layer. velo, that’s for you. you are gonna have days that hurt it’s so cold! keep riding though!

stace
Guest
stace

rode st. johns to inner SE this morning. If I had checked the weather report I might have opted to drive. Fingers were chilly for the first couple of miles and then my feet started to get cold with the wind. All in all not to bad- I found myself wishing that I had more uphill riding on the way into the office just to keep warm…. look like I’ll have that now that it’s about time to make the journey home! This time with extra neoprene booties over my shoes 🙂

Joe
Guest
Joe

dude you looked me today! hard to breath with that over the mouth, fun times 🙂

be safe everyone! Tuesday colder. woo
Joe
Wilsonville

BicycleDave
Guest
BicycleDave

A face mask sounds like a good idea, but I’m still trying to figure out how to wear an Ottoman pastry on my face to keep warm.

eric
Guest
eric

ski goggles + snowboard helmet
neck-gaiter pulled up over mouth
mid-weight smartwool +wool t-shirt + softshell
rain pants + trousers + long johns + shoecovers
Leather mildly insulated gloves: marmot work gloves – need something heavier.

by the time I got to school I was a sweaty mess. On the way home I skipped the wool t-shirt, and could have skipped the rain pants, because I was a sweaty mess by the time I got home.

dutch
Guest
dutch

I commuted on my tall bike today, where the winds always seem a little worse.

It was cold, real cold, but thats what its supposed to be in december.

I was well prepared though, with nearly free gear/clothing from the bins and freebox’s. (mismatched)Leather gloves, spandex under thick pants, thick leather jacket, cotton facesock (covers lower face, nose and ears) and a thick baseball cap. When it gets this cold its really just about making sure everything is covered. Only the inch slit for my eyes was exposed, and even then, not really as I was wearing sunglasses.

Still cold, but tolerable and the nice brisk air is a treat.

carless in pdx
Guest
carless in pdx

Biked a bit out today, my day off, just had to run some errands. Quite pleasant, actually, with the right apparel:

-longjohns under my pants (just normal jeans)
-wool socks (cheap columbias)
-sweater
-insulating jacket
-scarf
-wool beanie
-motorcycle winter gloves

-but of course, the most important thing to have: the turtle fur neck gaiter. Don’t leave home without it, EVER:

http://www.rei.com/product/769865

jh
Guest
jh

I fought the cold starting at 5:00 this morning. My $8 wool pants and sweater from Goodwill gave me the upper hand. I won!!!!! Bring the cold!!!!

carless in pdx
Guest
carless in pdx
Joshua Bryant
Guest

I braved the cold, and the only thing I remember “feeling” cold (all of me was a little cold) was my left thumb. How’d I do it? Thin wool socks under thicker socks under shoecovers. Thin wool Longjohn bottoms under LG windfront tights. Zipneck wool LS under SS and LS woolistic jerseys under rainjacket. Gore windblocker skullcap. Liner gloves under shell gloves. (coulda used slightly thicker liner gloves and maybe a balaclava.) Worked great! Started out a little cold, but my temperature went up and was cozy at a slower than typical speed for me. 15 mile RT commute.

Carl B.
Guest
Carl B.

Tomorrow I’ll wear something over my ears. Everything else was fine.

John Walker
Guest

Why wouldn’t I ride today? Out to Gresham in the headwind and back again. I did attempt to wear a pair of Burley non-permeable rain pants over my Sugoi pants and it seemed ok but the sweat froze in between the layers. That seemed a little silly when I got to work. And I passed MOST of the inbound commuters I see every day anyway. Way to go folks!

Eric in Seattle
Guest
Eric in Seattle

It was about 28 here in Ballard when I left this morning. mid-high 20s and dry still doesn’t feel as cold to me as 40 and raining. I wore jeans, shoe covers, a couple of thin layers layers on top plus a wind shell, hat, (not very thick) gloves and Bar Mitts. I was slightly overdressed.

joel
Guest

rode in at 7am, back out at 5. ne mlk/killingsworth to downtown, and then all day around town. sw was definitely colder, or at least windier, than southeast. se seemed balmy by comparison. 23 when i left the house, 29 when i got back.

medium weight cycling socks, midweight hiking socks, sambas. bib shorts, full-length thermal bib tights, long cutoff shorts. heavy wool undershirt, light wool undershirt, tshirt, wool jersey, midweight windproof fleece. lobsterclaw gloves, beanie hat. pretty much fine. earrings got positively frigid at points, though, sticking out beneath the hat! ow. probably put in another thin layer top and bottom tomorrow, cause its due to be slightly colder in the morning, i think.