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Monday, January 17, 2011


Despite a pretty dramatic start, the winter so far has been very nice for riding. This morning was the coldest ride in so far this winter (I think) at -14C. The thing is, -14 is great. Anything below -10 is fine with me. Getting a little more below freezing really makes everything less messy and wet, and I'll happily trade colder for dryer any day.

For me, -14 is cold enough that I consider covering my cheeks mouth and nose with my balaclava, but don't do it. My goggles and covering my head and ears remains enough. I went sliding (sledding, tobogganing, whatever) with the young Rantwicks yesterday and it was fun. I left my more serious gloves in the car however, and Mrs. Rantwick drove off with them this morning. My lighter (and brighter) gloves aren't great in truly cold weather. My fingers did hurt at first, but -14 is warm enough that if I make a conscious effort to ride hard it will take care of fingers and toes, which it did today.

So, thus far I have been spoiled this winter. If every winter ride could be done at -14 under clear skies, I would be a very happy winter bike commuter. Sadly, the "normals" for London Ontario in mid January are closer to -4 or so. I hope the abnormally cold weather holds up... it is way nicer to ride in. Who knows, maybe I could break my record of -23! That would be cool.

I sometimes wonder if other winter cyclists in London like it colder too. It doesn't seem that way because I see fewer riders out there with me. Maybe I'm just weird because I was born and raised in Thunder Bay and Kenora, where normals are quite a but lower.

How About You? What Kind of Cold Suits You Best?


Skyers said...

I am also in London and I rode to work today too! I agree that the colder it gets the better the riding. I do wear a 1/2 face neoprene mask and my ski goggles when I ride. I have NO exposed skin, Im not sure how your cheeks do not get frost bite, only my lips are exposed and I can still feel them tingling a bit from the cold this morn.
There was another day a few weeks ago that was about this cold but much windier than today..
You should put up a online wind chill calc to really see what temps you are exposed to...
-15 with a 20km/h riding speed produces a wind chill of -24!!

RANTWICK said...

Hey, I'm glad somebody else gets the colder is better thing. I am a crusty resistor of windchill and humidex calculations. I don't really know why, but I hate 'em.

lifein360 said...

Minus 30 this morn in Ottawa. I can't imagine being outside for more than a few minutes. Biking? LOL

RANTWICK said...

360 - I don't know, man. I think you need to talk to this Ottawa woman...

She's got the same disease as I.

Anonymous said...

do you really refer to your family as the Rantwicks?

Steve A said...

Crazy Canadians!

Big Oak said...

I agree - the colder, the better, to a degree. I am, however, looking forward to riding in weather above 0C again. Might get that chance tomorrow, however freezing rain is coming. Back into the deep freeze tomorrow night. Nothing you couldn't handle though.

RANTWICK said...

Anon - um, not in real life. Only here where I try to protect their anonymity for the obvious reason that I could be very embarrassing to them

Chandra said...

I can stand to ride till it gets to about 8 deg. F.

I haven't had an opportunity to ride in colder weather below 8 deg. F, since I left Canada.

Even when I lived in Canada, I didn't ride much during the winter.

Man, you is tough!

Peace :)

RANTWICK said...

8 F = -13.3 C, so you've been down at a nice temp Chandra. Tough? Other Canadian riders would scoff at that. London is pretty mild compared to much of the country.

Thanks though. Tough is not a word people often use to describe me.

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