Anyone ride a bicycle here? 21 replies

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3rd May 2005

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#21 11 years ago

I did have one, but it suffered from rust so I got rid of it. I'm looking into getting a new one before I head back to Uni - Oxford has a fantastic cycle lane network. Plus, it'd save me having to shell out another £200 or so on a bus pass.




Huffardo

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#22 11 years ago

Maxa;4490275If it doesn't get too cold :uhm:. Last winter was so mild it was not a problem (couple of days below -10C), but the previous year's -30C was too much... I either stayed at home, went by bus or walked to uni.[/QUOTE] Yup, I try to keep cycling if it is above -20 C, but anything more is just impractical unless buying specialized clothing, cold-proof oil for the chain and doing something about the gears freezing stuck.

That's not a huge problem here though, this south and close to the Baltic Sea we hardly ever get temperatures colder than that in the day. -27 C is the coldest I've seen during my three years here, at that was at night. I obviously took the car, but had it been any colder I'd have needed an outlet for the engine preheater to take it back home...

Pethegreat;4490474I am going to try it this year. City streets will be less snow covered than where I live, so it should be easier. I just need to get some clothing for the occasion.

Make sure you do, it's much better than what people who find it insane think. :) Clothing is merely an excuse though. The cheap and lazy idiot I am I don't own one piece of clothing I wouldn't have if I didn't own a bicycle, obviously except the helmet, and do just fine every winter, although specialized clothing certainly won't do any harm it is an unnecessary expense. Just start easy, don't try to cover the distances you do now, cycling in deep wet snow and on uneven ice can be surprisingly exhausting and you certainly want to be within walking distance from home until you have learned how to control slides with the bike, not much fun walking far when you hurt yourself. I'd suggest lowering the saddle slightly when the first snow or ice arrives so that you just can reach down with your feet on both sides of the bike even though it isn't the optimal cycling position, makes it easier to keep your balance and allows you to react faster to stop some of the inevitable crashes.

BTW, I don't mean to scare anyone from winter cycling even though I may mention crashing, it is just a fact that anyone cycling any significants amounts on ice will eventually fall. Usually it doesn't even hurt much, but wearing a helmet is still not a bad idea even if it can be tricky to combine with warm headwear. I got to admit I just can't fit my helmet on all the stuff I wear when it's really cold though.

Regarding clothing; buy a balaclava unless you already have one. I doubt you will find cycling without one when it gets below -15 degrees Celsius and windy enjoyable. It's good to have when walking in challenging conditions too.

[QUOTE=Pethegreat;4490474]Riding a bike on flat land is no problem, but add in hills and it becomes a challenge for most people. You dutchies have it easy with your country being mostly flat.

That's certainly true, Finland is said to be a flat country, but when pedaling uphill, which I pretty much have to do if I cycle any distance worth unlocking the bike in any direction, although there are no hills here worth comparing to the ridges I had to cycle over around Tampere, I sometimes wonder what it would be to cycle somewhere actually hilly. I guess I don't want to find out.