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History: WinterRidingTips

Comparing version 30 with version 36


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!!Overdressing/Underdressing
*Being dangerously cold (hypothermia) will probably not be a problem, as long as you are riding, wear a reasonable outfit, and stay reasonably dry. A cyclist generates a lot of heat, and it's much easier to be overdressed (and get soaked in sweat that can't evaporate as it does in the summer) than underdressed. If you're new to winter cycling, this is an important point - you probably already have the clothing you need: you'll just need to experiment with the combinations of garments that work for you.
- *Frostbite, however, is definitely a danger when the air temperature is below freezing, and just getting cold extremities (ears, toes, fingers, and face) is a very uncomfortable problem below 50 F or so.
+ *Frostbite, however, is definitely a danger when the air temperature is below freezing, and just getting cold extremities (ears, toes, fingers, and face) is a very uncomfortable problem below 50 F or so. New 2010: It is somewhat comforting to know that, no matter how uncomfortable you get, you can't get tissue damage from frostbite if the temperature is above freezing (and windchill is not a factor) -- just be careful of hypothermia (cold extremities is an early sign): it can impair your judgment, putting you at risk for other serious injuries (like running into parked cars)!
*Because cyclists travel so much faster than walkers or runners, they have to deal with much more sever wind-chill. This bears on both the dangers of frostbite and hypothermia.
*One of our panelists has a philosophy of never sweating in the winter months. This usually means being cold for the first mile, then comfortable for the rest of the ride.

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!!Feet
*Your feet may get cold, and this is an important thing to deal with. It's not something that should prevent you from riding, but it might if you don't take the necessary steps. Some people never get cold feet, but if you do, you may need to buy some high-end socks and possibly boots. All agreed that not cutting off circulation is important -- too many socks is not a help without bigger shoes. It is important not to let your feet stay cold, as they are hard to warm up, so a good trick is to get off the bike and walk for a bit at the first signs of cold toes: walking motion pumps blood through the feet better than cycling, and there is less wind chill.
- *Some panelists like to use waterproof shoe covers over non-waterproof footwear. This doesn't add very much to warmth, but provides a windbreaking effect. If your shoes are warm enough already, this may be enough. (Burley used to make an excellent version of these, but have discontinued them -- it is rumored that Community Cycling Center in Portland has taken up producing them. new 2009: http://www.catoregon.org/?page_id=577 Plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in are a good waterproof layer that does not add bulk. Various theories about cleats/toe straps/flat pedals were proffered, each with advantages.
+ *Some panelists like to use waterproof shoe covers over non-waterproof footwear. This doesn't add very much to warmth, but provides a windbreaking effect. If your shoes are warm enough already, this may be enough. Burley used to make an excellent version of these for non-cleated shoes, but have discontinued them -- New 2010: they are now being produced and sold at the Eugene Bicycle Works of the Center for Appropriate Transport: http://www.catoregon.org/?page_id=577 Plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in are a good waterproof layer that does not add bulk. Various theories about cleats/toe straps/flat pedals were proffered, each with advantages.
*Feet are almost impossible to keep warm if they are always getting sprayed with water, so fenders, with a spray flap on the back of the front fender, are key to warm feet. New 2010: Jim showed off his prototype spats -- a bit different than these from caradice: http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&under=other&product_id=67.
*If you like riding on cleated pedals very much, you can get bicycle-specific boots that take cleats for about $200. Alternately, you can mount cleats to some non-specific boots. There is a page at [http://www.freewheel.com/mvw/shoes.html|freewheel.com] with more information on this. new 2010 only 2 out of ~30 attendees use clip-in pedals in the winter. Most use flats, a few use toestraps.

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*One panelist much prefers a singlespeed for winter riding. He appreciates not having to maintain derailleurs and doesn't mind getting there a bit more slowly. Most use knobby tires in snow, but some swear that skinny tires cut through snow down to the pavement -- definitely true in heavy, soft (warm) slush with lots of ruts. Diversion hazards from car-tire ruts are the most common winter handling problem, but easy to anticipate, unlike black ice...
- *Studded tires are nice on ice. (NEW! see this great page: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp
+ *Studded tires are nice on ice. (NEW 2010 see this great page: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp
- It doesn't come up in Cleveland much, but if you're worried about those extreme days, get some. The traction is amazing: you'll be riding circles around the cars sliding all over. The ones that are good enough to be worth buying are about $100 a pair, but they last. If you can only afford one. put it on the front and you'll get 80% of the benefit. You don't want to ride studs on clear pavement, as they are heavy, have high rolling resistance, and it wears the studs faster (if cheap steel rather than carbide), so spare wheels are nice, so you don't have to change cold dirty tires on the morning of the big storm. One caution: a panelist had a bad crash caused by a front blowout from a separated valve, apparently due to the studs' high rolling resistance on pavement, compounded by a loose-fitting tire and inflation at the low end of the range (trying for even more traction). So talc your tubes, and keep the pressure up! New 2010: we have several commercially-available models in the OCBC library to try before you buy (as well as the home-made ones below).
+ It doesn't come up in Cleveland much, but if you're worried about those extreme days, get some. The traction is amazing: you'll be riding circles around the cars sliding all over. The ones that are good enough to be worth buying are about $100 a pair, but they last. If you can only afford one. put it on the front and you'll get 80% of the benefit. You don't want to ride studs on clear pavement, as they are heavy, have high rolling resistance, and it wears the studs faster (if cheap steel rather than carbide), so spare wheels are nice, so you don't have to change cold dirty tires on the morning of the big storm. One caution: a panelist had a bad crash caused by a front blowout from a separated valve, apparently due to the studs' high rolling resistance on pavement, compounded by a loose-fitting tire and inflation at the low end of the range (trying for even more traction). So talc your tubes, and keep the pressure up! New 2009: we have several commercially-available models in the OCBC library to try before you buy (as well as the home-made ones below).
!!*Home-made studded tires:
- We have used small sheet-metal screws to stud a few tires for our ski-bikes. They work well, but don't have enough mileage to tell how they last. The secret we found is to pre-drill snall holes from the outside, so you can get them exactly where you want (in the lugs, more toward the edges of the tread). The holes will be visible from the inside, where they are a huge help to get the screws started, too. (We screwed from the inside out, and used a tread cut from a smooth tire as a liner to protect the tube from the screw heads. Heads on the outside might avoid that extra weight, but would have to be very short to work, and thus might pull out.)
+ We have used small sheet-metal screws to stud a few tires for our ski-bikes. They work well, but don't have enough mileage to tell how they last. The secret we learned was to pre-drill small holes into the lugs (knobs) from the outside of the tire, so you can get them exactly where you want (the tires we used had convenient little dimples in the center of the lugs which made starting the hole easy). We chose to put them in the row of lugs more toward the edges of the tread -- to help with cornering, theoretically. The holes will be visible from the inside, where they are a huge help to get the screws started, too. (We screwed from the inside out, and used a tread cut from a smooth tire as a liner to protect the tube from the screw heads. Heads on the outside might avoid that extra weight, but would have to be very short to not puncture the tire casing and tube, and thus would likely pull out. Someday we may try an automotive stud gun.)

!Visibility

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*The tip above about wearing an extra layer for the first mile is one that makes the shock of the cold easier to take - if you put the extra layer on ten minutes before you leave, you'll probably even be too hot. That will make you want to get outside!
*Ride a bike you like! It will be easier to get out there and ride if you are going to enjoy it. People like to ride cheap bikes in the winter so they won't ruin something nice, but you have to ride something nice enough to have fun. Compromise.
- *If you ride to work in the winter, your coworkers will think you're crazy and probably annoy you to no end. The panelists didn't have a solution for this issue (though one who rides to work every day in the winter makes a point to drive his car on the first really nice day of spring, just to keep them guessing... New 2009: the same member [Ralph] uses this wise employer-placating strategy, which is also applicable in the summer: build an extra 15 minutes into your bike commute to stop at the coffee shop nearest to your workplace. That way you usually have a relaxing cool-down period just before you get to work; and if you have a flat or other delay, you just miss a coffee stop instead of giving the boss another reason to think your bike commuting is stupid). So in case you're a coworker reading this: really, we're fine.
+ *If you ride to work in the winter, your coworkers will think you're crazy and probably annoy you to no end. The panelists didn't have a solution for this issue (though one who rides to work every day in the winter makes a point to drive his car on the first really nice day of spring, just to keep them guessing...) New 2009: the same member (Ralph) uses this wise employer-relations strategy (also applicable in the summer): build an extra 15 minutes into your bike commute to stop at the coffee shop nearest to your workplace. That way you have a relaxing cool-down period just before you get to work; and if you have a flat or other delay, you just miss a coffee stop instead of giving the boss another reason to think your bike commuting is a stupid frivolity). So in case you're a coworker reading this: really, we're fine.

!Links

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!Chili
- Served at this and many of our other cold-weather events. Serves 30.
+ Served at this and many of our other cold-weather events. Serves 30+.
*In 16 qt. pot, sort, rinse and soak:
5 lbs dried beans: kidney, pinto and red is a good mix, but any will do.
*Boil, then simmer until most are barely tender, and add:
2 lbs dried lentils
- *Cook another hour, stirring to check the lentils don't stick and burn. The pot will be about half full. Remove 2 qts of the cooking liquid, or if there is not enough, use hot water to thin and mix:
+ *Cook another hour, stirring to check the lentils don't stick and burn. The pot will be about half full. Then, using ~2 qts of the cooking liquid (or hot water if there is not enough liquid), thin and mix together:
24 oz. tomato paste
~2 cups chili powder

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~1/8 cup pepper
~1/8 cup lemon juice
+ ~1/8 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
~1/4 cup molasses
~1 1/2 cups olive or other oil (obviously salt and oil can be reduced, but why?)
- *Stir into beans and bring to simmer, stirring from the bottom frequently to avoid scorching. Add water to adjust consistency. Adjust seasoning, and the chili is done, for pickey eaters. At this point, to prevent burning while finishing and serving, you should put the pot on a metal trivet, wire rack or a trio of spoons in a deep pan mostly full of hot water, or you will have to stir almost constantly.
*F
or more interesting chili, remove about half the chili to another pot, to make room to add:
12 bell peppers, diced the size of your largest beans. Yellow, red or hungarian are nice, green are cheaper.
+ *Stir this flavoring into the beans and bring to simmer, stirring from the bottom frequently to avoid scorching. Add water to adjust consistency. Adjust seasoning, and the chili is done, for pickey eaters.

At this point you should put the pot in a water bath: set it on a metal trivet, wire rack, or a few spoons in a deep pan mostly full of hot water, or you will have to stir almost constantly to prevent it from burning while finishing and serving. />
*F
or more interesting chili, add:
12 bell peppers, diced the size of the largest beans. Yellow, red or hungarian are nice, green are cheaper.
~ 6 cups corn. Fresh (12 ears worth) is best. a #10 can will do.
- * Heat thoroughly, stiring frequently, to cook the vegis until just done, or a little crunchy if you like. Now you can return the rest of the chili to the pot (it should all just fit) and adjust seasoning again. Serve with:
+ * Heat thoroughly, stirring frequently, to cook the vegis until just done, or a little crunchy if you like. (If using a 16qt. pot, you'll want to remove about half the chili to another pot, to make room to stir all this together -- you can return the rest of the chili to the pot when done (it should all just fit). /> />Adjust seasoning.
/>Serve with:
~ 4 cups (two large) onions. fine diced
2 lbs. cheddar cheese, coarse grated

History

Legend: v=view, c=compare, d=diff
Date UserIpComment Version Action
Mon 13 of Dec., 2010 21:25 UTC JSheehan76.243.181.210 EBW 36
Current
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Mon 13 of Dec., 2010 21:03 UTC JSheehan76.243.181.210   35  v  c  d  
Fri 10 of Dec., 2010 20:53 UTC JSheehan75.10.153.119   34  v  c  d  
Fri 10 of Dec., 2010 20:40 UTC JSheehan75.10.153.119   33  v  c  d  
Fri 10 of Dec., 2010 20:29 UTC JSheehan75.10.153.119   32  v  c  d  
Fri 10 of Dec., 2010 20:19 UTC JSheehan75.10.153.119   31  v  c  d  
Fri 10 of Dec., 2010 19:59 UTC JSheehan75.10.153.119 ralph's coffee stop 30  v  c  d  
Fri 10 of Dec., 2010 19:46 UTC JSheehan75.10.153.119 Planet Bike Superflash 29  v  c  d  
Fri 10 of Dec., 2010 19:37 UTC JSheehan75.10.153.119   28  v  c  d  
Fri 10 of Dec., 2010 19:14 UTC JSheehan75.10.153.119 http://www.catoregon.org/?page_id=577 27  v  c  d  
Tue 07 of Dec., 2010 21:56 UTC JSheehan76.241.102.180   26  v  c  d  
Mon 23 of March, 2009 13:04 UTC JSheehan68.166.182.41   25  v  c  d  
Mon 23 of March, 2009 12:48 UTC JSheehan68.166.182.41   24  v  c  d  
Tue 28 of Oct., 2008 20:55 UTC JSheehan76.241.109.156 2008 23  v  c  d  
Thu 17 of Jan., 2008 06:28 UTC JSheehan24.14.94.146 pit zips 22  v  c  d  
Thu 29 of Nov., 2007 01:51 UTC pgarver76.241.108.75   21  v  c  d  
Mon 19 of Feb., 2007 20:26 UTC JSheehan70.229.194.16 links 20  v  c  d  
Mon 19 of Feb., 2007 20:22 UTC JSheehan70.229.194.16 links 19  v  c  d  
Mon 19 of Feb., 2007 19:58 UTC JSheehan70.229.194.16 chain maint. 18  v  c  d  
Mon 19 of Feb., 2007 19:43 UTC JSheehan70.229.194.16 studs 17  v  c  d  
Mon 19 of Feb., 2007 18:44 UTC JSheehan70.229.194.16   16  v  c  d  
Fri 02 of Feb., 2007 18:30 UTC JSheehan70.227.79.139 fixed copy problem, chili headline 15  v  c  d  
Tue 30 of Jan., 2007 00:56 UTC JSheehan66.72.201.50   14  v  c  d  
Mon 29 of Jan., 2007 21:28 UTC JSheehan66.72.201.50   13  v  c  d  
Mon 29 of Jan., 2007 21:25 UTC JSheehan66.72.201.50   12  v  c  d  
Mon 11 of Dec., 2006 21:47 UTC JSheehan66.72.161.64   11  v  c  d  
Tue 28 of Nov., 2006 21:31 UTC JSheehan68.254.149.24 feet stuff 10  v  c  d  
Sat 11 of Nov., 2006 20:43 UTC pgarver70.227.78.46   9  v  c  d  
Sat 11 of Nov., 2006 20:11 UTC pgarver70.227.78.46   8  v  c  d  
Sat 11 of Nov., 2006 20:09 UTC pgarver70.227.78.46   7  v  c  d  
Sat 11 of Nov., 2006 19:56 UTC pgarver70.227.78.46   6  v  c  d  
Thu 09 of Nov., 2006 01:46 UTC pgarver70.227.78.237   5  v  c  d  
Thu 09 of Nov., 2006 01:45 UTC pgarver70.227.78.237   4  v  c  d  
Thu 09 of Nov., 2006 01:38 UTC pgarver70.227.78.237   3  v  c  d  
Thu 09 of Nov., 2006 00:41 UTC pgarver70.227.78.237   2  v  c  d  
Wed 08 of Nov., 2006 23:30 UTC pgarver70.227.78.237   1  v  c  d