Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bicycling Temperature Threshold

I've long defined temperature scales for myself to help me decide what to wear when I go outside (pants or shorts, jacket or no jacket, gloves or no gloves, etc). Mostly, it's to keep me from having to make tough decisions. So when it comes to riding my bike, how cold is too cold?

Here's my rule:
- For short rides, including work commutes, my threshold is somewhere between 20° and 25°F. Any colder than that, and I won't ride. Wednesday morning, for instance, was too cold (low of 18°F). This morning, however, was much warmer (low of 29°F).
- For longer weekend rides, however, I wait until the temperature is at above freezing before starting a ride. Once upon a time I tried starting a long bike ride with the temperature in the 20s, and it was a very unpleasant experience. Painful, even. Not only that, but my water bottle froze, too.

So, there you go. I'd like to go for a long ride this Saturday, but I might have to wait a while for the temperature to inch above freezing.

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