Follow @theurbancountry on Twitter Find us on Facebook Subscribe to theurbancountry.com via e-mail Subscribe to theurbancountry.com via RSS
Follow @theurbancountry on Twitter Find us on Facebook Subscribe to theurbancountry.com via e-mail Subscribe to theurbancountry.com via RSS

Too Cold To Take Public Transit 90

Toronto Temperature Tuesday

The last two days have seen immensely frigid temperatures here in Toronto. I have still been using my bike on a daily basis throughout the winter, but Tuesday proved exceptionally cold when a friend and I pedaled a few kilometres to a computer store that evening. This was a rare occasion in which I was actually almost uncomfortable riding my bicycle because it was so cold.

The temperature on Tuesday morning was –22C, and the wind-chill adjusted temperature was –37C – far colder than Toronto’s daily average (mean) temperature in January of –3.7C.

My friend and colleague Jen H. took public transit to work on Monday, and on her commute home she ended up walking halfway to her home before the streetcar showed up, taking more than an hour for her to get home.

So she decided she would be better off to ride her bicycle to the office on Tuesday instead of being stuck outside waiting for public transit.

Jen described her bike commute to me through a series of instant messages:

“No problems getting parking this AM hahaha”

“It was a fun ride though. Warm once I got going. My feet froze though”

Jen lives on the edge of downtown, a 15 minute bike ride from the office. However, public transit takes at least 45 minutes.

“It was a fun ride – and for real, I don’t have an hour to wait to get home at the end of a work day – I live downtown to avoid those commutes!!

“Wind behind me the whole way home. 15 min and sweating. So much better than the streetcar.”

Here is Jen on her Tuesday commute, sporting frozen eye lashes and snow-white hair:

Jen Bike Commute

Photo courtesy of Jen H for The Urban Country 

Jen Bike Commute

Photo courtesy of Jen H for The Urban Country 

The conclusion? Even in drastically cold weather, bicycling is still by far the best way to get around Toronto.

James D. Schwartz is the Editor of The Urban Country and is based in Toronto, Canada. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com or follow him on Twitter.

i share the road

More Articles Like This:

  • dr2chase

    I have to ask, how do you deal with the exposed skin?

    I’m normally fine in -7C with some wind, but at -15C (5F) I rode not very far at all on some errands, and exposed patch on my check (between glasses and facial hair) got to feeling numb and weird, and I decided I did not want to risk frostbite. The rest of me was fine, of course, all covered with a toasty core.

    But I know people ride in colder weather. Was I overly cautious? Or do they cover up more thoroughly?

    • JenHendriks

      I mad sure I had a scarf covering my skin while I was moving. Lots of riders where ski goggles as well but I didn’t have a problem with my eyes. The lashes and hair did a great job keeping the frost off my skin :)

      • The law

        Even scarfs are not immune to sweat saturation. And even scarfs will lose all of their insulating capabilities when saturated with sweat. Also, when sweat freezes into solid ice, it causes hypothermia up to 3 times as fast.

        • Sean

          And you’re not immune to being an idiot.

        • JenHendriks

          Actually, wool is one of the few fibres that doesn’t lose it’s insulating qualities when it’s wet. Ask any Newfoundland fisherman. It’s fantastic stuff.

    • The law

      No, you weren’t overly cautious! What you did was horribly deadly. When sweat saturates clothing, there is no protection anymore from the cold.

      • dr2chase

        Right. In a Boston suburb, less than a mile from home, on a bicycle, death from hypothermia. As if I did not know how to work the zippers on my clothes to keep the sweat down.

      • Sean

        And you’re an idiot, The law.

    • The law

      How do you deal with exposed skin? Don’t go out riding in freezing cold weather!

      • Sean

        Or, if you’re The law’s mother, have a headache the night you were conceived.

  • Front65

    Re: skin. I generously apply shea butter on any exposed skin and hands before riding out in winter. I have no scientific proof, but I think it protects my skin quite well. It certainly feels better when I use it.

  • Graham Roe

    toughen up, then come to Winnipeg’s Winter Cycling Conference and listen to folks from Whitehorse Cycling Coalition talk about winter cycling infrastructure :)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/445972452150545/

  • http://michaelharley.me/ MIchael Harley

    Awesome! This is me on Tuesday. It was 2F here in Nashville. 17F the next morning seemed down right balmy.

    • The law

      You need a suicide counselor at once! Winter cycling is a recipe for quick hypothermia!

      • Shirley Hicks

        Not. With appropriate clothing, hands and feet may be cold for the first 10 to 15 minutes, but after, your body systems adapt, and with your exertion and circulation adapting, handle keeping your hands and feet warm just fine.

        If anything, your bike chain runs when your car engine won’t turn over.

        Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

        • He who knows

          But at the same time, your bike chain also gives you hypothermia! True, removing/adding layers will regulate your temperature in the short run. But when those layers become saturated/wet with your sweat, it will be as though you went out naked in the deep freeze!

      • Sean

        Idiot.

  • Shirley Hicks

    From prairie winter cycling days:

    1. Ski googles and a bandana drawn up and over the lower face and then tucked under the goggles’ lower rim are excellent frostbite prevention tools in -20C weather. Use an anti-fog agent on the inside of the ski goggles Or spit, smear and dry to prevent fogging.

    2. Use a fine knit balaclava or toque under your bike helmet.

    2. Lobster claw gloves keep your hands warm and allow you to operate your brakes properly.

    4. Put an extra layer of socks on, and if you have them, use back country skiing gaiters over your boots for extra wind-breakage and insulation without overheating your thigh area.

    5. Bonus points for those who bike in mukluks. :)

    • The law

      All that stuff is but temporary protection, and once that stuff is soaked with your sweat, you may as well be riding nude.

      • Shirley Hicks

        The law, have you actually ridden in cold temps, or are you trolling for attention?

        I _have_ ridden in these conditions, and what I’ve described works.

        • The law

          Like what? A space suit? An enclosed plastic bubble around your bicycle? Or perhaps a velomobile?

          • Sean

            You, sir, are an idiot.

        • Bibleman1

          I have ridden in cold temperatures before, and have about always came home shivering. Even one day when I was wearing one of those one-piece snowsuits (the same kind most people might wear to go sledding), I had to warm myself up badly when I returned home. And it was in the low to mid 40s (above zero) Fahrenheit that day!

          • Sean

            Bibleman is an idiot.

      • Sean

        As mentioned above, you’re an idiot.

  • Kevin Love

    “Jen lives on the edge of downtown, a 15 minute bike ride from the office. However, public transit takes at least 45 minutes.”

    This is a classic Toronto transportation fail issue. I bet I know the answer to the question “So why does Jen waste an extra hour every day of her life by not cycling to work.”

    This answer will not come as a surprise to anyone who lives in Toronto: Violent, dangerous car drivers have terrorized her off the roads and there is no proper cycle infrastructure for her to get to work.

    Am I right?

    • JenHendriks

      Nope. The drivers that head west are pretty decent about sharing the road. There are always outliers but typically I feel safe. The really cold weather discouraged me from biking on Monday and the really slow TTC commute discouraged me from not biking the next day :) I have bike lanes the whole way to my office so I’m not hard up by infrastructure.

      If I had to bike anywhere West of Yonge I would have a different story to tell though.

      • Kevin Love

        Thank you! We need more people like you!

        • burnt

          Oh, I’m so sorry I couldn’t feed the concern troll in his three guises when this thread was active. Curses!

          Cycling in the cold is not a big deal. It was -0F 50 times this year in Minneapolis. Nobody died riding even when the windchill was -40 (that’s the same C or F). I imagine a few people fell on the ice but out here we seek out the ice. Check out A Snowball’s Chance in Hell Formula Ice Race and Snowy Dash for Cold Hard Cash and learn how it is done.

  • Nick

    Cycling is the best way to travel in the winter: your core warms up quickly and easily and the quicker travel time means less cold exposure in the end. Non-cyclists seem to erroneously assume the “wind chill” effect of travelling at higher speeds makes one colder. I find the opposite to be true: when dressed warmly the wind chill is insignificant and the core gets very hot very fast.

    • The law

      No. Cycling is the WORST way to travel in winter. The wind chill effect not only makes one colder; it hastens the development of frostbite. Also, your sweat saturates your clothing, and when your clothing becomes saturated with your sweat, it loses all of it’s insulating capabilities. Some like to think that wearing so-called “fabrics” that “wick the sweat away” help, but it doesn’t as the sweat still goes right into your clothes. And when your clothes become saturated, your sweat becomes a conductor, pulling heat out and pulling cold in. For a while, your core warms up, but once your sweat begins conducting between inside and outside, it will cause your core temperature to plunge like an icicle dropped from the roof of a highrise building. Even with that so-called “sweat wicking” stuff, you still will catch hypothermia in a flash. It would be like you riding outside in your bare underwear.

      • Shirley Hicks

        If you’re sweating, you open a zipper or two to cool down. Easy enough.

        • The law

          Regardless of outside temperatures, people riding bicycles will still sweat profusely, even if it were, hypothetically, 400 degrees below zero Fahrenheit outside. Bicycling takes a lot of energy, and puts a lot of exercise that produces a lot of sweat.

          Oh, and there is another critical danger of winter cycling; ice. Yes, you read correctly, ice. The kind of ice that forms on streets and sidewalks from snow melting and then refreezing again. When a car hits a patch of ice, it simply slides. But when a bicycle hits a patch of ice, it immediately flips right over, tossing you straight into the ground like a rag doll, causing hip fractures, broken necks, broken arms, and other nasty injuries. Two wheels will provide absolutely ZERO stability on ice. And even if you fall on a grassy area, the deep freeze easily makes even grassy areas of the ground as hard as steel! Another thing, too, a helmet may protect your skull, but it will NOT protect your neck! Look at Christopher Reeve! He was wearing a helmet when he fell from his horse, but while the helmet saved his head, it did not save his neck, and Reeve was still paralyzed from the neck down. He never walked again for the rest of his whole life due to his paralysis. He was a wheelchair bound vegetable for the rest of his life after falling off his horse. And trust me, you DON’T want that to happen to you, especially because of flipping right over on a patch of ice.

          • dr2chase

            Sigh. Better not to say anything and have people wonder if you are a fool, than to open your mouth and removal all doubt. Carbide-studded bicycle snow tires are a thing. I own some.

          • MaryL

            “But when a bicycle hits a patch of ice, it immediately flips right over, tossing you straight into the ground like a rag doll, causing hip fractures, broken necks, broken arms, and other nasty injuries.”

            Oh, my bad. This is performance art. Good luck with the grant application!

          • The law

            It is NOT performance art! Two wheels provide NO stability on an icy or slippery surface, unlike four wheels, or even three wheels. And when only two wheels hit a patch of ice on the ground, they slip right out from under you and send you falling directly down to the ground. When three or four wheels hit a patch of ice, they just skid until something stops them. But when one or two wheels hit a patch of ice, they immediately slip right out and flip you right over.

          • dr2chase

            Looks like I found a counterexample:
            http://flic.kr/p/axSZPJ

            Looks like someone rode their bike on ice, locked up both wheels, and skated to a stop, all without flipping over. I wonder what it was left those scratches in the ice?

          • The law

            Probably maybe whoever was riding this bike must have hit a rock, brick, or ran over and got the front wheel stuck on a jagged piece of metal on the ground.

          • dr2chase

            No, that’s not it.

          • Sean

            Idiot.

          • He who knows

            Chances are, the cyclist riding the pictured bicycle there hit a piece of metal or something laying on the ground (likely from a previous car crash?) with his/her front wheel, the metal, or whatever it was, caught on the forward wheel, and dragged the bicycle to a stop, in turn leaving that scratch on the ice. It has happened to me before in Florida, when I would try to roll over downed fronds on the ground from those big Royal palms that line the street, the curled crownshaft part of the frond would catch on my own forward wheel, and drag me to a stop as it acted as both a wheel holder and a brake.

          • He who knows

            If those tires are the kind I think they are, aren’t those kinds of tires illegal? I mean, tires with metal points sticking out would tear up streets and sidewalks, costing municipalities many thousands of dollars to repair/replace.

          • dr2chase

            No. Most road damage is done by trucks and the heaviest cars, and most repairs (on roads where bicycles are commonly used) are paid for by local taxes.

            You realize that it’s very obvious that you’re a sock-puppeting concern troll, right? He who knows, The law, and Bibleman1 are all the same guy.

          • He who knows

            Why are you calling me a troll? A troll is a towering giant with a tree trunk club in the Harry Potter movies.

            I am sure that tires (any kind of tires) with metal points attached to their exterior treads are illegal at least in the majority of municipalities. It would be like riding on bare steel rims, which can and will cause damage to both the rim and the pavement, and there are some nasty fines and even jail terms for destruction of property, including streets and sidewalks.

          • Sean

            You are an idiot.

          • Sean

            Hey idiot, time to take your meds.

          • Sean

            The law, were you dropped on your head as a child? Idiot.

          • Sean

            Idiot.

      • Sean

        You must work at being an idiot.

    • jrickards

      If you overdress, then you’ll sweat but if you properly dress with layers (starting with a wool base layer), then you have the option to open your coat or remove a layer if you get too hot. Furthermore, wool doesn’t lose its insulating properties when wet. Many, many people cycle in the winter, they can’t all be wrong.

      • jrickards

        Ooops, sorry Nick, this was meant as a reply to The law below.

  • The law

    In drastically cold weather, any person who dares to ride a bicycle, including Jen H and her friend, needs a suicide prevention counselor immediately! It gets too cold to ride a bicycle LONG before it gets too cold to take public transit. If it were too cold for Jennifer and her friend to take public transit, they should have either called a friend to carpool, gotten a taxi, or stayed home.

    Bicycling in that kind of weather, or really anytime it is colder than 40 above zero Fahrenheit, is begging for hypothermia! Bundling up only provides temporary protection, as your sweat, and the humidity from your sweat, even if you are wearing sweat-wicking underwear, will saturate all of your clothes that you are wearing, quickly rendering their insulating capabilities ineffective. If you think that so-called “sweat wicking stuff” will offer any protection, just imagine yourself, in single digit temperatures with subzero windchills, riding only in your underwear! No protection, is it? Well, once your sweat saturates all layers, it literally becomes a conductor, pulling heat away from you, pulling the cold in towards you, and before you know it, you will be shivering and shaking like a 10.5 earthquake, literally as if you were really riding your bicycle in your plain underwear. More critically, the kind of temperatures that hit Toronto during the recent polar vortex will even cause your sweat to quickly freeze into solid ice, right inside your clothes. When that happens, it takes about 2 to 5 minutes (7 maximum) for it to cause hypothermia.

    • Shirley Hicks

      Have you actually functioned in this kind of cold? People adapt just fine, with appropriate layers and clothing.

    • dr2chase

      Troll, troll, troll, troll. We all do this stuff all the time, so we know better, and you don’t.

      • The law

        I am not a troll! I am highly scared for the safety of cyclists, especially those who ride in winter’s deep freeze! It does NOT matter how many layers of clothing you have on, YOUR SWEAT will saturate those layers of clothing, and when your sweat saturates those layers, it eliminates their insulating capabilities and conducts the cold to your skin where it causes hypothermia!

        • dr2chase

          Guess what. None of that stuff you worry about happens with real people who do this every day. My commute to work is 10 miles one way, I have done it on days when it was 20F with a headwind. The only ice was frozen condensate on my facial hair. There are typically tiny patches of sweat on some parts of my body, not at all frozen, because it only forms where I am very warm and there is no ventilation. Is it possible that after even more miles that sweat would freeze? Perhaps, but 10 miles is a plenty-long bicycle commute (and I’ve done 30 miles rides in freezing conditions — my toes got cold because I wore the wrong shoes, but everything else was fine, including my fingers, which were covered in ice that had formed on the outside of my excellent gloves).

          Seriously — you’re completely f*cking wrong about this. We do this. You don’t. We know more than you do about doing this. You should listen to people who know more than you do and learn from their experience. You honest-to-gosh do not need to worry about this. Thank you for your concern, but you are deeply misinformed.

          I think you need to find yourself a new crusade, perhaps the scourge of premature death among people who don’t ride bikes (you can look it up, this happens, on average death comes 2-5 years earlier, or expressed as an annual mortality rate, a 39% higher chance of death). I guarantee you that (in the US and Canada) the number of people who die from not-biking-at-all vastly exceeds (by a huge factor — 100s, maybe even 1000) the number who die from all biking-related causes, including crashes and exposure. (I know this because I read health and mortality studies as a hobby.)

        • Sean

          Idiot.

        • Sean

          Yes, you are a troll. Idiot.

    • MaryL

      Sorry, you’re talking to a bunch of empiricists here who have ridden (and walked, and run) in very cold weather. None of us died because we moderated effort, dressed in layers, and ventilated as necessary.

      I still hate strong winds, though. I’ll take a day that is 10 degrees colder and calm over a windy day any time.

    • Sean

      You’re an idiot.

    • Sean

      You’re a troll and an idiot.

  • The law

    If I saw this Jennifer like she is in the picture in person, the first thing I would want to do is invite her into my house and put on my Simplex Sunbowl heater to thaw her out and warm her up.

    • Sean

      She probably wouldn’t want to accept the invitation of an axe-murdering idiot.

  • The law

    I am totally dismayed at how so many people don’t seem to read my posts thoroughly. Like, they are really determined to kill themselves when it gets cold by going bicycling, saturating every single layer of their clothes with their sweat, and catching hypothermia. People, your SWEAT will SATURATE your clothes if you go cycling, running, jogging, or do any kind of strenuous exercise in winter’s deep freeze! And when sweat saturates your clothes, your clothes LOSE all of their insulating capabilities, the sweat becomes a conductor that pulls the cold in and the heat out, and that is the perfect recipe for certain hypothermia!

    I don’t know what everyone is trying to pull on me, but I know the facts. I know what happens to clothes when they get wet, I know what sweat is made of, and I know that sweat WILL make clothing wet! And when clothes get wet, they lose all of their insulating capabilities! Certainly, everyone at one time or another came home with wet clothes (out in the rain, played in a puddle, creek, river, etc) and your mom or dad told you to “change your clothes before you catch pneumonia”?

    • dr2chase

      We read it, it’s wrong. Whoever told you that stuff, either you misunderstood them or they lied to you. I suggest you remove these “facts” from your brain and get some better ones.

      Have you perhaps misplaced you medications?

      • The law

        Like what sort of “better” facts? That it is normal for people to become suicidal in the winter and there is nothing that anyone can do to stop it?

        • dr2chase

          A better fact might be that “riding a bicycle does not require that you become drenched in sweat, and many people will take steps to adjust the ventilation/clothing/pace to help ensure that this is the case”.

          And here, “better” means “true”.

          Nobody commenting here (except perhaps you) bikes in wet clothing unless it is either raining or extremely hot and humid.

          • Kevin Love

            I suggest not feeding the troll. Non-trolls know that going to work is not a race and there is no requirement to go so fast as to work up a sweat.

            Non-trolls know that it is not that hard to unzip to ventilate. Or to take off a layer and put it in the bike’s basket or panniers.

          • dr2chase

            Yeah, I know, but there is always the chance that he is someone who is merely sincerely deluded. Some of the hardcore hiking/backcountry crowd are kinda that way about equipment.

            And what kind of troll decides to go on about the unpossibility of biking in the winter? That’s just weird.

          • The law

            For your information, no person can control how much he or she sweats during exercise. Sweating is how the body naturally gets rid of heat during strenuous activities such as cycling, running, jogging, lifting weights, and such. Additionally, going up inclines (hills and such) on a bicycle takes easily upwards of 2 to 3 times as much energy as riding on level ground. Plus, it takes a lot of energy to make a bicycle go in the first place. And the more energy you use, the more you will sweat. And there is only a certain amount of sweat your clothes can take before they lose all insulating capabilities.

            Additionally, people sweat regardless of external air temperature during strenuous exercise. People still sweat even when it is 10 below zero Fahrenheit outside, just like they do when it is 90 above zero Fahrenheit outside.

            Also, opening zippers to ventilate lets a lot of cold air in that chills the sweat that has allready saturated the inner layers. When you sweat, your sweat saturates your clothes starting from the innermost layers and then expanding farther and farther outwards until it saturates the jacket, rendering it ineffective against the cold, too. Cold air also will NOT evaporate your sweat like warmer air does. And when your sweat does not evaporate, it sits there in your clothes, accumulating until it reaches the outer layers and starts conducting the cold in and the heat out and dropping your body temperatures like a rock.

          • Sean

            Strange to see where the lunatic rantings will turn up on the internet. Idiot.

        • Sean

          Facts are whatever The law makes up, because he’s an idiot.

    • Sean

      The law is an idiot.

  • Rebecca_A

    I haven’t yet ridden in temperatures colder than 15F. I am plenty warm with snow pants, a silk sleeveless undershirt, a silk turtleneck, a thin cashmere sweater, a thin polar fleece vest, my winter jacket, sheepskin hat & mittens, one pair thick wool socks, warm snow mocs, and toe and hand warmer chemical packs. I generally remove my vest after the first 10 minutes. I ride at about 12 miles an hour and don’t sweat. I bring along a thicker fleece vest, fleece hat and thinner gloves. If I get hot, I can switch the heavy fleece vest for the jacket and the thin hat and mittens for the heavy duty ones. The trick is to not over-dress and to dress in layers. I wear nothing to cover my face, though I am considering getting a balaclava for colder temperatures. It is quite refreshing to ride my bicycle when it is so cold out. I look forward to trying it out when the temperature is in the single digits and below 0F. My metabolism is rather slow, we keep our house cool, so I get chilly when I am sedentary at home. Nothing warms me up like going for a bike ride on a cold day! It gets my blood circulating! Generally, when a person falls from a bicycle that has slipped on ice, they fall sideways. There is a video, which I can’t find, of at least twenty cyclists slipping on an icy patch on a bike path in the Netherlands. Every cyclist who fell, fell to the side of their bike, kept their helmet-less head from hitting the pavement, got up again and rode off.

    • The law

      Until they broke hips, legs, arms, necks, or what not, then they had to go to the hospital. When the ground freezes, it becomes like solid cast iron! Even falling in the grass is still falling on a surface that is like solid iron, which is easily hard enough to cause fractures. Two wheels provide absolutely nowhere near the kind of stability that four, or even three, wheels provide, especially on a patch of ice.

      • Sean

        You’re an idiot.

  • crank

    Meanwhile it’s 44C over here in Oz! Thanks for the cooling post :)

  • He who knows

    For a clearer picture of what happens when you ride in winter’s deep freeze.

    • Sean

      Nice artwork, idiot.

    • Dick Weed

      Idiot.

  • He who knows

    Not to mention of course…

    • Sean

      You’re not fooling anyone, idiot.

  • Djumoni

    Icicles on eyelashes are a disaster. You NEED to protect your eyes from windchill when you winter bike. I’ve been using my bike to get to work every morning for the last 7 years here in Montreal, and have learned that: 1. You need to wear wicking underclothes 2. You need to dress in layers 3. You need to wear slightly less than you would if you were walking 4. You need to cover your eyes and nose (with glasses and either a balaclava or a long scarf. Also, as you warm up, you need to constantly remove or add layers – this means following your body temperature and treating perspiration like a serious problem.

    Also, forget skinny tires when the snow and ice hit.

    • He who knows

      It is suicidal to go bicycling in the winter! Icicles on the eyelashes are nothing compared to what riding in the winter WILL cause you! Especially when your sweat saturates your clothes, renders their insulating capabilities totally ineffective, begins conducting the cold to your body and your heat away from your body, henceforth creating the ideal conditions for hypothermia, and the same kind of hypothermic conditions that would occur with falling through the ice on a frozen lake.

      • Djumoni

        As I said, HWK, I’ve been winter-biking every day M-F for 7 years. Did I forget to mention that I’m still alive?

        • He who knows

          I know you are pulling our legs. Unless maybe it takes you about 5 minutes or less to get to work on your bicycle, there is no way you would still be here.

  • He who knows

    I can not believe people are still doing it even right here in Chicago, Illinois, where practically every other day is seeing daytime highs in the 10s, sometimes even in the single digits. They even seem to be more than ever riding their bicycles here when it is frigid cold, desparately trying to kill themselves with hypothermia and/or even a heavy, damaging fall caused by hitting a patch of ice!

    Seriously! When are people going to stop committing suicide like that?!

  • Boots

    I don’t know about you guys, but in the winter I definitely sweat less than in the summer. My biking speed is about 12 mph, perhaps dropping to 8-9 uphill, and increasing to 18-20 downhill if I keep pedaling. In other words, I am not in a hurry and don’t get sweaty unless it’s above 26ºC or 80ºF.

  • lobo

    There is a disease called hyperhidrosis that causes intense and abnormal sweating… I think he who knows and the law should talk to their doctors about it. Normal people, who are riding at a normal pace, don’t sweat heavily enough to saturate several layers of clothing, regardless of the weather. I happily bike to work until about -5 celcius (23 Farenheight for the yanks). I wear whatever I am planning to work in – usually a skirt or dress pants and a blouse or sweater, with long johns, a wool coat, scarf, and a ski helmet. I wear fleece gloves and wool socks with snow boots. I don’t show up at the office drenched in sweat, because I ride at a relaxed pace, over fairly flat terraine. My level of effort is only slightly above walking on the uphills, and about the same as walking on the flats. Bicycles are very efficient!
    Also, who wears a full snowsuit when its above freezing? In Canada, 40 farenheight is a nice spring/fall day!

  • jrickards

    Good work Jen, I too rode in on Friday because I was late leaving (I walk to work and back this winter, 4km each way) and the windchill here in Sudbury was -39C, not unlike yours on Tuesday. I’m going to continue to ride in this week, until the weather is mild enough that the paths are no longer hard snow but a slushy mess, then I’ll resort to walking again.