Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Cycling - What Cold Looks Like

When you dress for commuting by bike in temps below freezing, you account for the fact for the fact that your body will be working and generating heat. I mean, if you dressed for standing waiting at a bus stop, you would overheat badly.

If you find yourself slightly under dressed or cold while riding, you can usually change your gearing and/or cadence and warm yourself up. That's why this is what cold looks like:

I've read forum/comment stuff that says when it comes to winter clothing, "cotton kills"!  In a retaining moisture / sweat and freezing you to death while trekking through the mountains sense, that is absolutely true. In a Rantwick riding with cotton jammies (yes, the same ones I slept in) under rain pants in the middle of a comfy city sense, cotton and a general belief that you will be moving constantly makes you cold when a stupid slow train gets in your way.

I was never in danger of freezing to death. If things had gotten really bad, I could have just turned around and ridden my bike in circles or around blocks to stay warm. I chose to sit there with the cars and get cold. For the winter commuting cyclist, trains (or other lengthy stoppages) are what cold looks like. In any case, I'm not going to be so lazy with my clothing choices any more... I have lots of good moisture wicking stuff I should have been wearing.

I'm gonna cool it with the blog thing over the next couple of weeks I think. Vote for your FARATS tree and have a phenomenal new year, everybody! I'll be back then to make a big fuss about mailing maple syrup an so on.

Good vibes to all, and to all a good night!

Yer Pal,


Keri said...

Likewise when it is brutally hot here in summer, it's the standing on hot asphalt at a long light (or train xing) that nearly kills us.

Big props to you and all the others who brave the extreme cold. You should hear the crying down here when the temp drops to 40 (not from me, though... summer of 2009 I promised never again to complain about cold and I have kept that promise).

Steve A said...

It was 85F here today. There MUST be a happy medium...

RANTWICK said...

It's all relative, ain't it? I'm sure that cyclists from Calgary or Edmonton or Alaska would think my riding quite the easy thing.

Keri, I wish all residents of warm places would make that same promise... wtg.

Steve, 85? That is just sick.

Tom Scott said...

I am, sadly, unable to ride to work being as I'm also the family school bus, but last week got caught waiting 5 min for a train at 15 degrees F after having ridden half an hour before - it really sucks the warmth right out of you.

I love your blog - and wish you the best of the winter season!

Ride on!

RANTWICK said...

SH - Hey, thanks for the kind words and same to you; have a great winter yourself!

Apertome said...

Indeed, delays can seriously make you cold! I don't have to cross train tracks on my current commute, but I got stuck a few times on my old one.

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