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Winter Riding Experiences

662 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  speedmetal
14 degrees farenheit this morning. Snow falling. At 6:00AM, it was still dark. Tights, knee warmers over the tights, two pairs of socks, booties, 2 shirts, a fleece, a raincoat, a t-shirt cut to go over the head, helmet, sunglasses, and some big ole' gloves. Still, I'm cold.

Singletrack on the edge of the Cumberland plateau. A bigger snow cloud moves in above, and the flakes get larger and less spread apart. Snot, boogers, and spit are matted to my upper lip, and my hands are going numb. Mud is frozen around the sidewall of my tires. The rear dérailleur has stopped shifting entirely. Misery.

Then the sun comes up over the plateau. Orange and glowing. Every twig has a twenty foot shadow. The snowflakes light up like fireflies. It's still freezing, my hands and feet are still numb, and my face still stings - but, for a brief moment, looking at the sun rising behind those flakes, alone in the woods, in complete silence, I love winter.
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Reading this, I can imagine exactly how you feel. When you wrote about what you're wearing, it made me feel nervous, that there is a need to wear that. I would be queezey and nervous of walking outside with those donditions.

Hearing of the weather and bike problems, I feel like "I'm not having fun being cold, but I'll enjoy the finished results and a hot drink."

When you wrote about being alone, in complete silence, I got really happy and excited. I want that too.

Stay warm.
I had a great winter riding experience last week. Headed out for a solo night ride in the evening on the night before the full moon. After riding a bit I stopped to adjust my light and realized that with the moonlight and reflective snow cover it was bright enough to ride without lights. So I turned them off and rode for the next hour just by moonlight. A truly amazing experience.

Steve Z
Nice first post Joe. Welcome to the mtbr.

Below 15 degrees I add chemical toe warmers between my two sock layers, and the Moose Mitts on the handlebars for my paws. Then I'm good to -10 or so...... if there's no wind. I nearly froze on a 15 mile road ride Christmas Eve day with temps between -5 and +5 F with a constant 10-20 mph head wind. The wind makes a huge difference.

As long as I can stay warm and find somewhere interesting to ride I love getting out in the winter..... but I'm longing for some rock and dirt now.
KRob said:
Nice first post Joe. Welcome to the mtbr.
Ditto !

The cold is sometimes difficult to deal with. It's all good till you get into the teens. About mid way through there seems to be a breaking point.

Gotta love it....

I hit the trails for the first time in the winter a couple weeks ago in -25'C with out the wind chill! all most froze but it was so worth it:)
Just came back from a ride in 20 degree weather. I was itching to ride, since the snow fell. Decided to take the single speed, and I'm glad I did! Had to climb some seriuosly steep stuff ( I think they were deer tracks) and swinging the monocog over the shoulder was the best choice. But once I made it up the trail, at 6,000 feet, the snow was packed up nice and firm by the snowshoers and hikers. between the snow and the mud (in places, where the snow melted) I was actually having fun! It was cold, it was messy, it was dirty, but I was all alone in the trail, with great views all around and no wind (thank goodness). No wonder some people enjoy winter riding!
To the OP:
Welcome to MTBR! Now go get some winter gear, before your fingers fall off!
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