Current weather

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lucaltmann
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Current weather

Postby lucaltmann » 14 Jan 2013, 2:12pm

What does everyone think about cycling to work in this weeks weather?

I'm a London commuter (West Norwood to Westminster) and haven't commuted in the winter before I wondered what everyone thought about safety on the roads in temperatures close to 0c or below (i'm not too bothered by the cold :twisted: ). I left my bike at work Friday evening so will cycle back tonight but the mornings (7am) will be worse I guess? I have a hybrid with slick tyres.

thanks for your thoughts

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Si
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Re: Current weather

Postby Si » 14 Jan 2013, 2:44pm

If it's dark then use lights and reflectors, and a hi-viz jacket if you are that way inclined (no - please don't start that argument again).
If it's icy use studded tyres.
If it's cold wear something warm and if it's wet use a water proof.
And you ought to be sorted for most things the weather can chuck at you.

Did forty mile this morning, started a bit after 8 in a couple of inches of snow and fog. Then sleet, then slush, then floods, then more snow. Rear mech froze after about 20miles, gloves gathered ice by 25miles, but got through fine. Would have been nicer if I'd had some waterproofing on my feet rather than just mesh topped race shoes, but a smidge of cold won't hurt.

Warmed by over taking the queues of traffic creeping along at the lights :wink:

However, if you don't fancy the weather than don't force yourself and don't feel bad about not riding - at least you make the effort for most of the year!

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Current weather

Postby [XAP]Bob » 14 Jan 2013, 2:51pm

Mudguards with clearance - kick the snow out of the wheels occasionally (stop first though)

Ice required studs, snow requires tread - either can be negotiated without if you take care.

I did my first winter (10 miles cross country and through two towns) on a BSO with mudguards. I had some ski gloves, and enough layers to cycle to either pole...

Main roads are often gritted, and you get a decent track made by the wheels - use it...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Si
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Re: Current weather

Postby Si » 14 Jan 2013, 2:53pm

Mudguards with clearance - kick the snow out of the wheels occasionally (stop first though)


Show my indoctrination by the CTC - I didn't even stop to consider that someone might not have mud guards :lol:

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Current weather

Postby [XAP]Bob » 14 Jan 2013, 3:19pm

Si wrote:
Mudguards with clearance - kick the snow out of the wheels occasionally (stop first though)


Show my indoctrination by the CTC - I didn't even stop to consider that someone might not have mud guards :lol:


I see bike without every day. fools.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

burnsie
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Re: Current weather

Postby burnsie » 14 Jan 2013, 3:57pm

Si wrote:Did forty mile this morning, started a bit after 8 in a couple of inches of snow and fog. Then sleet, then slush, then floods, then more snow. Rear mech froze after about 20miles, gloves gathered ice by 25miles, but got through fine. Would have been nicer if I'd had some waterproofing on my feet rather than just mesh topped race shoes, but a smidge of cold won't hurt.


Great Sankey Si....well I can't moan about wringing my socks out now!

Dave

Brucey
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Re: Current weather

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2013, 3:58pm

lucaltmann wrote:What does everyone think about cycling to work in this weeks weather?
I have a hybrid with slick tyres.

thanks for your thoughts


slick tyres? :shock:

You couldn't choose worse for ice and snow, 'specially if they are wide ones.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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BeeKeeper
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Location: South Devon

Re: Current weather

Postby BeeKeeper » 14 Jan 2013, 3:59pm

Blue skies down here at the moment...

eileithyia
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Re: Current weather

Postby eileithyia » 14 Jan 2013, 5:32pm

Depends on the roads, I have regularly commuted in the winter along roads that I know are normally gritted and have no real concerns about ice on them...
You do get to able to recognise ice on roads in general... it sounds different as you ride over it.
Don't do any sudden stupid maneouvres if you think it is icey, take care how you brake.
Get to know where water pockets form as these will often turn to ice, if you know where they are you can avoid them.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

groberts
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Re: Current weather

Postby groberts » 14 Jan 2013, 5:39pm

I swear I saw a guy touring this morning just outside Reigate in Surrey on the A217 heading north. The weather was awful: cold, sleet + windy, he had a full set of red of Orliebs + dry bag and (I think) camping gear + was well kitted out with Gore top etc = respect!

If it does get worse, and snow is forecast here overnight, I can only say be careful. Three years ago I went out on Jan 2 with snow + slush around and came a cropper on black ice, smashing my left-hand thumb up, was off the bike for a month + in pain for 6 months; in fact it still hurts sometimes. The conclusion, don't underestimate these conditions, I did and paid the price.

lucaltmann
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Re: Current weather

Postby lucaltmann » 15 Jan 2013, 8:53am

Thanks all, I cycled in this morning and there were considerably less cyclists than last week when it was much milder in London!

No sign of ice about but the rest of the week may get colder.

I'm going to take it a day at a time and if it gets treacherous I'm not too proud to do a few days on the bus or train!

But blody hell it was cold, how are you supposed to keep your cheeks warm!

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Current weather

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Jan 2013, 9:28am

Buff or a balaclava

I find my ears are the problem, followed (about 10 degrees colder by my eyes (ski goggles are good for that)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Si
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Re: Current weather

Postby Si » 15 Jan 2013, 10:23am

how are you supposed to keep your cheeks warm!


Extra pair of shorts?

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Current weather

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Jan 2013, 10:32am

Si wrote:
how are you supposed to keep your cheeks warm!


Extra pair of shorts?


Trust the moderator to lower the tone ;) :D
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

thirdcrank
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Re: Current weather

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Jan 2013, 10:59am

Wrapping up against the cold is the easy bit (although even anybody who keeps warm by riding, even in the coldest weather, would be well-advised to have some warm togs to put on in case they end up having to stand around in the cold eg repairing a puncture.)

The thing a cyclist cannot really influence is the attitudes and behaviour of other road users. Any hint of snow now and the weather forecasters get themselves into a frenzy, which seems to infect everybody. Drivers then tend to fall into two categories (a) the white-knuckle drivers, over-revving in low gears and generally getting in a tizzy (b) the self-styled experts who are keen to demonstrate their contempt for group a and charge about at silly speeds. I'm exaggerating. of course, because planty of drivers act normally, but for those who drive badly, the safety of cyclists is even lower down their agenda than normal.

Apart from that, if any section of a ride involves anything not on the main cariageway, it's unlikely to have been cleared of snow or gritted. If snow is particularly heavy, only the bits of roads where motor traffic is moving are likely to be snow-free. That can impose a sort of involuntary use of a primary position - no bad thing - except that it needs steady nerves.