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Can you think of any advantages to cold-weather riding?(36 posts)

Can you think of any advantages to cold-weather riding?Humma Hah
Oct 29, 2001 8:00 PM
The number of messages on the board seems to be dropping. I guess some riders are going into hibernation. Me? I'm enjoying my first change of seasons in a couple of years, looking forward to freezing commutes like old times.

So here's my contribution: no time wasted scraping frost off the windshield! Just hop on your nice, frost-free, kept-indoors bicycle.
noDog
Oct 29, 2001 8:16 PM
I'll take my 55 degree winters any day, compared to anything with frost and ice. Had enough of that in Missouri.

Give me 100 degrees and sunshine. Hard to believe that 2 weeks ago we were riding in 108 degree weather.

Dark at 5 p.m. I'm gonna scream.

Cold is no fun on a bike. You go too fast. Running wasn't quite so bad.

Doug
Yesmickey-mac
Oct 29, 2001 8:41 PM
Everything else being equal, you'd probably be less malodorous after a five hour ride in 30 degree weather than you would after doing the same ride in 100 degree weather. Beyond that, I'm tapped.
You can make it on less liquid..Tom C
Oct 29, 2001 9:56 PM
in the colder climes than in the hotter ones.With little need for the body thermostat to cool oneself you sweat less. For a given 1.5 hour ride in the heat, say 80 degrees or higher, I wouldn't consider even that modest duration without at least about a 20oz. bottle. In late fall however with the temps hovering around 40-45 degrees, a half cup of water before I leave with no bottle at all and the same 1.5 hour ride and voila, no dehydration. No wet clothes either.
I don't think this is sound advice, Tom.RhodyRider
Oct 30, 2001 6:01 AM
In colder, drier temps you may be perspiring just as much (if you are working equivalently hard) as you did in warmer temps, but sweat evaporates so much quicker it may be deceiving. It would be misguided wisdom to skimp on the water intake. In fact, lower humidity (cooler dry air) begs even more hydration. Think about it: the temp & humidity levels changed, but your body and it's needs didn't.
I don't think this is sound advice, Tom.Tom C
Oct 30, 2001 8:25 AM
My habit has been to weigh myself before and after I go out. Changes in the before and after are going to be attributable to water weight loss.(One does not lose 5 lbs. of fat in a 2 hour ride)In the aforementioned hot weather scenario I have "lost" 5 lbs of weight while carrying 1 28 oz. bottle of water. In yesterdays 48 degree 2 hour ride with a 1/2 cup drink about 20 minutes before leaving I lost 5 lbs. I'm talking about the same routes and equivalent efforts. Your body and it's needs are, with respect to temperature and humidity level, a function of ambient environment, which is why of course you sweat noticably in the summer and late spring. Sweat evaporation is less so with high humidity levels but my empirical experience is that with warm temps and low humidity sweating to regulate (cool) body temperature still has you losing more fluid in warmth than in cold where the body is fighting to retain heat and therefore sweats, ok perspires, less. If you can avail yourself of a wide ranging temperate climate try these things yourself. I will add that for those inclined to extremism I was not saying one does not or should not drink in cold vs.warm. I'm saying I think and it appears that one needs to drink less.
less water, but still plentyDog
Oct 30, 2001 8:50 AM
I've gotten very dehydrated in the cold on long rides, as the urge or thought to drink just isn't there as much as in hot weather. You still do need to drink plenty, just less than when it's 100 degrees. It takes more of a conscious effort. Try setting a countdown timer for every 10 minutes on a sports watch and drink at every alarm. Change the time interval to match your needs.

Doug
less water, but still plentyTom C
Oct 30, 2001 9:46 AM
I did make it clear that water was lost by my weight change. The thrust of the argument was against constant water need in different environs. I didn't believe, and still don't, that you sweat nearly as much in situations when, well, leave it at this, you feel like, if you don't start booking you'll freeze. Under the threat of body temperature loss the body thermostat does not dispel water at the rate, not any where near the rate , that it does in hot weather.All this can be affected by the way you dress of course. Rule of thumb is that if you feel warm right at the start you are probably overdressed and will no doubt sweat more. Better to start off a little chilly and warm by effort.
Well, you've certainly studied this effect...RhodyRider
Oct 30, 2001 9:30 AM
...more comprehensively than me, so I gladly accept your conclusions. My thoughts were obviously more anecdotal and intuitive. Plus, I sweat a monsoon in any & all weather conditions, so perhaps my experiences are not germaine to average folk.
Now back to our regularly-scheduled programming.
really depends on humidity..dotkaye
Oct 30, 2001 2:03 PM
ask any mountain climber, it's quite possible to dehydrate seriously in the cold, as long as it's dry enough. When it's really cold, the principal source of water loss is actually just through breathing, not sweating: so it's not noticeable at all. That is, until the headache and fatigue kick in..
re: Can you think of any advantages to cold-weather riding?tr
Oct 29, 2001 10:22 PM
I, like Tom find my water requirements to be quite a bit less and it is nice to work hard and not be overheated. The 40's and 50's seem to agree with my body.
re: Can you think of any advantages to cold-weather riding?roy Zipris
Oct 30, 2001 4:32 AM
Seeing familiar riding terrain in new ways, first colored by fall foliage, then in the stark, bare outlines of winter.

The pleasure and sense of accomplishment you feel when you finish a ride and get indoors again.

Keeping my weight under control (and avoiding indoor training, which I abhor) during the cold months.
Weekdays are no fun ...tarwheel
Oct 30, 2001 4:52 AM
Due to the lack of daylight. But I enjoy cycling in the cool weather, provided I've got the proper clothes on. The winters are pretty mild in NC, so it generally gets up into the 50s whenever it's sunny. So, the afternoons are really a nice time to ride during the late fall, winter and early spring -- particularly after it's warmed up a bit. Your water doesn't warm up so much, and it lasts longer. My biggest problem with riding in cooler weather is that we get a lot more windy days then, and that bothers me more than the cold temperatures. The cold weather and short days also give me a good excuse to go back to the Y for spin cycle classes and lifting weights. I enjoy spin cycle classes a lot, although I generally prefer riding outdoors.
re: Can you think of any advantages to cold-weather riding?digger
Oct 30, 2001 4:54 AM
2 things- makes you tougher, no freds
re: Can you think of any advantages to cold-weather riding?C-mond
Oct 30, 2001 5:06 AM
That is the truth. Only true hammers will free the bike from the trainer and tackle the elements. Guys leave your purses at home.......
Makes you appreciate warm weather in the Springpmf1
Oct 30, 2001 5:22 AM
I can think of no reason why I'd rather ride in the cold. I do it because I feel that I must. Most of the time, I don't enjoy it. I guess it beats a trainer. I hate the winter.
fewer idiots on hybrids and rollerblades!! (nm)Rusty McNasty
Oct 30, 2001 5:30 AM
ride in the cold. come spring, you'll drop those who didn't. nmJs Haiku Shop
Oct 30, 2001 6:01 AM
the only good reason nmDog
Oct 30, 2001 6:31 AM
The beer in J's waterbottle stays cold? nmMB1
Oct 30, 2001 6:35 AM
my weight-loss plans for winter (off-season) don't include beerJs Haiku Shop
Oct 30, 2001 7:04 AM
post-birthday i'm moving to either liquor or water, dropping beer and coffee, 'til march 2002. although whiskey (1.5 oz) and beer (12 oz) are about equivalent in calories, whiskey is much lower in sodium content, and less is required over 100 miles.

otherwise, the only other liquid i imbibe is 2% milk, with my frosted mini-wheats. this may also change. i tried soy milk, but it just plain sucks.
Friends don't let friends drink milk. Try Plain rice milk NMcyclinseth
Oct 30, 2001 3:43 PM
Try 8th continent soy milk.look271
Oct 30, 2001 5:21 PM
It doesn't suck. I just may switch to it all of the time. As for riding in the winter, I enjoy it. Makes me feel superior (even tho I'm not!). Only thing that stops me is snow/ice/really strong winds (I HATE cold winds!). I love the look on the faces of drivers as they see me on the bike. They must be thinking "that poor bas#$&d, doesn't have a car". Why else would he be out there? Hehehe....
liquids freeze in winterguido
Oct 30, 2001 1:59 PM
A couple of times riding in winter, temps down to 30s, ice formed on inside edges of water bottle. Nice drink!

Its very hard to go out when the skies are grey and the air is 40 degrees. Think skiing: as you glide through a white wonderland, road recently dried out from the last snow, think about all the folks who pay dearly to go to the slopes, and you've got it right here. Exercising enables the body to survive the cold. You won't get as many colds and sore throats associated with winter. When you get home, you can chop wood, build a fire and drink hot toddies. Talk about quality of life.
does that include Dog?ET
Oct 30, 2001 7:29 AM
Doesn't he hibernate for the winter (defined as anything below 60)? :-) I'd live with frozen body parts and my sweat turning to icicles if my training could drop him come spring. :-)

Sure, you gain toughening up credits for riding in the cold, but do you gain more from slower rides outdoors in the cold and wind than you would from indoor trainers or crosstraining? That is a key question. Of course, some of us just need that open-air freedom the bike gives, even if it's cold, and laying off the whole winter is just too long.
i would say yes, but can't really back that up scientifically...Js Haiku Shop
Oct 30, 2001 7:56 AM
there's much to be said for being good at something by practcing that thing. in other words, given someone running a treadmill 40 miles per week and running over winter on roads 40 miles per week, same routine, same intensity, i'll put my money on the outdoor-trained runner. imho.

and, could i drop dog from training over the winter? if he were sitting on his arse watching football and eating pecan twirls and pink sno-balls for three months? probably not, considering he's capable of riding 200 miles at 20 mph average, and has endured a 500 mile race. on the other hand, never doubt the powers of the mind.

perhaps if dog spent six months with said football, twirls and little debbies, i'd stand a chance after overwintering with a nutritionist, trainer and masseuse.

then again, i could just let the air outta his tires before the ride. :o)
if you trained the same you'd probably beat meDog
Oct 30, 2001 8:47 AM
I think most people don't realize what they are capable of. I'd bet that if the people here did pretty much the same training I do, you'd kick my butt. I'm not a very good endurance person; I'm actually a sprinter.

Endurance is cumulative. Just keep at it year after year and you get better. While speed and power falls off with age, endurance is different. It just builds and builds. That's why you gotta train year round.

Doug
two thingsJs Haiku Shop
Oct 30, 2001 11:45 AM
(1) you're far too modest. when i set sights on that chattanooga century in may, leaving for the drive, my wife told me to stop shy of hurting myself, and that getting on the bike and starting the ride was more than 99% of the population would even consider themselves capable (she was right). i'm discovering that 80% is training; the other 120% is between your ears!

(2) i agree, both paragraphs. not sure that i'd surpass your abilities, but there's always a bigger fish! the capability is certainly there, and attainable with sufficient preparation. your statements in earlier posts about being physical, and a runner as a child/teenager show a history of athleticism. i played some sports in grade school, but between mid-teens and mid-twenties my only recreation was getting in and out of trouble.

now, could i train the same? i suspect you're averaging more than my peak-season (year 2000) ten-hour training weeks. things change with the pitter-patter of little feet 'round the house ('round the garage, too, where the bikes sleep). maybe when i'm fifty, if i'm not dEEd by then!
I've had icesicles form in my beard ...Humma Hah
Oct 30, 2001 12:40 PM
... some of the really frosty days at Va Tech, I rode the cruiser with my beard icing up. I recall riding with the temps down as low as about 15 F. I now have a bit more ... er ... insulation, and suspect I can stand it a little colder.

Poor Dog is so lean, the cold probably kills him more than it does me. It may be the one area in which I can out-ride him.

So far, we've had 3 frosty mornings on which I've commuted, the coldest only 28F. Wearing a sweatshirt, windbreaker, slacks, and gloves, I've been sweating after the 5.3 mile commute. Not nearly cold enough, yet.
Doesn't hurt when you crash in the snow. Bring on the cold!MB1
Oct 30, 2001 6:34 AM
It is just a matter of wearing the right clothes and using the right tires. Snow, cold, darkness it's all fun if you are prepared to have fun.

The icebiker web site opened our eyes to what is possible in the winter. Now we really enjoy it. It seems so odd in the spring to actually start seeing other riders on the road again.
re: Can you think of any advantages to cold-weather riding?Tiger
Oct 30, 2001 7:38 AM
I'm with Doug, give me 100 degrees anytime. I live in Missouri, so I love the feeling of a 20 mph north wind hitting your face so hard you can't even get a breath. Yeah, that's fun!
re: Can you think of any advantages to cold-weather riding?Lazy
Oct 30, 2001 9:11 AM
There's something really invigorating (sp?) about a 40 degree Sunday morning. No one is out in their SUV's yet, very few people out on bikes either. Very relaxing, and a good time for introspection.

IMO, temperature is not a very good excuse to avoid doing stuff. If you dress properly, temp doesn't have much of an effect. Wind and precipitation are another matter entirely though.
re: Can you think of any advantages to cold-weather riding?pbraun
Oct 30, 2001 10:38 AM
Yes, riding a bike is fun. Ergo, riding in cold weather is a lot more fun than not riding in cold weather. With the right clothing it's great!
there is more oxygen in the air - nmfiltersweep
Oct 30, 2001 4:44 PM
The hot tub feels sooooooo nice!Largo
Oct 30, 2001 6:18 PM
Its just not the same going in the tub after a hard ride at say, 25celsius.
I can see clearly now!ridgerider
Oct 30, 2001 6:19 PM
Here in the foothills of North Carolina, cold weather means clear, crisp weather. You can really see the beauty of the hills. The air is cleaner and you can see much farther. Makes climbing the mountains more rewarding.

I also do not miss the clammy, sticky humidity of summer and the way it makes all my riding duds super funky (especially the gloves). Still, all things considered, I'll take summer over winter...I'm a public school educator and have the summers off!