oldies riding in the cold

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mercalia
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oldies riding in the cold

Postby mercalia » 19 Jan 2016, 10:43pm

I went out today for a short ride down to Sevenoaks - very short as I was exhausted by the hills. Any other oldies here find riding in the cold exhausting?

MikeF
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby MikeF » 19 Jan 2016, 11:13pm

I don't get exhausted so much as I cannot seem to keep my hands and feet warm. On a short run home of about 2½ miles last night I was glad to get indoors, because of the cold. The older you become the less able it seems you can cope with it. :(
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661-Pete
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby 661-Pete » 19 Jan 2016, 11:20pm

Well, today was my once-a-week commuting day, as it happens, and like a fool I went outside in the morning, -4.1°C on the max-min thermometer, felt too lazy to scrape the ice off the car, so I went by bike. Mrs P was a bit apprehensive as I set out, but the roads looked dry, but it was piercingly cold.

The commute is 10 miles, mostly on the level. I had on warm trousers, a thick cotton shirt, fleecy jersey and my altura hi-viz jacket, as well as a padded hat with ear-flaps, and thick gloves. Nonetheless my fingertips were in excruciating pain once I reached work, although the rest of me was fine. And I wouldn't say I was unduly tired, but then I cycle quite slowly at the best of times, and it was painfully slow today (just over 10mph average) due to the risk of ice.

At one point I did indeed hit ice: it's a dip in a narrow country lane where I have long known about a couple of springs that bubble up in the verge and have recently been spilling out onto the road surface. Well, today they had laid a sheet of ice across the entire road width. I didn't see the first bit soon enough, and felt my back wheel going as I hit it. How I didn't come off I'll never know. I was lucky enough to reach a bit of dry road where I could dismount. I walked until I was past the danger zone.

Like an even bigger fool, I've committed myself to going in again on Thursday - a bit of a backlog in work. Probably best to take a different route - or go by car. More dosh in the bank, true (I'm hourly paid now) but is it worth it? I shall soon be sixty-six..... :?
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Heltor Chasca
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby Heltor Chasca » 20 Jan 2016, 7:03am

I love this @661-Pete. Too much work to de-ice the car so you cycled 10 miles! I am in admiration. Us cyclists have a different mind set. Take care on the roads today it's even colder...b

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Mick F
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby Mick F » 20 Jan 2016, 8:18am

mercalia wrote:I went out today for a short ride down to Sevenoaks - very short as I was exhausted by the hills. Any other oldies here find riding in the cold exhausting?
Me.
63 and hate the cold. I've hated it since maybe my mid-50s whereas before that I couldn't have cared less. I reckon it's due to age.

I have a "free" day today, and want to go out cycling, but it's -1degC out there, and I know full well that where we are is less cold than down in the valleys and west-facing slopes. Maybe -4degC.

Give it an hour or two, and I may get my kit on and get out. The prospect of whizzing down the hills in these temps fills me with dread. If we lived somewhere flat, I could keep going at a steady pace. Here, I puff and pant up the hills but freeze to death going down the other sides.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Paulatic
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby Paulatic » 20 Jan 2016, 8:43am

I'm the same age as Mick and from being a young man who rarely felt the cold I've a job to stay warm now. You've to get used to cycling in the cold in Scotland or you'd never go out. Wearing a Buffalo keeps me war all winter I'm always loathe to take it off when i get home.
I think I'm always more breathless in cold weather though and presume it's something to do with air quality of cold damp air. Did 1500' of climbing yesterday on a 25 ml ride but kept to gritted main roads. Some of the smaller lanes were still snow covered on the higher shaded sections.
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Mick F
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby Mick F » 20 Jan 2016, 8:53am

When I commuted year-round in Scotland - we lived in Balloch and I commuted over the Black Hill to Clyde Submarine Base and back - I was in my 30s, and other than having a filthy bike most of the time, I found no problem at all with the cold and/or the damp.

For most of my commuting life, I never had a problem. I'm glad I don't need to do it any more! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

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661-Pete
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby 661-Pete » 20 Jan 2016, 9:08am

Heltor Chasca wrote:I love this @661-Pete. Too much work to de-ice the car so you cycled 10 miles! I am in admiration.
Ha ha! I'm sure you detected the sarcasm in my post.... :oops:

But it is true, I hate driving in very icy weather. It occurs to me, if I'd driven over that same sheet of ice that I encountered when cycling, I might very well have skidded off the road and landed in the ditch - or worse. And you can't just pick yourself and your car up, and carry on.... :?

But I don't usually drive along that stretch of road. When going by car, I go on the main roads. The lane is quite well-used by cyclists and pedestrians - leave it to them.

Oddly enough, I don't recall passing a single fellow-cyclist, yesterday morning. Usually I pass several, some of whom I recognise.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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ANTONISH
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby ANTONISH » 20 Jan 2016, 9:44am

74 and every year I like the cold less - I never ride on ice - I'm one of those who prefers to be warm at the start - I no longer generate enough heat to warm up in the traditional manner - unless I'm climbing hills.
When I was young a thick jersey and a sheet of newspaper sufficed for cold weather training - I wouldn't like to try that now :(
I find I feel the cold more after a cafe stop - hence I prefer no to stop if possible.
The cold is definitely tiring.
I often think of that saying (Irish?) "If the winter doesn't kill us the summer never will"

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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby ChrisButch » 20 Jan 2016, 9:52am

One of the factors here, I think, is the air pressure. Freezing winter weather usually means high pressure, which is always harder work, and the slightest wind is much harder to deal with than low-pressure wind. The same is true in summer heat, when again the combination of high pressure and heat is harder to ride in than when one was younger. By contrast winter low pressure, such as we had throughout December, makes cycling feel relatively easy, despite the wet.

reohn2
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby reohn2 » 20 Jan 2016, 10:00am

I reckon it's lack of acclimatisation it's not been really cold this winter,we're just not used to it.
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squeaker
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby squeaker » 20 Jan 2016, 10:14am

ChrisButch wrote:One of the factors here, I think, is the air pressure. Freezing winter weather usually means high pressure, which is always harder work, and the slightest wind is much harder to deal with than low-pressure wind.
That plus cold tyres (higher rolling resistance) and cold grease in the bearings all takes its toll, but like others here I find the human mechanism, especially circulation, the main problem!
"42"

recumbentpanda
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby recumbentpanda » 20 Jan 2016, 10:37am

Hmm, somewhat smugly reading all these complaints of the weather by old guys, and then realising . . .

Anyway, as an old guy in denial I find that equipment is key - specifically, those bits which protect the extremities. Amazing how many fancy gloves, socks, shoes etc can't cope with wind chill. Experiment and find those that can. Currently on goretex shoes with smartwool socks, and sealskins gloves with extra altura thinsulate gloves over the top.

Also a trick I learned from barefoot hiking (yes really) - if an extremity starts to go numb, stop and warm it up thoroughly (carry a gel heat pack or two if your route has no convenient cake stop :lol: ). Not only is it not worth the risk of damage, when you get going again it's much more likely to stay warm for a good long time.

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Mick F
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby Mick F » 20 Jan 2016, 11:09am

Well .............. I set out with a will and a sort of plan for a 20mile ride keeping away from the deep valleys and staying on bigger roads.
Up out of the valley 0degC when I left, than as I climbed west on the A390, the temp went up to 4degC. :D

I turned off onto the B3257 - quite a busy B road, but they hadn't gritted it, and temp was going down to 2degC. Icy patches in places, and just after rounding a bend whilst being followed by a big lorry, I saw ice right across the road! :shock: I stood up on the pedals and steered very gingerly and smoothly across the ice way out in "primary" ready to slide and shimmy, or possibly fall off. I'm sure the lorry driver behind me saw the ice and saw what I was doing and he held back. Had I slid off and the lorry skidded, I doubt I'd be typing this now. :shock:

Any road up, I went on a little further, turned round, and headed home by the same route, but was ready for the ice this time.

Only 12miles done and TBH it was far enough in that chill. My body and legs were warm enough, and my hands too, but wearing enough clobber to keep out the cold makes riding less of a pleasure. I'm glad to be home in the warm with a cuppa.
Mick F. Cornwall

tatanab
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Re: oldies riding in the cold

Postby tatanab » 20 Jan 2016, 11:47am

Age 63.
Out yesterday morning in freezing fog, but brilliant sunshine when it broke through. Temperature a little below freezing. 20 enjoyable miles. Dressed well but not over dressed. Brake levers and gloves had a thin layer of ice.
This morning I had planned to go out but the freezing fog has got denser through the morning so I decided it was not worth any risk with visibility so stayed home.

The big thing is that both these days have been almost flat calm, hence the fog. Had it been windy it would have been much harder due to wind chill. The coldest I've ridden in is -12C with a brisk breeze that I was glad to turn away from.