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A simple poll - inclement weather riding(28 posts)

A simple poll - inclement weather ridingMel Erickson
Oct 7, 2002 11:29 AM
What are your limits for riding in inclement weather? Where do you draw the line for recreational riding? What prompts my question is frustration with the current conditions (37 degrees F, light rain and 15mph wind) and my desire to be out riding (these conditions are beyond my personal limits for enjoyable, recreational riding).
If its above freezing (frostbite) and dry I'll ride.srotten
Oct 7, 2002 11:31 AM
45 degrees is my limit. I know, I'm a wimp.........Dave Hickey
Oct 7, 2002 11:36 AM
In Texas, I can ride almost every day. Even in Jan or Feb, It ususally gets above 45 degrees during the day
Oct 7, 2002 11:37 AM
Sounds like Belgian weather.

Here in New England, crummy weather is a fact of life, so we're usually outside. Our regular Saturday ride is a year-round thing. When it's colder, we bundle up (one can ride quite comfortably down to the teens). As for wet weather, that's usually personal preference. If it is really cold and really pouring, I back off. But cold, intermittent/light drizzle is okay. Having a winter beater is good for the motivation as it minimizes post-ride maintenance and cleanup. And having friends who subscribe to a cold weather code of ethics - full fenders, steady pace, no hammering, etc. - makes group rides in such conditions much more manageable too.

Since my ride time is usually constrained, when I can, I do, so I need to be able to go, with or without ideal weather. But that's just my situation.

serious lightning, or a thick layer of ice on the ground...JS Haiku Shop
Oct 7, 2002 11:38 AM
but, only because i don't have studded tires yet.

last year i rode down to the low 20s. i would have kept going, but any lower than that and i couldn't feel my toes or fingers. i'm working on that this year.

I did find that ski goggles help when it's really cold.
Depends, various factorsms
Oct 7, 2002 11:49 AM
There are at least five variables that determine whether I will ride during the cold weather months -- temperature, sunlight, wind, precipitation and how good the day looks compared to other nearby days. Some examples: I will ride in temperatures into the mid-20s on a sunny, non-windy, dry day. On a cloudy day, I would up the minimum temperature to the mid-30s. If it is raining, I would up the minimum temperature to the mid-50s. If I am feeling strong, I will ride on a windy day, even if it is in the 30s, if I am not, I will stay at home. During the cold weather months, I only am able to ride outside on the weekends. If I was not able to ride the weekend before, I probably will push my limits; if I had a lot of good riding the week before, I may be a little more wimpish. Similarly, if it is a Saturday, but the forecast for Sunday is worse, I may push my limits. If Sunday is going to be a better day, I probably will not ride on Saturday. Cabin fever (or too much time on the trainer) has pushed me to ride in weather that I never imagined that I would ride in. For example, last winter, I was so frustrated after two weekends in the house that I rode my old hybrid (in this case, my road bike gets better treatment that I do) on a windy, cloudy day where the temperatures were in the 20s and the roads had ice patches. I hope that I am not pushed that far this winter.
Oct 7, 2002 11:54 AM
When it gets rainy, I usually use my touring bike, with full fenders. For sloppy-snowy conditions, my MTB (again with complete fenders) is usually my ride, and for icy conditions, I have a set of studded tires for my el-cheapo fixie.
Sunny and dry down to 15 degrees F otherwise...BipedZed
Oct 7, 2002 11:58 AM
if it's raining at all, forget it. Even in the summer. Luckily I live in sunny and drought-ridden Colorado.
re: A simple poll - inclement weather ridingPEDDLEFOOT
Oct 7, 2002 12:05 PM
If its dry I'll ride anytime above freezing.In rain I'll ride above 50 degrees.No snow riding since I don't have a MTB.I've found that the colder temps keep the traffic down on the local path and trails which makes it more enjoyable also.I come from a hardcore runners background where we ran in any weather at anytime of the year.You just have to master the fine art of layering to keep yourself comfortable.
re: A simple poll - inclement weather ridingtarwheel
Oct 7, 2002 12:05 PM
Rain -- Only if I get caught in it while riding, and then I'll keep going.
Cold -- Generally don't go out if it's colder than upper 30s.
High winds, storms -- Stay home or seek shelter.

Fortunately, the weather in NC is so mild that year-round cycling is generally not a problem. We also don't have a lot of extended rainy weather, so there's no real need to get out on rainy days. I just work out at the gym on rainy days or go to spin cycle classes. I don't like riding in the rain because of maintenance issues and safety reasons. I have to wear glasses and can barely see when they are spotted up with raindrops; plus I trust car-drivers even less in the rain. There is rarely any reason to ride in temperatures below the 40s in NC because it almost always warms up into the 40s or 50s, even on the coldest of days. I don't head out for rides at 8 a.m. when I know it will be 20 degrees warmer by noon.
Is this too cold??????????Dave Hickey
Oct 7, 2002 12:09 PM
And I think I see a triple...WIMP! (nm)Aztecs
Oct 7, 2002 12:30 PM
Burro Bike? (nm)DeRanger
Oct 7, 2002 2:11 PM
Lightning and while it is iceing. Otherwise let's go!MB1
Oct 7, 2002 12:16 PM
I have never actually ridden much below zero degrees F. It was fine.

You just have to be prepared for whatever conditions you are riding in and don't ride alone.

The Icebiker website has a lot of good information about how to prepare for colder conditions. Now some of them are way out there on the edge......
I rode in those conditions yesterdaymoneyman
Oct 7, 2002 12:29 PM
Exactly those. Many times I have absolutely hated riding in stuff like that, but this year I have been looking forward to it. Just spend some dough on good gear, and then go out in confidence. I think much of it has to do with rider attitude towards his/her environment. I love riding in cold weather.

My limit comes when the roads are snow-packed and/or icy. Too much slipping and sliding. That's when I become very familiar with my rollers.

No ice/snow, which usually means above freezing, butbill
Oct 7, 2002 12:37 PM
I would consider lower temp's if it was dry and sunny (I have gone out in low 30's, which is, in fact, damn cold, IMHO). Rain is usually not that big a deal, although it is certainly much tougher to head out in the rain than to stay out, which I've done in temp's into the low fifties, anyway. Maybe colder. Conditions that may prompt me to forget about riding and have another cup of coffee almost always are not that bad once I'm out there.
Different limits for different bikes...biknben
Oct 7, 2002 1:00 PM
Typically, I won't go below 35 degrees on the road bike. I may go below 25 degrees off-road with the mtn. bike.

I actually enjoy going out during snow storms. Evening snow brings a smile to my face. People go home early and the roads are clear of traffic. I break out the mtn. bike with studded snows and lights. Then I get some bizzare looks. In these cases I've gone out when it was in the single digits.
If you haven't...phlegm
Oct 7, 2002 1:22 PM
If you've never ridden a fixed gear bicycle in the rain, you're missing out. I think I'd have to say lightning is the only thing that will keep me from a recreational ride. Cold weather is not bad if you know how to dress.
A fair-weather biker...peter1
Oct 7, 2002 1:56 PM what I am. If it's below 45, I'll only mountain bike because being skinny and with poor circulation, i get way too cold on the road. Off-road, I'm good down to about 35. Last winter, though, I went out one day when it was 23. My toes and fingers froze after 25 minutes.

Generally, I ride and race so much between April and October that I'm a little burned out by November, and by March I can't wait to ride again. I train with a rower, spin classes, weights and do some XC skiing in the winter.
Will ride with ice in my beard, but not ice on the road.Humma Hah
Oct 7, 2002 1:58 PM
I don't do:

Icy roads (although snowy parking lots can be a fun challenge)

I don't mind the cold, and have ridden down to somewhere in the low teens. I'll usually work up a pretty good sweat down to about 20 F.

I don't mind a warm rain. Cold rain is rather unpleasant. Snow, however, is OK.

My biggest reservations about rec-rides in the rain are that I'm interested in riding the cruiser for another 31 years, and getting road-grime splashed all over the works is not the best strategy for preservation. So that's when I get out the 3-year-old beater bike.
Same here...timfire
Oct 7, 2002 5:49 PM
I've ridden in near 0 degree weather (I just use chemical feet warmers and heavy gloves), but I don't like it when it's icy. I also prefer snow to rain. Snow doesn't soak you like rain does.

--Timothy Kleinert
Hot or cold isn't a factor, but...DeRanger
Oct 7, 2002 2:10 PM's gotta be dry - I avoid riding on wet ground, paved or otherwise.

DeR (...lives in SoCal - go figure...)
Wind is my limiting factor.look271
Oct 7, 2002 3:16 PM
If it's mid to upper 20's and not windy, I'll go out. Won't go out if it's wet, too, in freezing conditions. I HATE cold winds. Just seems to chill you to the bone.
re: A simple poll - inclement weather ridingMasterBlaster
Oct 7, 2002 3:27 PM
Coldest temperature I have ridden in is 15 degrees F in a driving blizzard. Wonderful Utah Riding... cold and sunny one minute... Donner Party situation the next.
I live in Phoenix....inclement weather is above 115F....desert-rider
Oct 7, 2002 3:51 PM
...or a blinding dust-storm.

We're actually entering the nice riding season. While everyone else is getting iced in, I don't have to get up at 4am to avoid spontaneously combusting! The bad side of getting used to riding in 115F is I'm now a cold wimp....below about 60 and I pull out the arm warmers, tights, full gloves, hat, and give a serious look at the fleece in the corner...

(I used to be in Indiana, any weekend above 10F we were mountain biking, snow storm or not...)
re: A simple poll - inclement weather ridingaliensporebomb
Oct 7, 2002 6:20 PM
Here's the problem:

I'd like to ride more often than I do, but I'm still BUYING STUFF.

I just got four spring/summer jerseys and a pair of shorts (and three bikes
and shoes and clipless hardware) this year (two bikes were mine, one is the
wife's). Anyway, to really do the winter thing right I need winter riding

That being said, here's a picture of me riding last January 26th. I'm nuts.
I have a great balaclava I bought from a woman up in Ely, MN and I use that,
but I definetely need long pants, lined jackets, etc.

Right now my cycling wardrobe is basically shorts and short sleeved jerseys
and then if it gets cold I wear workout outfits OVER the shorts/short jerseys
and that's good to about 40 degrees. Below that it gets mighty cold. I have to
do the jeans/jersey/fleece top thing with a jacket over that if it's colder. I
look like a MEGAFRED but I'm not made of unlimited funds so until I get more
all weather clothes that's what happens.

Even though I've done about a 1000 miles this year, I couldn't be out in February
or April (snow and rain respectively). Sigh.
<20deg, windchill <0, ice and or snowing.EricBH
Oct 8, 2002 3:34 AM
If there's not too much snow on the ground than I'll go mountain biking.
Born and raised in CA, so I'm a whimp when it comes to cold.Ken of Fresno
Oct 8, 2002 4:19 AM
Anything into the 40s and I start to get uncomfortable.