How cold is too cold to start a trip?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Dr. Greg, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    So Mrs. Greg conned me into taking a 3-4 day trip (motel, not camping) around southern New Mexico. I start from Albuquerque.

    Tried to leave yesterday (heading down S 14 to Mtnair for you locals) but I hit clouds and fog in the SE plains about 40 mi from home. It was 22 deg F, and I was FREEZING!!:vardy I chickened out and came home (BTW I have pretty good riding gear).

    Gonna try again this morning, but I gotta think: "if I had any sense I'd be out in my heated woodshop working on my latest picture frame!"

    If I succeed in this trip I'll write up a RR. Just had to complain to somebody.

    --Doc
    #1
  2. AST236

    AST236 Long timer

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    Yep, at 22 degrees, I'm not riding. :eek1

    My rule of thumb (being the big sissy that I am when it comes to being cold) is that I don't leave the house on two wheels for a trip below 50 degrees and even then, only if the forecast has the temp increasing pretty quickly. :lol3
    #2
  3. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    If you have a good water and windproof outer layer and heated gear liners (insoles, pants, jacket and gloves), there is no reason you can't set off in anything down to the single digits. I am a daily commuter but I also own a very nice truck. I just enjoy the ride and do it every day that there isn't snow or ice on the road.
    #3
  4. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    I'd be asking myself why the wife wanted me out of the house.
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  5. TRAVR6

    TRAVR6 Been here awhile

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    Well it was 38 this morning and I have been freezing my ass off all day. Currently sitting at a rest area trying to warm up.

    If you have a heated jacket and gloves you would be ok. I do not have those.

    Without heated great I would say below 50 sucks

    Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 2
    #5
  6. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

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    For long trips, I pulled out of Georgetown Kentucky at 7:00 with a temp of 32, three hours later half way across Ohio it was only 38, Just have to know what you are getting into and be dressed for it.
    #6
  7. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    I don't mind cold (down as low as 20*f), but cold combined with any form of moisture is what makes me stay home.

    Freezing fog like you encountered is definitely a deal breaker.
    #7
  8. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    Heated gear and layers can keep you warm, but they won't do anything about the ice on the road. If there is any slight chance of ice on the road I'm not riding.
    #8
  9. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

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    Heated gear with wind protection on the bike. 16 degrees this morning, but I had to tune mine down a bit, as I was starting to sweat. :D
    #9
  10. FTL900

    FTL900 White and nerdy

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    That is also my magic number, or it better be something very close to it with great promise of warmer temps very soon.

    Yeah, I'm a wimp. I was in the Army for 20 years, and had my fill of being stuck out in the weather. I don't want to be freezing cold on purpose.
    #10
  11. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    How cold is too cold? That depends on you and what you're prepared to deal with. Some people ride in the snow, race on the ice, or ride winter trips through Alaska, Canada, Mongolia, or Siberia.
    #11
  12. feathered

    feathered Been here awhile

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    Cmon, man!
    #12
  13. KustomizingKid

    KustomizingKid Been here awhile

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    I can go down to 20 f with no heated gear, but it isn't fun!
    #13
  14. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Sokath, his eyes opened!

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    Good gear + safe conditions that you're comfortable riding in (ie. not a blizzard outside) = you should probably ride.
    #14
  15. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Complaint noted and recorded...

    :D
    #15
  16. WetSideRider

    WetSideRider Long timer

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    For impromptu rides, I have a rule that the forecast high must be at least 45 degrees and that it not be actually raining when I leave.

    For planned rides, it's a little more flexible, because usually they entail freeing up time. In those cases, sub-freezing temps would cancel, but if you have to be prepared for the weather to get worse during the ride as well.

    I've taken multi day rides where I've been in the rain every day, and occasionally been caught in snow (Lolo Pass on one memorable occasion). The trick is to be far enough away from home that you can't just turn back :evil
    #16
  17. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    no temp too cold if I'm prepared for it

    coldest I've done on a ride of any length (100 miles ±) is -15°f, temps may have risen to -12°f during the ride

    I have a goal to complete a sub-freezing Saddlesore 1000, I have the route and fuel stops planned, but looks like it may be next winter http://goo.gl/maps/o7Pif
    #17
  18. Existence_Inc

    Existence_Inc The Wanderer

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    5F was the coldest I was willing to ride with no heated gear or wind protection. My hands got cold and I couldn't keep my visor from icing up. Now I have a bike with heated grips and some weather protection so I should be good to 0F or below. (The joys of an Alamosa winter.) :evil

    I'd guess that I wouldn't ride if it was cold enough to be a distraction.

    ~Ex
    #18
  19. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    Is it ever? :rofl
    (given it's by free will)

    Admit, it remains hilarious stepping inside a bar and setting up your riding coat next to your table, upright all by itself.

    I'd rather fight frost giants than red tape. :deal
    #19
  20. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    How cold is too cold to start a trip?

    Tough question, are you wearing a tank top and shorts, or are you wearing gear appropriate for cold weather?
    #20