Below zero biking!

Posted by Nate in Bike Commuting.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008 at 10:04 am

The good news: the Climitts work great!  I wore some decent gloves under them, and while my fingers were a little cold starting out they were toasty by the time I arrived.  I’m learning to judge when cold digits are going to be a problem: if things are still cold when I make my turn off the greenway (about 3.5 miles in) I’m going to be a sad panda when I make it work.

The bad news: my toes were cold when I made the turn and were indeed popsicles when I arrived.  Doing fine now, and not nearly as bad as my fingers were that first day, but I definitely need to find either better shoes or better socks.  The hiking boots and smartwool combo only seems to cut it down to maybe 0°, not so much on days like today.

Overall today was the toughest ride yet – the coldest and most snow.  I was pretty exhausted trying to crank up the last hill, and the whole ride took much longer than normal.  There’s about an inch of packed powder snow on the greenway and the top is soft enough I’m having to burn energy cutting through it – and the streets by our house are almost entirely ice!  That was actually the sketchiest part, but only a few blocks.

I need to mess with the Climitt/handlebar attachment a bit more when it’s warmer.  My brake cables seem to stick out further than they’re designed for, and while it works as-is I think I can tweak it a bit better.  Right now there’s a little gap where cold air can come in, I’d really like to get them sealed and I think my hands will be warm from start to finish.

Thanks, Laurel!

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6 Responses to “Below zero biking!”

  1. Mary Jo Says:

    I would imagine part of that being the tough ride might have had something to do with the fact that you’ve been playing nurse for 2 weeks now and haven’t been able to keep riding. Sounds like you should get some of those socks with the batteries to keep your feet warm.

  2. Rick Says:

    Way to go Nate! Sounds like a tough ride in the snow though – a little snow is a lot of resistance for your tires. What was the temperature? And how fast were you going? Assuming it was zero and you rode 10 mph that is equivalent to -16 degrees F!!!!

  3. sierra Says:

    You are so freaking hard core! I thought it was too cold to drive to work today – hard to imagine biking!

  4. Marianne Says:

    Good for you, but yikes!! Sounds like it was super cold out there. Were there any other bikers? I can’t imagine too many people braving the cold and the road conditions the way you did.

  5. troy Says:

    Rockstar! I found a nice combo for warm toes was the Smartwool and a pair of Carharts at the same time. It’s a lotta sock on each foot, but nice and warm. Plus it’s simple and sometimes that’s the easiest solution. You’re also talking to the guy that wore shorts yesterday to walk to the comic shop and heard on the news there that it was below zero here in Chicago. Heh!

  6. Troy Says:

    Am committing to ride this winter and appreciate these posts more now