February 8, 2012

Berkshire Cycling: The Landscape of Home, 7

Cold Weather Cycling

Temperature is amongst the most relative of things, and fickle. Recent temperatures in the 40s make 25 feel cold. Yet usual temperatures in the low teens make 25 feel warm. Also, this is what we call an "open winter," i.e. no snow cover to speak of, a rare event. The roads are clear of ice, just remnants from the sand and salt trucks.

Last weekend I continued my experiment to see how cold it is when it becomes JUST TOO COLD TO RIDE OUTSIDE. I haven't found out yet.

Sunday I learned that 25F is ok, if the sun is out. To my layers and layers described last week for 30F riding, I added crosscountry ski gloves (leather, down filled) and crosscountry ski pants over my cycle pants. The pants were too warm. The gloves were great.

It was sunny and the ice on the rivers sparkled.The sun helps a lot.

At these temperatures I'm good for about 30 miles. After that it starts to feel ... tiring, but not cold exactly. Next I try on a 20F day.

And the lack of snow cover makes it pretty good, when the ice isn't slushy, for this more traditional winter sport.

But the real reason for this post is to pass along to you these two sites. Thanks to Ellen in Portland for sending me to the first one. Click onto the links, I hope you enjoy them; they are yet another take on the many ways to ride a bike.

Winnipeg Cycle Chick

It is definitely cold where she rides!

And try this site:

North Sixty

And colder where she rides!


  1. Please stay home and take up knitting! You're making me feel a) lazy and b) wimpy with all your sub-zero cycling.
    Actually, I'm full of admiration. Once our roads are clear of ice I'll be going for a spin. I miss my cycling - walking keeps us ticking over during winter but it's not nearly so much fun!

  2. Hi Steph,
    Knitting....aaargh, you don't want to hear about my misadventures and lack of skill in that world! I admit to being one of those nothing-ever-gets-finished knitters. When I realized that about myself, whenever I got the urge, I just took the last unfinished project apart, rewound the yarn and started over. After 3 or 4 times at that, when mice had eaten the half-done cap that had been half-done on 4 different occasions, all incompetently, I quit forever. The wool was lovely, local and soft, but my knitting never was!

    It actually isn't so cold on a bike at 25f. I don'teven look anything at all like the two cyclists above! Yesterday, though was 7F and windy. I stayed inside.

  3. My coldest is 34 degrees, with sun. I remember actually being scared to try it. I was like, this is ridiculous, it's too cold! But it was pretty invigorating and as long as the sun is out and the wind is calm it's not too bad. But 25 degrees? I dunno..... maybe when the opportunity arises I'll give it a shot.

    1. Hi there, Thanks for reading and commenting!

      In my experience, with a list of ifs you'll be fine in colder weather... if you have good layers, if the sun is out, if it isn't too windy, if you eat enough ... for me, it's way better than being indoors, wishing I was on my bike! No snow for crosscountry skiing here this year, or I might be singing a different tune.

  4. Je dis simplement bravo Suze.
    I'm sorry, my english is véry bad...
    see soon on the net.

    1. Merci! Merci pour lire mon site, et merci pour écrire une commentaire. Mon français est aussi mauvais. Ne vous inquietez pas à votre anglais, je vous comprend! Pour moi, c'est merveilleuse d'avoir des conversations en deux langues, à travers deux cultures. Les erreurs n'est pas tellement importante. Je suis très heureuse de lire en français! Et oui, à bientôt sur l'internet.

      Thank you! Thank you for reading my site, and for writing a comment. My French is also bad. Don't worry about your English, I understand you. For me, it is wonderful to have conversations across two cultures, the errors are not so important. I am very happy to read in French. Yes! See you soon on the internet.


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