10 thoughts on “Wintertime Poll

  1. When I lived in Boston I did some short (5-7 miles-ish) rides to visit friends when temps were in the 3-8 degree F range (and with windchill was probably very near, or below 0). Since I was going someplace to be inside I typically wore a few layers up top, but only a pair of jeans below (dont want to overheat when inside). I was comfortable, but I could feel my leg muscles were really stiff and hurt a bit due to the extreme cold. So my vote is for 0 degrees (with windchill factored).

    For reference, I’ve worked full 8-10 hour days on construction sites when the temp with windchill was in the -15 to -25 F range, and at that temp you are so vulnerable to frostbite (we’re talking exposed flesh will start to be impacted in minutes) that I would say its not safe to be cycling. When I was working outside in extreme temps I was wearing 3 layers on my legs, 6 layers on my torso, gloves, glove liners, face protection, 2 hats, heavy boots, 2 pairs of socks – just wearing that much clothing on a bike would probably limit your movement and vision to the point of being unsafe.

    • Good point about the windchill. I lived for a while in the Midwest where one winter I experienced -40 F with windchill, and I didn’t wear half as much clothing as you did, which was stupid on my part– there were constant frostbite warnings on the radio and TV.

  2. As long as there is no ice or snow, I can ride, down into the single digits. It took a couple of winters to get the jackets and other clothing, and the experience, to ride in those situations. Admittedly, it’s rare the temperatures don’t rise at least to the 20s here in Washington, D.C. I’ll agree with Portajohn that frostbite is a worry when it’s very very cold, and shy away from rides in remote areas where I can’t get assistance if I have a mechanical problem.

    That said, it’s pretty exciting to ride in supercold conditions.

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