Old 12-15-2011, 08:41 PM   #1
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slow winter commutes

Why are my commute times slower on colder days? In the summer, I could fly to work in 35 minutes. Now I'm clocking just under 40. Is there physics involved? Does it have to do with body heat? Or am i just getting fatter and lazier?
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:36 PM   #2
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that's a good question, same here.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:02 PM   #3
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Extra/bulky clothes, heavier bike (fenders, lights, other crap), overall drop in fitness from less riding, crappy road conditions. Mainly though, your body is trying to fight off the cold.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
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The air is thicker and slowing you down. More air friction. Yep.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #5
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Like Sanrensho said, a combo of things but for me its probably "overall drop in fitness from less riding" and watching TV, eating chips'n'chocloate like a teenager. Shorter rides than the summer and just general lazyness......
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:31 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=sanrensho;2598551Mainly though, your body is trying to fight off the cold.[/QUOTE]

That would explain coming down SFU hill in minus temps with the ice cream headaches.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:52 PM   #7
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tire pressures, colder temps mean lower pressure in your tires.

that and you're being a wuss and not pushing the pace as much
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:53 PM   #8
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That would explain coming down SFU hill in minus temps with the ice cream headaches.
Also 20-minute post-ride shower to return circulation to sheet-white toes.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:16 AM   #9
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Cold muscles take longer to warm up and work less efficiently too. Plus all the clothes on your legs. That extra resistance of flexing through stiff wind proof lycra drags on a guy.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:17 AM   #10
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I think our bodies operate best at around 15-20 degrees (I should check the manual). Joints feel stiffer, breathing is harder, bulky clothes and layers restrict motion, breathing, circulation and wind resistance - even my bike doesn't seem to work as well (shifting, braking) with mud, salt etc. Tires lose their plasticity and grip. I swear the cable and chain tension on my road bike are affected by cold. Not to mention the discomfort of cold hands and feet.

I actually get too hot riding in winter. I prefer to wear knicker-style tights to full-length.

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Old 12-16-2011, 12:20 AM   #11
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Cold muscles take longer to warm up and work less efficiently too. Plus all the clothes on your legs. That extra resistance of flexing through stiff wind proof lycra drags on a guy.
I blame the extra gear/clothing as well. I tend to commute slower in the dark on top of that.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:02 AM   #12
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My experience tells me clothing isn't too much of a factor but warm-up and fitness could be.

My commute times tend to be about the same summer/winter with a bit of a slow down when the conditions are slick (which, to be fair can happen as much in the summer in Vancouver). I have my daughter with me for the warm-up period so I am going slow anyways regardless of season. For the last couple of years I have also been riding and skiing about the same amounts so my fitness is relatively constant.

Also, if you have a big commute, lung efficiency could be a factor.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:22 AM   #13
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I ride just as much winter or summer but for some reason slower in winter.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:29 PM   #14
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more time riding in the dark
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:26 PM   #15
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whatever the reasons are i wouldn't worry about it . everything is slower in the winter , that is part of the season .

be happy we live in a place where you can do the commute year round .

good on ya for keeping it up through the winter months . i know it must take extra motivation , but you will be rewarded in the spring when you find that your fitness is a probably a significant level better than it would be if you hadn't been riding . . . you will return to last seasons' performance faster or even exceed it .
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