Babby, It's Cold Outside

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emor
emor's picture

still haven't put on studs. Roads are either ice with packed snow on top or clear and wet and haven't had any issues. I did slip once, but I was being cocky and was riding on open ice on a frozen lake. Dumb.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 16:17
jeffro
jeffro's picture

I crashed before I even got out of our driveway today on the fat bike. 2-3 inches of fresh powder over ice. Dang old nope. Rode around the neighborhood for another 10 minutes to confirm no grip anywhere. Then rollers in the basement.

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 18:14
fixed
fixed's picture

they cancelled schools here tomorrow because of this thing called "wind chill" which is a government conspiracy to crush our souls.
wind chill is a myth.

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 20:10
shane.rrr
shane.rrr's picture

Yall need to build those big wooden boxes you store children in during the winter while they wait for the bus.

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 07:49
johnasavoia
johnasavoia's picture

Rode to work in the big bomb cyclone, closed early and heading home was the worst I've ever ridden in. Fishtailed constantly my mostly slightly downhill route home. Kept it upright and granny geared up the last kicker hill to my house, hoping the car sliding out in front of me wouldn't start rolling backwards.

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 09:04
jeffro
jeffro's picture

Yeah, that snow was greasy.

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 10:00
fixed
fixed's picture
(Reply to #607)

shane.rrr wrote:
Yall need to build those big wooden boxes you store children in during the winter while they wait for the bus.

this really made me laugh.
stoked for my commute home in the 20+mph winds!

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 12:57
jdsmooth
jdsmooth's picture

Went out on mtb just as snow started in Boston yesterday.
WTH: won't be riding the trails for quite some time :(
HY: gonna xc ski

Five-foot drops at speed on unstable terrain? Yep.

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 13:30
shane.rrr
shane.rrr's picture
(Reply to #609)

fixed wrote:
shane.rrr wrote:
Yall need to build those big wooden boxes you store children in during the winter while they wait for the bus.

this really made me laugh.
stoked for my commute home in the 20+mph winds!

Hope its all tail winds

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 13:33
fixed
fixed's picture

yeah, it's extremely rare that we don't get wind from the west or west northwest here. and i work directly west of my house!

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 14:05
littletinyfish
littletinyfish's picture
(Reply to #611)

fixed wrote:
they cancelled schools here tomorrow because of this thing called "wind chill" which is a government conspiracy to crush our souls.
wind chill is a myth.

This is one of my gripes. When it gets below 20F, everyone starts measuring the temperature with windchill. 22, 21, 20, then suddenly they skip to -10 with windchill.

It annoys me because they are often not the people who are actually out in the cold. They're people who see the windchill on the news, then go outside for 20 seconds to get in their pre-heated SUV with butt warmers on high.

Look, I know it doesn't matter, but if we're gonna have a dick measuring contest, I want to make sure we're using the same rulers.

this was a big deal a hundred years ago when everything sucked balls ---match avatar

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 22:40
fixed
fixed's picture

thank you. wind chill is ultra stupid. i went nordic skiing on saturday and it was 0 (real temperature, obviously) with about 25mph winds. if i faced into the wind, i was cold. if i faced away from the wind, i wasn't cold. can't we just say "it's 0 and 25mph winds" instead of "it's -20" which is completely meaningless to me?
honestly i'd rather be outside in -20 with no wind than 0 with 25mph wind.
i hate wind chill.

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:40
emor
emor's picture

High of 40 today, low of -7 tomorrow. Fuck man, Midwest weather is bonkers.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:56
Rusty Piton
Rusty Piton's picture

Even worse than wind chill is when they say it's 10f but it feels like -2.
I'm like, "No! It feels like it's ten degrees out because it's ten fucking degrees out! Who are you to tell me how cold it feels?!? That shit is subjective!"
And then my wife's all "Shut up Rudy, you sound like a crazy person."

emor wrote:
Bicycle commuting is the worst way to get anywhere except for all the other ways.

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:31
fixed
fixed's picture

dude, i am 100% with you on that. i am always ranting about this. "it feels like -2? no, it feels like 10 degrees with a 5mph wind!!!!"
i think this is why people like us are here on tarck talking about riding bikes in the frigid weather, instead of doing...normal things

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:41
Andrew_Squirrel
Andrew_Squirrel's picture
(Reply to #616)

Rusty Piton wrote:
Even worse than wind chill is when they say it's 10f but it feels like -2.
I'm like, "No! It feels like it's ten degrees out because it's ten fucking degrees out! Who are you to tell me how cold it feels?!? That shit is subjective!"
And then my wife's all "Shut up Rudy, you sound like a crazy person."

LOLOL

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 15:02
emor
emor's picture

went from 40 and raining to 19 overnight, with a nice light dusting of snow. Still no studded tires.

I had this amazing revelation this morning that I should just put one of my studded tires on the front of the family bike. I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier. I am going to have a lot of fun with that. That long wheelbase is always extra fun in low traction situations.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 12:01
spaghetti
spaghetti's picture

i still dont understand the point of studded tires outside of riding on the snowy beach

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:20
fixed
fixed's picture

studded tires are for when you really really don't feel like eating a face full of pavement on your commute to work on roads that have two inches of hard-packed icy snow on them

tomorrow's weather will be high of 54, low of 15. 8-12 inches of snow.

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:23
spaghetti
spaghetti's picture

yeah but practically, does that happen often enough to warrant the tires? i've certainly never felt like i needed them in chicago (and i have a pair, sitting unused)

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:25
Rusty Piton
Rusty Piton's picture

I think the enormous amount of salt that Chicago throws obviates the need for studs.
Most cities aren't as insane with the salt as ours.

emor wrote:
Bicycle commuting is the worst way to get anywhere except for all the other ways.

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 16:22
emor
emor's picture

There's definitely some need for it. I have had a handful of "close calls" and generally ride very, very carefully and slowly to avoid serious issues. But I typically taste salt on my mouth after walking around outside after a few minutes because there is so much goddamn salt everywhere. The main roads are wet. However, MPLS doesn't maintain any residential streets so they've been packed, icy snow for weeks now.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 17:44
emor
emor's picture

Here's when you need studs:

It's 40 and raining one day, and then 18 hours later the temperature drops to 10 degrees and it snows two inches. Holy shit. Add in darkness, rush hour dickheads, and gusty winds and I walked halfway home.

Had a pretty epic moment when I was cruising on the lake path when I hit a spot where the wind had blown all the snow off, leaving 25' of bare ice. I immediately launched into a semi-panicked session where both wheels slipped independently of each other and I desperately wrenched the bike back and forth before hopping off the trail into a big snow drift where I was able to power through and keep upright.

Riding the be studded xtracycle in tomorrow. Planning some epic "burnouts" in the ice with the 1000 watt hub motor.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:11
fixed
fixed's picture

yeah, all major roads have been in fine shape. it's the neighborhood streets that i take to get to work that are bad. i COULD take "real roads" the whole way but i'd still hit a few icy patches at intersections.

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:20
Andrew_Squirrel
Andrew_Squirrel's picture
(Reply to #625)

emor wrote:

Had a pretty epic moment when I was cruising on the lake path when I hit a spot where the wind had blown all the snow off, leaving 25' of bare ice. I immediately launched into a semi-panicked session where both wheels slipped independently of each other and I desperately wrenched the bike back and forth before hopping off the trail into a big snow drift where I was able to power through and keep upright.

Reminded me of

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:28
littletinyfish
littletinyfish's picture

I started winter riding with studs. They made me feel safe. Then, when the season was over, I switched to regular knobbies. It was instantly noticeable how much energy I was wasting with the studs, and how much less effort it took.

Eventually I realized (as with the rest of the Midwest crew) that our cities blitz the streets with salt and the actual time spent putting studs to ice was maybe 0.01% of the time, so the energy to payoff ratio hardly seemed worth it. (Granted, you could argue that it may be the .01% that puts you in the hospital, but you could probably argue that about a lot of things.)

Now I'm riding Serfas Drifters, which is generally a bad idea, because those inverted treads pack in the snow and turn your tires into ice cubes, but again, I'm usually riding in maybe 2 snow storms/year, so it's not worth swapping tires for the season.

tl;dr Studs are for babby winter riders and maybe areas with low salting, but generally not for seasoned riders.

this was a big deal a hundred years ago when everything sucked balls ---match avatar

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 12:47
johnasavoia
johnasavoia's picture

We got 13in of snow last week, it was 60* and raining yesterday and all through the night, temps dropped from 60 this morning to 20 by 6pm. So expecting icetown on my evening commute I threw the shitbox studded tire on the front of the fat chance real fast before work. Guess I did a shit job, cause it was flat when I left work to get groceries and head home.

I didn't think there was anything worse than riding a turdly studded tire, but riding a flat studded tire is infinitely worse.

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 17:53
emor
emor's picture

Commuted with the spikes for the first time yesterday. It definitely turned what was a pretty marginal, effortful commute into something much easier. That said, any time the snow on the road got deep enough to cause the wheel to float above the pavement, things got squarely again.

I like to think I'm a pretty good rider, but at least in Minneapolis having a bike with studs is a good idea. The other night, after temps swung 45 degrees and a couple inches of snow fell, riding was basically impossible. Studs would have served me well. But now, the roads that get plowed are plowed, and that includes the bike trails. I could probably go back to my non-studded tires since the conditions are the similar to how they've been for the last month.

I'm curious if part of the difference is the fact that Minneapolis is a lot colder than Chicago or Milwaukee. Also, Minneapolis seems to only treat main roads with plows and salt. Bike trails get a plow and are clear. But anything outside of that is ignored. It gets pretty rough.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 18:46
iwillbe
iwillbe's picture

My first experience with a snowy city was Chicago, which completely spoiled me. I lived in another Great Lakes town a few years later, and was fucking INCENSED that they didn't plow and salt side streets. I am now coming to understand that this is the norm, and Chicago just goes all in on road management.

Richmond, VA's strategy is to wait about a day, plow and salt ...some roads? And it will get warm soon? Probably?

My main discoveries this winter are that Castelli makes good neoprene cold weather gear, and that if you fishtail an Xtracycle on an icy downhill, the fucker stays fishtailed for a real long time. I think it might be possible to jacknife it

All music is just the Eagles with different geometry.

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 20:03
chenghiz
chenghiz's picture

After wiping out twice on ice in Portland I bought studded tires, and I definitely haven't regretted having them in the two snowpocalypses since then. I HATE falling on ice though. It is the worst, especially in traffic.

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 20:28
eric_ssucks
eric_ssucks's picture

Yeah, the west coast snow events seem really great for studly tires, since there's not really plowing and salting, we're not great at riding in it, and it's really slick, 30 degrees at night and 35 during the day. Slushy crap is worse than ice sometimes.

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 21:33
littletinyfish
littletinyfish's picture
(Reply to #632)

iwillbe wrote:
My first experience with a snowy city was Chicago, which completely spoiled me. I lived in another Great Lakes town a few years later, and was fucking INCENSED that they didn't plow and salt side streets. I am now coming to understand that this is the norm, and Chicago just goes all in on road management.

Milwaukee may follow in Chicago's salty footsteps since we're always living in its shadow and actively trying to woo away their sodium nitrate-spoiled millenials.

this was a big deal a hundred years ago when everything sucked balls ---match avatar

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 13:57
spaghetti
spaghetti's picture

mayoral races have been lost over snow plowing here.
wisconsin can have all the folks living off the brown and purple lines

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 14:51
fixed
fixed's picture

with the exception of three days last week there's been packed snow/ice on most suburban neighborhood streets here since christmas. i think i would probably be ok on a mud2 but i've already got the studs on and i'm too lazy to change them.

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:53
littletinyfish
littletinyfish's picture

We had a couple days of snow, which meant 4 commutes in various types of snow, slush, and hard-pack. It's fun careening down the streets, sliding out and floating around the pavement (especially when you keep it upright).

But then the plows came through and the salt kicked in and now it's pretty much just pavement. Makes me wish they didn't try so hard.

this was a big deal a hundred years ago when everything sucked balls ---match avatar

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 10:17
fixed
fixed's picture

i am back on the coffee grinder and it's extremely annoying having to kick the snow out of my fenders every time i ride down a side street

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:58
liquify
liquify's picture

I put my sick hybrid away in the garage a day ago. Took it out the next morning to ride to class, and all the snow was frozen in the fenders. Took a while to kick it all out. Kinda annoying, but don't really notice it while pedaling most of the time. Surprisingly the gt grade doesn't have that much clearance at the chainstay bridge.

But did buy some $5 camo atv bar mitts. They are pretty ridiculous, don't really stay up, and required me using the little styrofoam-like thing from the 45 nrth jawns that clamps on the bars to keep cold air out.

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 13:02
jeffro
jeffro's picture

Get me into 5 dollar bar mitts.

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 19:29
Tail Hook Lengthener
Tail Hook Lengthener's picture

I don't know of any $5 mitts, but these guys for $21.98 are hard to beat.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
when you look back at your life sometimes you see a set of hands on your keyboard and a set of paws, but sometimes there's only a set of paws and that's when Tarckbear was typing for you.

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 22:11
johnasavoia
johnasavoia's picture

https://www.amazon.com/Kwik-ATVM-MO-Protector-Mitts-Mossy/dp/B000OF72X4/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1516452960&sr=1-1&keywords=atv+mitt I have these, they were $10 when I got them fall 2016, but at this price I'd go for the above. No complaints other than the mossy oak pattern.

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 07:56
liquify
liquify's picture

Those are probably what I was looking for, but I got these. Purchase price was $4.50 from whatever retailer had them. Now it is at least 20.

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 09:04
jeffro
jeffro's picture

Thanks, dudes!

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 09:41
johnasavoia
johnasavoia's picture

I picked those up in the olive drab last year when they were $5ish too, they do suck, way too big, really only meant for bigass atv cockpits. Or like Riv Chocomoose bars or something.

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 10:05
liquify
liquify's picture

Yah, they are a little floppy. But if you don't have to signal much, they can work fine.

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 10:12
TimArchyLime
TimArchyLime's picture

I don't think there's anything wrong with wind-chill temperatures. I find them to be pretty helpful. I could also probably get the same impression from a temp + windspeed, but wind-chill works fine.

Snarky Varking wrote:
Tarckbike- Where mile 11 means you're on a long ride.

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 14:39
emor
emor's picture

Pretty wild commute this morning on 12" of partially compacted snow all the way to work. Lots of powerslide burnouts punctuated every few blocks by the need to hop off the bike and ram it through a 3' tall plowbank. With a glorious few minutes on the perfectly plowed bike trail in the middle.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 17:13
spaghetti
spaghetti's picture

i fuckin hate the winter

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 14:44
Andrew_Squirrel
Andrew_Squirrel's picture

I am getting burnt out trying to explain to random people that PNW cycling in our mild winter isn't that big of a deal. I don't ever bring it up but random people keep approaching me in this weird patronizing manner assuming I should be absolutely miserable about the moisture falling from the sky. I've been trying to be more forgiving and understanding that they don't know what angle to approach the subject without sounding tone deaf.
My go to replies include:
"When you exercise your body becomes a heater, like the one in your car, that keeps everything warm and sometimes even TOO hot so you often need to take layers off after 10 minutes of riding"
"Sometimes a little rain on your face is refreshing"
"The trail outside work is great for a little fresh air and checking out critters"
"Morning and afternoon exercise helps me wake up in the morning and decompress from the work day"
"Tail winds are incredible when your route aligns with them, nothing quite like moving swiftly with minimal pedaling"
"Exercise makes me feel emotionally balanced in the winter whereas I used to get really depressed when I wasn't forced to do it"

But TC, sometime I really want to say something snarky about humans not being made of sugar

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 15:04
emor
emor's picture

They're not wrong. I currently prefer sunny and -3F to raining and 40F. Still get a lot of incredulous comments from folks though.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 17:01
eric_ssucks
eric_ssucks's picture

I just go straight to snark. Maybe this is my problem.

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 17:32

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