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  1. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,996

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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Lost my record, yesterday. Was shoveling off the trail and next thing I knew it was too dark to ride the trail, safely (get's dark very early, up here). Not to mention I was totally pooped out from all that shoveling, anyway. Oh, well. Kind of nutty to think I have to ride each and every day in this weather. Some real cold headed our way by the ned of the week, with single digit and sub zero stuff.

    On a brighter note, we have Common Redpolls at the feeder! They're strictly a northern bird that wanders a lot in the winter. Some winters, don't see a one. Other winters, see them a lot.

    Not a great pic, but shows what the Common Redpoll looks like for you folks that live south of us.
    Redpoll birds are incredibly hardy: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...nter-1.4465936

    "They can survive up to 20 hours without access to food, even if temperatures drop to -54 C," Keating said.
    Redpolls have specially designed esophageal pouches that allow them to hold on to seeds, then later slowly digest them to provide them with energy to maintain their core at a balmy 40 C — "kinda like throwing logs on a fireplace."
    "Their internal temperature can be 73 degrees warmer than the surrounding air, with the two extremes being separated by less than a half a centimetre layer of feathers."
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  2. #47
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    940
    For sure, very hard birds. Have to be, to hang around in the winter, up here.

    Speaking of birds, have had a Northern Shrike hanging around our neighborhood the last couple of weeks, running a route of all the local bird feeders. Another very interesting bird, basically a song bird turned predator. When the Shrike is around, the birds at the feeder react the same way as when a hawk is around, namely, all activity ceases and the birds wait until the Shrike is gone before moving.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 12-29-2017 at 08:56 AM.

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,787
    I need 8 more miles to hit 3700 for the year. We'd planned to ride today, but it was (in the morning and still is in the afternoon) in the low 50s with a brisk north breeze, full cloud cover, and mist in the air, so we bailed. We took a 6 mile walk instead, in many layers. Warmed up as we went and enjoyed it. The weekend looks a little nicer, still chillier than normal for central Florida, but sunny, at least. I normally avoid the bike paths on weekends because of all the kids and tourists, so I may just do a short road ride to get my miles. Next week looks cold pretty much every day, so not sure how much riding I'll get done the first week of the new year.

    Yes, I do realize that my idea of "cold" is a bit skewed.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  4. #49
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    940
    Emily, I'm in awe of that mileage for the year, considering what you've overcome. Even without that, I'd be tickled to get that many miles in for the year. My riding has changed to mostly trail riding, now, so doubt I'll ever see those kinds of miles, again. Well, never say never, of course. Who ever knows what tomorrow may bring?

    Our snow is now hard as a rock given our steady sub zero temps, so that's actually a good thing for my fat bike riding. I can ride faster. Not so great for the XC skiing, though. Means I will definitely need to rewax the skis and I've been to busy with the biking to get around to it.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    6,787
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Emily, I'm in awe of that mileage for the year, considering what you've overcome. Even without that, I'd be tickled to get that many miles in for the year. My riding has changed to mostly trail riding, now, so doubt I'll ever see those kinds of miles, again. Well, never say never, of course. Who ever knows what tomorrow may bring?
    Awww, thanks, NWG. Really, though, I did have a bit of an advantage since we were in Florida for much of the year. I missed out on riding from late April through early August due to my injuries, and that is probably equivalent to what I used to miss during the winter in NC. I'd get out from time to time, but overall, the winter season was too cold for my blood!

    It was chilly today so I deferred riding until tomorrow, which isn't due to be a lot warmer, but the sun will be out, and I am determined to get that 8 miles in; if not more.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  6. #51
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,950
    Well I finally uploaded all of this year's rides from my Garmin. My total mileage for the year was just 1370. Oh well, it was what it was. As Lance Armstrong would say: Onward.

    DC weather forecasters are expecting colder than normal temps for January, for the first couple of weeks at least. I got three books for Christmas and am hoping they will be good distractions while riding the stationary bike at the gym.

    Happy New Year to all!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #52
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    940
    Happy New Year to all of you, too.

    Won't get above zero, today, but ride I will, even for just a short one, then right back in to warmup. Will end the month with only two days missed on the biking.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,787
    Today was sunny and a little chilly but the warmest day of the next week, and I wanted to get my 8+ miles to make 3700+ for the year, so we headed out in layers and 50-something degrees into a north wind. It warmed to around 64 during the ride and was altogether quite pleasant, although I prefer warmer temps and fewer layers. Still, the sunshine was lovely, and I certainly can't complain compared to the rest of the country!

    Ended up doing 34.45 miles today and 3726 for the year!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  9. #54
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    940
    Great way to end the year, Emily. That's quite the comeback.

    Did get a short ride in, today, so I'm done for the year. Onward to 2018!

  10. #55
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,950
    Way to go, Emily!

    NWG, what do you wear for rides in such cold weather?

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #56
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    940
    Thanks for asking. Okay, here goes. Way, way different than any other kind of bicycling.

    For the legs, an outer windproof insulated bike specific legging with thermal underwear leggings underneath. Over the top of both, my padded shorts. It's important to use the shorts over the top to tuck in everything tight in the crotch area. Too much loose fabric, there, and the fabric hangs up on the seat when you mount the bike. This is actually a big deal, because mounting the bike in the snow is no easy feat since the tires have so little roll. You've got to hit the seat and the pedals, hard, simultaneously, with the bike almost stationary underneath you. You can't stand on the pedals, either, to get started. All that gets you is a rear tire sliding out in the snow. Have to have that weight on the seat for the sake of traction.

    For the feet, standard, non-bike specific thermal pac boots with two layers of socks. This is why so many of us up here have ditched our clipless setups and gone with flat pedals. You can buy bike specific winter pac boots with the clipless setup, but they are insanely expensive and the ones I've seen are even heavier than standard pac boots, plus clipless is a regular pain the ### in the snow. Always getting clogged up. Even have a cheapo set of pacs from Wal-mart that work just fine. Even with these boots, I'm only good for two hours, max, at below zero temps.

    Top is an old bike specific winter jacket I bought, years, ago, in Chicago. Use as many layers of fleece tops underneath as needed. Over-dressing, here, is always tricky. Even in below zero temps, I can over-dress and start to sweat after a time. That's a big no-no when it's below zero.

    For the hands, I use standard, non-bike specific wool mittens underneath neoprene bike bar mitts. This is a super setup and has eliminated the cold hands problem, entirely. Mittens work fine with today's thumb shifters, all the more so on the 1x setups that most of my bikes have. No shifting needed on the left hand with a 1x.

    Face and neck area are the biggest headaches. In below zero temps, any exposed skin is asking to get frostbite. I will use a balaclava if need be, but I hate them when riding. Always seem to need repositioning as a I ride. Can usually do just as well with the right stocking cap and a set of biking ear muffs and a scarf. I like the scarf. I can use it and adjust it to my liking easier then the balaclava. Lastly, in serious below zero, good ski goggles are an absolute must. Your eyes and face will take a real beating, otherwise. Same ones I use for my XC skiing. In fact, a lot of these clothing items are also used for my XC skiing. And of course, all this MUST be used with the helmet. Going down in the ice and snow at some point is almost a sure thing. I NEVER rode without a helmet. NEVER. No matter what the weather.

    For sure, getting ready and dressed for a ride is not spontaneous just hop on the bike and ride thing. I've got it down to a fifteen to twenty minutes thing, now, though, when you're new to this, you'll need more time.

    Lastly, yes, getting this bundled up and trying to ride robs you of a lot of efficiency. You will burn up a lot more calories per pedal cycle, not to mention the bike, itself, operating at very low efficiency. Trust me, a five mile ride on even hard pack snow, even with that snow on a paved road, is a REAL workout. My average speed on the same trails I ride in the summer gets cut in half in the winter. If you're out of shape, you won't last long in snow riding. My daily riding and conditioning in warm weather really pays off, here.

    Okay, by now you may be wondering why on earth anyone would go to this much effort just to ride bike in the snow and cold. What can I say? I love the challenge. Everything in my technique gets trickier in the snow - turns, climbs just staying on the narrow trail through the snow. Virtually zero margin of error, now.

    More than that, however, there's just something about hearing that crunch of the tires in the snow as I pedal, the enchanting solitude and quiet of the woods in the winter, that beautiful clean cold air. Heaven help me, I love it so.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 01-01-2018 at 08:46 AM.

  12. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,331
    It all makes sense, North Woods.
    So, my bike group is doing a hike on Wednesday, and the leader actually downloaded it into a Ride with GPS file. So, after downloading it, I checked my paltry mileage totals for the year.
    1,884. Actually, about 100 more than I thought, but my lowest total since either 2003 or 2004.
    There you go. I still did lots of rides, just short ones, as well as hiking, and going back to my old gym, with boot camp. On to 2018.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  13. #58
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,259
    Definitely not my best year or even close to my usual mileage…..a year of different challenges.

    Nwg…I get the challenge part cuz that’s why I’ve liked climbing and long hard rides….thinking my current comfort zone means the riding in extreme cold makes me happy to live where I do though. .....you do indeed inspire though!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    More than that, however, there's just something about hearing that crunch of the tires in the snow as I pedal, the enchanting solitude and quiet of the woods in the winter, that beautiful clean cold air. Heaven help me, I love it so.
    Quiet roads that head towards the clouds (Santa Monica/San Gabriel/Sierra mountains) with the only sounds being my breathing and bike, the beautiful surrounding landscape slowly going by and muscular effort going up and the relaxed muscular feeling going down…..then there’s the solitude and silence of riding in the desert (Mojave) and the peacefulness of riding the beach bike path at 3 am…..or even exploring the unexpected of a wrong turn….it’s all about being in the moment and feeling good about it.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  14. #59
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    940
    Beautifully expressed, Rebecca. We can all list and appreciate the practical advantages of bicycling, but it's that soul enriching, haunting beauty aspect that makes it a lifestyle and a world of its own for so many of us.

 

 

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