Underdressed/ ill prepared cyclists out in droves

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Underdressed/ ill prepared cyclists out in droves

Postby Crazydave » 2 Jan 2009, 8:26pm

I was just wondering if any of you on here wear shorts and t shirts no matter what temperature for cycling. I have done it when it's been quite cool, but IMHO, in the recent weather, it's plain daft. The highs in my town over the last few days were:
30th: 2C
31st: -1C
1st: 0C
Today: 4C
It has been slightly colder overnight, sometimes down to -4C, but I have seen at least three people out on bikes in shorts, and a short sleeve top, and purple goose pipmpled skin, carrying no repair kit, spare clothes, food water or anything. This was also 3 miles (50 minutes' brisk walk) from the nearest village. They could be in serious trouble if they broke down/ injured themselves. I know from my mountain safety training that stripped naked, at rest a person could lose conciousness in 20 minutes at 0C, and shorts and t shirt only provide a few degrees worth of insulation.
I don't know if any of you have seen this phenomenon, but it just seems so ignorant. IMO the minimum requirement for this weather is pair of long trousers, a pair of gloves, a sweater or light jacket, and an extra layer in case of break down.

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Postby cranky1 » 2 Jan 2009, 8:46pm

You should get out for a night in Hartlepool man you would think it's the middle of summer all year round. I was out and about yesterday - very cold- and saw people walking around in tee shirts.
Be carefull out there.

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Postby Mick F » 2 Jan 2009, 8:57pm

Between Christmas and New Year, a couple of cyclists came in the pub. She had tights, and he was in shorts! It was below Zero out there, even though it was a lunch-time.

I chatted for a while about cycling. Mrs Mick F came over and suggested I was boring them coz I was going on a bit. But no matter, they were enjoying my banter and stories - or at least I thought they were!

It came out that he was a runner and had recently taken up cycling. She had the look of a long-term cyclist and knew what she was doing. He looked a bit out of his depth. I mentioned the shorts - and how you should keep your knees warm. She understood, but he wasn't convinced .....

Tights for me until at least March.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby cbgb » 2 Jan 2009, 9:02pm

I have commuted to work all week including New Years eve until 10PM and New Years day. I live and work in the North West and it has hardley been above freezing all week. New years eve was the coldest, it did not get above -3 all day. I have worn shorts on both the journey and return from work Monday to Thursday. However i got up at 6am this morning, looked out the window and for the first time this week i didnt fancy biking to work. I did pluck up the courage but the shorts were sacraficed and i donned long trousers.
I tend to concentrate on my hands and my upper body as my legs and feet dont seem to suffer. I wear a good windproof, waterproof cycle fleece with a altra night vision over the top. I have a good pair od ski gloves and carry all my accesories in Panniers. Oh and i also rely on my trusty Hope Vision One so i can see where i am going.

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Postby Crazydave » 2 Jan 2009, 9:17pm

Shorts aren't so bad IMO, if you wear something on your torso, plus hat and gloves, though I wouldn't be too keen to go out on a day where the high was -3. To have nothing on over your t shirt though is downright stupid in this weather. Those chaps in Hartlepool will learn when they get sick. I have heard that no-one under 40 wears a coat, or sweatshirt in NE England. I don't know if that's true or not.
I did see some people in short sleeve shirts with no jacket outside a Southampton night club when it was -2.
I go from shorts and a t shirt at 10C to long trousers, a sweatshirt, hat and gloves at 0C. Much below zero, and I wear a jacket as well. Some people still seem to think I'm underdressed. I had concern expressed over my hat, gloves, sweatshirt clothing choice in -1C, even though I was going to be going uphill.
I don't know if you agree but people seem to season push in this country.
September with a high of 20 and sunshine. I wear shorts and a t shirt to lectures. The rest of students wear jeans and a sweatshirt.
April with a high of 12 and sunshine. I wear jeans and a sweatshirt to lectures. The rest of students wear shorts and t shirts. :?

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Re: Underdressed/ ill prepared cyclists out in droves

Postby paulah » 2 Jan 2009, 9:21pm

Crazydave wrote:Today: 4C

Looks like it will be balmy on Sunday as well. In the meantime, in order to be able to feel my feet when cycling, I've started wearing my lighter pair of walking boots with thick socks and liner socks.

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Postby wrangler_rover » 2 Jan 2009, 10:16pm

I went out for a ride on Tuesday (30th December) afternoon, 3 layers on top, single layer trousers, gloves & hat. I stayed in a low gear maintain a high cadence to keep warm, after 3 miles, my top half was nice & warm, my legs were getting colder & colder, I decided to turn off and return home. There's nothing macho about hypothermia, I bought a pair of thermal long johns from an outdoor shop today, I hope to go out again on sunday weather permitting.

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Postby cbgb » 2 Jan 2009, 11:28pm

Tha reason for me wearing shorts is i find that wearing long pants makes me sweat behing the knees causing dry skin and discomfort. My legs dont mind the cold or rain as much as my upper torso.

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Postby vernon » 2 Jan 2009, 11:39pm

You don't need to go as far north as Hartlepool to see minimally dressed lads and lasses. Leeds has a good display at the weekends. My wife was amused one Saturday night as I drove through the city centre and the sight of the semi naked women evoked the comment "what would their fathers say if they could see them dressed like that'" The moment I said it I went into mourning for my absent libido :cry:

Tolerance of the cold varies. Us hardy folk from the north (I'm from Darlington) can cope with cold weather and shorts. I've done it quite a few times including one occasion where it really was marginal whether or not I called at a farm house to seek shelter or a lift to my car. Stupidity come in varying degrees. I've currently got a Master's in it. I hope to get a Doctorate in it before I retire.

Einstein has more or less got it sorted:

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

It's pointless getting worked up about other folks dress sense I'd only worry about Crazy Dave's semi naked cyclists if they were doing something really stupid like trying to reach the summit of Cross Fell. In all liklihood they had mobile phones to get assistance if they got into difficulties.

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Postby Crazydave » 2 Jan 2009, 11:48pm

I wouldn't say I was worried, so much as concerned. I just thought it would be interesting to see what other people would think. I don't get why people go out in short sleeves with no jacket when it's below freezing.
Some people make comments/ give me looks for cycling in shorts+sweatshirt at 7-10C and shorts+ t-shirt over 10C. That's just my comfort threshhold, but I always carry some spare clothing.
You know you're having a cold Winter when you think 4C is balmy. That's still long trousers, sweatshirt and gloves weather for Crazydave on 2 wheels.

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Postby Beakyboy » 3 Jan 2009, 6:46am

When it starts getting cold (about November) I always where Endura 3/4 thermal bib knickers. The only exposed area being my shins. I find my endurance is better and there is less chance of injury if my joints and muscles are warm.
May the wind always be at your rear!

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Postby eileithyia » 3 Jan 2009, 8:28am

I keep my legs well covered, like MickF at least thru to March and later dependant on temps (though I may have downgraded to 3/4's by then).

I shudder at those i see minimally dressed. Sure they might be warm enough on the bike, but get warm maybe slightly sweaty and then have a major mechanical breakdown, you could very quickly become a shivering wreck in these temps.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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Postby Manx Cat » 3 Jan 2009, 8:29am

I always thought it was an age thingy!

Took Rosie my youngest out yesterday and we did 23 miles. (chuffed to bits emotion).

I wore:

Cycling shorts, pair of thermals and thermal cycling leggings as well. Oh, and warm cosy socks.

Top bit on me, thermal vest, Helly base layer, fleece cycle top.

Warm winter weight SealSkinz gloves (Xmas pressie from him indoors)

Rosie wore:
Cotton tee shirt
Light summer fleece top.

Cotton 3/4 length summer weight trousers.


Baseball boots.

Who was warmest????

She was! Within 4 miles the sweat was dipping off her long hair and my panniers held her fleece top and gloves.

Whereas I was mildly warm. Even after the full 23 miles I was mildly warm on my back. But I had 'hot aches' on my butt all the way home in the car as I de-frosted!

I was even fastest that day too!

Temperature was 4 degrees C.


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Postby lauriematt » 3 Jan 2009, 9:59am

i normally cycle at around 5 or 6am...often the coldest part pf the day...

lately weve had temperatures around minus 3 - 5....

so....bib tights on....set of running tights on....then a set of trousers! :lol:

as for top a thin baselayer....fleece....and a jumper.....sometimes another jumper on top :lol:

must be mad to be out in shorts!

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Postby Crazydave » 3 Jan 2009, 12:01pm

I suppose there are different levels of comfort, but that said people shoudl still carry spare clothing in case of an emergency.
As for the story of Rosie, 4 degrees isn't too severe, especially if the sun's out. What I'm worried about is below freezing, especially if it's overcast/ foggy. Those extra few degrees really do make a difference. I've seen people cycling in freezing fog in shorts, t shirt and no spare clothes! If they get sick nad have to be treated, they should pay the NHS for their treatment as punishment for their own stupidity. When stood still, naked, the human body needs an ambient temperature of at least 10C. Shorts and t shirt will insulate to 7C. This means in -1C, the body temperature could be 29C in as little as an hour. This is stage 3 hypothermia, which results in exposed skin becoming blue and puffy, poor muscle coordination, inability to walk, irrational behaviour, stupour, lowered pulse/ respirational rate and possible major organ failure.