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Call me a wimp but...


Circuitmage
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I haven't been out on my EUC for a week because it hasn't been above freezing around here in Maryland, plus we've had a bit of snow making things icy. As long it's above freezing I can handle it, but those wind chills against your face are horrible. I need a ski mask or balaclava and have just been too lazy to buy one.

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It's been -2 here for a week now. I bought a $10 balaclava off of Amazon which is plenty warm.

I also use an electric shirt, pants, socks, and gloves to ward off the cold.

I do not ride when the streets are iced, forget it.

But when they are just salty, then it is good.

Trails are shitted up now, I only have my local side streets. :(

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So, a few more details on that;

1) I don't really want to combine my safety gear up, with winter gear up. Just imagining wearing layers of clothing over/under armor cracks my brain. It's hard enough to grab a jacket in the morning when it is "cold". I suppose it if I really put some thought into it, I could come up with a good winter wear, but seams like a lot of stuff to be putting on.

2) I don't know how anyone rides in near freezing temperature. Say it gets freezing at night, but "warms" up to 40 degC. I have to leave for work when it's dark. There is no way I'm going to chance riding on any ice that formed over night.

3) The wind chill is no joke. I used to ride my motorcycle in freezing weather, knowing that at every intersection I would have something warm between my legs AND nice vents to put legs up against as I rode. On the EUC, I have discovered no such comfort. At 20mph in 40degF weather (not even counting any other wind that may be going on in a usual cold front), it is super cold, within 5 or 10 mins it's getting a bit rediculous.

I must admit, at 45degF when I took a minute to put my hoodie over my head (under my helmet) it was much better.

Again, just my $0.02. Around here we only have about 6 weeks of cold weather, maybe as little as 2, so I'm not missing much ride time! This week we were at 22degF-38degF for a couple days...has been a bad week.

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yikes

The first time I drove through Oregon (for a Spring Break in the early 90's) we decided to head up to some mountain park, with a "Wizard Island" in the middle of the lake...I think it was an extinct volcano or something. As we drove up the snow got deeper and deeper...when we reached the top the park was closed (of course) due to snow (~6'). Luckily the bathroom was heated and we were able to sleep in the car. But it was coooold.

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I rode almost daily during this deep freeze in weather around -30 celcius with wind chill and was only ever cold on my lower face.  Temperature is an easy fix.  If I bought a balaklava, there'd be no reason to regard temperature as a limitation on riding.  Icy roads, on the hand...

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I've become much better at determining what road conditions are safe to ride on.  Compared to my expectations before I had any experience only a month ago, I'm actually surprised at the road conditions I can ride on with some confidence.   I can even ride on some icy surfaces I'd otherwise avoid as long as I slow down and bend my knees and increase my concentration level.  The key is to experience the range of slipperiness and let your muscle-memory gain a feel for what you can get away with. 

The cold is a non-issue in everything but extreme temperatures, and even then it wouldn't be a problem if I had a balaklava. 

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Yesterday we had 42DegF temps with high wind chill as the front blew in, so I rode in what felt like 32degF. That is about the limit for me.

I'm sure if I was "used to" that kind of weather, I would start acclimatizing myself to it, but to start the afternoon out at 72degF and then go to freezing temps is a bit of a change for us down south! 

 

 

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Approaching wimp-weather conditions in Florida tonight (and I forgot gloves)...  :(

I may have to use my pockets for hand warmth on the ride home; (=total wimp). :crying:

 

Edited by RayRay
not a 'true' southerner
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, so with just a hoodie and armor, I have been riding in ~35degF in the morning darkness. With wind chill that puts me at about 24degF. It is cold, and my eyes are watering much after my 8 min ride (not long!) , but I've started getting used to it. Just takes a few rides I guess. :)

I keep saying that's about as cold as I will get, but when it's dry outside I just can't take my car!

 

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My coldest ride (commute) was -7 Celsius (around 20F). My face ached with the cold. It is not the wheather to ride in for fun. 

I drive in almost any wheater. The problem with cold wheather in the Netherlands is, that it almost always comes with slippery conditions. And in those conditions, (just 5-15 days per winter) I do not commute on my EUC.

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