Weather or not to ride

hugh

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After a mild start to our winter we got a cold snap. The fat bike singletrack trails were like paved trails through the woods thanks to the warming/freezing cycles. That all changed a week and a half ago with minus 25 celcius temps and a huge wind chill effect. Even though it's still better than west of my city where the temps a couple provinces over hit minus 40 it's still past my preferred riding conditions.
Will head out tomorrow though, it's due to warm up to minus 17 which in farenheit is close to minus 2.
 
I kind of drew the line at 20 °F. (-7 °C) Above that, I can make my 2 mile commute with just a ski helmet, Wynd glasses, hiking boots and windproof overpants. Below that, I would need real winter boots, insulating overpants and probably to add a balaclava. It would take more time to dress and undress after the 10 minute ride than it's worth.

If it's cold enough for long enough, I may get desperate for a ride and go anyway, but then there's the matter of battery capacity at those temperatures too and I might be taking my mBike instead of the eBike.

Down here in SE Wisconsin, it's going to be properly cold until next week when temperatures will hover around freezing again, instead of well below.

There's also significant patches of ice on the roads now that will be hard to avoid without swerving in front of cars. I'm pretty much done with pleasure rides until it gets above freezing.

On the other hand, for those of us who ride in the cold, it doesn't take warm temperatures to enjoy a ride, as we're equipped to ride in most temperatures.
 
I'm retired so all my rides are for fun and/or exercise.. Felt pac boots over warm socks, long sleeve t shirt or wool blend shirt, insulated jeans from Costco, snowmobile mitts with little hottie chemical packs inside. A thin silk type balaclava under an insulated cap topped off with my bike helmet and either polarizing glasses or a pair of googles and I'm good to go. And full disclaimer my usual ride is roughly 45 mins to an hour leading to a cross country ski cabin where we build a fire, dry off, and warm up before going for another hour.
As stated I'm in it for the fun and enjoyment.
 
We don't get much snow here but we do get rain and cold......way too icy out there for this old man......I am drivin my 85 Honda Civic with front wheel drive or my 4x4 RAM if I need to go down the hill........call me safe......and warm!
 
I'm retired so all my rides are for fun and/or exercise...
Have you considered light grocery shopping on your eBike? Once you have the right luggage, it's a real gas-saver and kind of fun.
...or do you consider that an exercise ride?
 
Smaug, I consider rides to pick up light groceries plus trips to the local public library as fun. For the groceries however the road conditions dictate whether I take my truck or the bike. Plus whether or not the wife wants to come along.
 
That sounds great, I'm retired and take the e-bike to the nature trail across the street, about 40 min total. Today in SW MI. it was about 12° F, but it was still great to get out of the house. Gave my legs a rest from the fat bike.
 

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That sounds great, I'm retired and take the e-bike to the nature trail across the street, about 40 min total. Today in SW MI. it was about 12° F, but it was still great to get out of the house. Gave my legs a rest from the fat bike.
I don't know how you guys can get out in the cold to ride. My bike is hibernating until it hits 60 degrees.
 
The key is dressing for it, once you get moving it reminds you when you were a kid ice skating, sledding, snowmobiling etc., you warm up and enjoy the activity, and the temp really doesn't bother you. Winter biking offers all types of opportunity, there are not many people on the trails, the scenery is great, and it's just nice getting outside. Get a day where the wind is low, sun, 25-35° F. I could stay out for hours. Riding the fat-bike keeps you in shape for the summer months as well.
 
I get riding on the ice and snow. Back in the 80's I studded the tires on my YZ125 and had a blast. Its the cold I cant take anymore.
 
Couple friends of mine have been using heated vests and really like them, only thing I ever have cold sometimes snow biking is my fingers, I'm going to have to invest in some good bar mitts.
 
i just dress in a few layers and use the bar mitts as @WHEELZ mentioned above ^^
then cover my feet with overshoes lol

I keep seeing those heated jackets/vests :unsure:
 
We had a cold spell here in England. I still went out on my ebike but it was cold. I was wearing ski gloves, brushed Rohan troggings, a down jacket and goretex shoes. I try to ride very upright when crossing ice,
 
Cold weather rider here. I am still working (not long though!!) and have been a loyal commuter. I draw the line at snowpack/icy roads, I'm not going down!! I used to draw the line at single digits but that has creeped up. I ride in the teens if I know it will get warmer during the day for the ride home. My commute is only 6.5 miles so I'm not out there very long, all downhill going in and then the grind usually against the prevailing wind home. This is where ebike has changed everything for me. The rides home had become such an un-fun grind I was going to give it all up. Ebike made it fun again. My cold weather gear is multiple layers, face/neck cover sleeve and battery powered gloves!! I really struggled with keeping the fingers warm. I tried the bar mitts and while they were warm I just couldn't get the hang of working everything on my Jones bars underneath. Battery heated gloves have been a game changer for me.
 
Cold weather rider here. I am still working (not long though!!) and have been a loyal commuter. I draw the line at snowpack/icy roads, I'm not going down!!
Me too; not worth it. I've toyed with the idea of buying studded tires like the Scandinavians do, but those days before they've plowed are not too common any more.
I used to draw the line at single digits but that has creeped up. I ride in the teens if I know it will get warmer during the day for the ride home.
I draw the line usually at 20 °F, but it's 30 °F warmer than last week, so it feels like spring now!
My commute is only 6.5 miles so I'm not out there very long, all downhill going in and then the grind usually against the prevailing wind home. This is where ebike has changed everything for me. The rides home had become such an un-fun grind I was going to give it all up. Ebike made it fun again.
Me too, though my commute is only 2 miles. Even going mostly downhill into work, I would get sweaty in the summer.

My cold weather gear is multiple layers, face/neck cover sleeve and battery powered gloves!! I really struggled with keeping the fingers warm. I tried the bar mitts and while they were warm I just couldn't get the hang of working everything on my Jones bars underneath. Battery heated gloves have been a game changer for me.
I need to look into those, but I've been using ski mittens recently; much warmer than ski gloves.
 
Me too; not worth it. I've toyed with the idea of buying studded tires like the Scandinavians do, but those days before they've plowed are not too common any more.

I draw the line usually at 20 °F, but it's 30 °F warmer than last week, so it feels like spring now!

Me too, though my commute is only 2 miles. Even going mostly downhill into work, I would get sweaty in the summer.


I need to look into those, but I've been using ski mittens recently; much warmer than ski gloves.
Hi Smaug, Three winters ago I kept a small weather journal on rideable days or snow/icy roads. I missed out riding 28 days, 20 because it was too icy and 8 because the temps were in single digits. I just could not justify the big cost of studded tires, plus studs don't really guarantee that you stay upright!! Crashing could still occur and I'm not going there!!
 
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