The Chainlink

So, not trying to take over for the I Rode Today forum, but it's got a million comments, so let's start a Winter Bike thread for this season.

What I learned today, riding from Rogers Park to 5600 West on Belmont, and back, via various side-streets (and then lots of Montrose) and Hopleaf:

When rats are road-killed in this weather, they freeze into little blocks of bloody ice (2800 block of West Montrose).

When I'm cold enough, I will aim for the jets of steamy air coming up from the storm sewers--quite refreshing (1900 block of West Winona).

Biking in the city is a constant learning experience.  What'd you learn lately?

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Yeah, I missed a frozen rat Monday. Don't care really; it's still a DEAD rat.

Lately I've learned how to get across Berwyn and Cicero on side streets. I've had some of my most enjoyable  rides of recent years traveling across the near west 'burbs late at night, just in the past few weeks.

Extremely bike-friendly winter so far.

I've learned that too many restaurants throw ice onto Milwaukee ave.  I imagine I'll see it all winter, and it will keep on piling up because it won't melt...in the winter.

 

i learnt long ago to hold my breath whilst passing through sewer vapours...

I have learned that even though I am warm, riding for a somewhat extended period of time in cold weather makes me more tired than it does in warmer weather.

Now *that's* a rat marking.   ;)

in it to win it said:

Yeah, I missed a frozen rat Monday. Don't care really; it's still a DEAD rat.

I'll second that thought.

Lisa Curcio said:

I have learned that even though I am warm, riding for a somewhat extended period of time in cold weather makes me more tired than it does in warmer weather.I'll

I learned that if I'm warm at the beginning of my ride I'll be too hot during my ride.  I've found it's best to be a little cold to begin the journey.

Ditto, except for my feet! ;-)
 
Juan Primo said:

I learned that if I'm warm at the beginning of my ride I'll be too hot during my ride.  I've found it's best to be a little cold to begin the journey.

I too must be chilly at the start to avoid being overheated by the end.  And I also agree that winter biking leaves me hungrier, more dehydrated, and more tired than summer/fair weather biking.  Also, thirstier.  I suspect it's due to the amount of energy we actually are expending to just stay warm. 

Sidestreets are the way to go in the winter (once they're clear).  Of course, I try to never ride on Milwaukee regardless of the weather; the Dooring Corridor, I call it.

1) I couldn't agree more with being cold to start my ride to avoid being overheated within 10 minutes.  To best regulate my body temperature I like to ride in a windproof jacket with pit zips and two chest pocket zips.  If I get too warm I can open the pit zips to vent a little, and to cool down even more I can open the chest pockets to let some cold air in.

2) Balaclavas are a lifesaver, even if I look like a fool.

3) For me personally, avoid Lakeshore path.  The path gets heavily-salted and leads to rusted cables/chains, etc.  That, plus ice in certain parts from the lake spray.  The surface streets are relatively salt free and clear within a day or two of light snow due to the traffic.  (Sort of related but off-topic: I have never understood why the city uses salt on lakeshore path instead of sand.  Salt is horrible for the lake.)

My attempt at explaining 3)

 

"Your Honor, we intend to prove by not using salt, the City of Chicago did not do all they could do to prevent this unfortunate accident from happening.  Salt is the standard of abating ice on the roadway for cars, but the City of Chicago negligently not exercise that level of care for the cycling public on a path intended for cyclists."

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