Only 1 week today till the shortest day...

by step.doran   December 14, 2009  

...and then the days start getting brighter. B)

How many of the commuters on here are still doing it and how many have hung up their shorts for the season?

Cold toes are and the odd fishtailing moments are making it a tad scarier, but still the hot shower and cup of coffee that greets me (well, that I make myself) once I've arrived almost makes it worth it.

Apart from petrol seriously back over a pound, what else drives you all out in the dark?

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habit drives me, it wouldn't occur to me to do anything else, though these days I don't have that long a commute.

Also I started my commuting career in the winter and, black ice apart, I've never found it that bad, in fact winter riding has a lot going for it - less chance of over heating for a start. I always recommend it as a good time to start commuting on the basis that you experience the worst right at the start - so you know that if you can cope with it the rest of the year should be a relative doddle.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
14th December 2009 - 14:17

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yeah, sometimes come home looking like this guy:

Start Cycle Commuting. Write off your car!

posted by step.doran [71 posts]
14th December 2009 - 14:19

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The hardest time in these parts is usually February, when it's cold, wet, and windy pretty much all at the same time… all the time

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
14th December 2009 - 14:26

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i have no choice but to cycle as ive no access to a car, mind you it's not far so not really a problem..

as for getting out on a 'ride' i still try to manage a two hour slot one evening per week as well as any other time that i can, although with minus temps. that evening ride gets curtailed.

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posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
14th December 2009 - 14:35

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tony_farrelly wrote:
The hardest time in these parts is usually February, when it's cold, wet, and windy pretty much all at the same time… all the time

agree with you there..although a good selection of winter clothing makes a big difference. waterproof socks with thermal liners have been essentials for me these last few years, and a good merino base layer..

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posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
14th December 2009 - 14:39

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The winter hasn't put me off. I only commute a short distance but that's still far enough to have to pack a spare pair of boxers and jeans to change into at work after the others gets soaked with road crud and rain....I should really fit a mud guard or wear some over-trousers but laziness stops me from deploying either of those tactics Yawn

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posted by Oli [102 posts]
14th December 2009 - 15:32

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my commute's got a 2-mile downhill run to begin, not so good on the ol' fingers at this time of year and i always forget my gloves Smile

Not that i'm going to stop, mind. it's that or walking Smile

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7262 posts]
14th December 2009 - 20:38

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My commute's pretty short but as I leave early in the morning, I need to wear gloves. I'll only stop rding if it's icy. I was training with the BMX club yesterday.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
14th December 2009 - 23:12

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now getting cooler has reminded me i need a filling - oh i hate the dentist.

http://sinaicycle.blogspot.com

2010 - Cheshire Cat / Dragon Ride

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posted by canyonsi [42 posts]
15th December 2009 - 13:35

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My expensive lights that seemed like such a good idea at the time are what's keeping me going. Yikes!

Ride a bike now, the funk soul brother.

posted by Thextos [8 posts]
15th December 2009 - 23:28

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Its a strange thought (to us down under) to see you talking about the middle of winter......... we are a week out from the LONGEST DAY in NZ and our weather always settles down and provides us with our great summer for riding! B)

Kiwi Woody

posted by Jaydub [2 posts]
16th December 2009 - 9:05

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Being married to a kiwi and having lived in wellington for quite a while I'm ree eealy feeling that. And suspect if the plan to move back next year goes ahead we'll be getting and edinburgh winter followed by a ChCh one. Brr.

Start Cycle Commuting. Write off your car!

posted by step.doran [71 posts]
16th December 2009 - 16:07

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Bit chillier this morning!

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posted by ctznsmith [102 posts]
18th December 2009 - 11:06

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brass monkeys here. the kind of day you wish your commute didn't start with 2 miles downhill Surprise

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7262 posts]
18th December 2009 - 11:10

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Its been snowing here in Yate for about 2 hours, nowt sticking though.

Was freezing cold this morning, the garmin 705 reckoned minus 2 before windchill.

not all carbon is the same.

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posted by Jon Burrage [1080 posts]
18th December 2009 - 11:45

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We have had a whalloping in Peterborough this morning... cold and loads of snow. I am not convinced the skinny tyred machine will be out this weekend.

Could be time to move over to Singletrack!

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1221 posts]
18th December 2009 - 11:50

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dave_atkinson wrote:
brass monkeys here. the kind of day you wish your commute didn't start with 2 miles downhill Surprise

ouch!

The 800 or so icy metres on a slight downward incline to the end of my road was bad enough.

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posted by ctznsmith [102 posts]
18th December 2009 - 14:29

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Hmmm....30 degrees here in Christchurch yesterday. Feeling for you guys!

Kiwi Woody

posted by Jaydub [2 posts]
18th December 2009 - 21:06

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T'was -2°C and dry in Shrewsbury today, but it didn't feel as bad as I had expected. Stiff headwind all the way to work made it something of a grind (it's uphill too).

I have found that the idea of the cold is worse than the reality, as I warm up after a mile or so (fingertips excepted). One thing that helps is getting dressed in clothes warmed on the radiator a few minutes before leaving the house. Toasty. I also don't have to scrape ice off my car then sit in a fridge with misting windows until the heater finally warms it up... by which time I'm most of the way to work yet still feel cold.

Whatever the weather or the time of year, I'm always happier getting to work on the bike, and I can easily justify that big bowl of porridge.

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posted by Simon E [1919 posts]
18th December 2009 - 21:37

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Thanks Jaydub that heat must be hell Thinking

Know what you mean Simon, I was out first thing this morning buying our Christmas treet (actually frozen in a solid green lump - hasn't thawed yet) but I didn't find the ride in that bad at all - and it is the best part of a mile downhill (proper downhill too) from the front door but it didn't feel anywhere near as cold as I was expecting. Luckily

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
18th December 2009 - 22:48

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Legs felt pretty stiff today which I assume was the cold as I haven't used them all weekend, maybe I need some belgian kneewarmers? Smile

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posted by ctznsmith [102 posts]
21st December 2009 - 11:00

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It was mountain bike and hiking all the way in the snow lashed fens.

Loved it.

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1221 posts]
21st December 2009 - 13:15

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Had my first off today at the end of my road. Wonder if any of the neighbours were watching. Would have looked quite comedy as I did a little shimmy on my bike, I managed to save the back kicking out twice before I went down.

Walking to the end of the road where it's gritted from now on. Wink

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posted by ctznsmith [102 posts]
22nd December 2009 - 13:39

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Hope you didn't damage anything?

I've been walking the bike to the end of the road for the last couple of days. Sheet ice on and it's on a hill with a main road at the end made we think twice - rode up nice and spinny on the back wheel but not quite as hardcore as riding down I'd have to admit.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
22nd December 2009 - 13:52

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Bike and me are fine. I cushioned the fall of the bike and my Messenger bag (which had mostly my gym clothes in it) cushioned the fall of me. Smile

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posted by ctznsmith [102 posts]
22nd December 2009 - 16:42

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Slid around on the snow on the way home yesterday. Luckily I was riding my not quite so old Ridgeback which has knobblies, rather than the old one which has road tyres.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
22nd December 2009 - 17:15

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Spoke too soon took the long hill on the way home, thought it had thawed a bit, interesting line on the hill were the wet bit stopped and the frozen bit started. Followed by half a mile of sideways moment fun… which really was fun only to be confronted with a a mile of flat bit that was just sheet ice, bit of steep off camber found me out. Big rucksack + 17in laptop + Kryptonite New York + my fat arse = a soft landing.

Interesting moment for the laptop mind.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
22nd December 2009 - 20:34

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Managed 20 miles of icy back lanes on the way home last night without incident, pulled up outside the house chuffed with my supreme bike handling skills and promptly hit the deck like a sack of spuds in front of a group of carol singers!! muppet

Follow me on-
Twitter - @StuKerton
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

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posted by stuke [302 posts]
23rd December 2009 - 10:24

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yeah, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, thought I'd done the hard bit.

Just about to ride down to the office now… sheet ice outside, maybe it'll have thawed by the time I leave Thinking

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
23rd December 2009 - 11:00

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-8 degrees when i left this morning at half seven, managed to stay upright getting off of the estate but then decided to go via the main roads Smile

Follow me on-
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posted by stuke [302 posts]
23rd December 2009 - 11:28

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