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May Contain Nuts
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2,350 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've never considered myself a fair weather rider (only this weekend went for a ride to Jellys in the rain to drop the TLD banner off and quite enjoyed it).

BUT, as the reality of going to a one car family dawns I have to admit to having doubts about not having the benefit of a second car.

we only ever had one car and a bike until I got my current job which came with a company car and so the bike went until I could afford to run one as a toy a couple of years ago.

I work at home 90% of the time but do have to visit customers sites 1-2 times a month.

So after 12 years of having two cars, am I doing the right thing by getting rid of one now I don't have to have a car for work? what are the realities of riding through the winter?

I'd value the opinions of people in a similar situation before I reach a point of no return.

I guess if it doesn't work out I'll just have to buy myself a cheap car for the few times a year that I wimp out on taking the bike.
 

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Craigypops
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6,747 Posts
If you don't mind riding in the rain and have the right gear for the cold then ask yourself what stops you riding in the winter. The only thing that stops me is ice/snow... That last bout we had a few months ago left my road like an ice rink and it was impossible to get the bike out, even my drive was a block of ice and i could hardly walk down it.

But, how often does this occur? I can't remember the last time it was that bad for so long so you will be unlucky if the weather gets so bad you simply can't ride the bike... All other times it's a case of having the right gear to stay warm and dry and taking it easy for safety reasons.

Iv's only just recently got a car and for some years had only the bike for transport in winter, i'm lucky enough to be able to cycle to work but if i wanted to go anywhere else i had to use the bike and it was rare that conditions were so bad i couldn't take it out.

Just my ramblings :)



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May Contain Nuts
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2,350 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
ramblings they may be but it's the kind of logic I've been working on.

I never stopped riding this last winter other than when it was icy or had snowed but I did use the car much more just because it was there.

It's not as if we wont have a car if I need it, it may just be inconvenient on occasion.

I've got 5 vehicles parked on the drive and if I can save the cost of running one then I'd be stupid not too.
 

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agree with the above...I ride all year round but have the advantage to be able to get get changed once I get into work. That is a big plus...but if you have a change of dry war mclothees with you it is never a problem.

There is plenty of new warm clothing out there to be worn and honestly cold weather and rain is not as bad as it seems. I would never drive to work and hate it if I have to take the tube or a train occasionally...
 

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Most annoying aspect of winter riding is getting all the gear on and off. Textile suit with full linings and sometimes one piece rain suit as well. Balaclava and long-johns for long journeys. Best tip:- heated grips combined with muffs = warm hands in coldest conditions. Worst conditions. Definately Ice, especially patchy. Came off once and had some scarey moments this winter. Rain on dark mornings and evenings makes overtaking and filtering difficult. Best to tuck in and take no risks.
 

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Matron
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12,080 Posts
Just put more layers on in the winter and invest in decent waterproofs. Handlebar muffs mean you'll have toasty hands.

The only time I venture in the car is when the snow is too deep to get the bike out of the drive.

And remember I'm a big girlie woos :D


sorted

I find taking the car an inconvenience now
 

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I've only been using my car for a handful of days a year so i'm considering making the same choice myself. I love my old celica and don't want to get rid of it, i've spent a fair bit of money on clutch, cam belt etc in recent years so want to keep it on the road and its not worth much but its a very reliable and fun car to drive.

If your commute is on gritted roads i.e. bus routes you're ok except on the worst icy days. A couple of taxi rides a year is a lot cheaper than keeping a car. Salt takes its toll on any bike so make sure you winterise it or even consider a cheap winter hack.

Hope this helps;)
 

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Captain unsensible.......
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2,553 Posts
I ran my first old transalp 55,000 miles in a year and a half and then my africa twin 179,000 miles over 5 years as my sole form of transport, the only time I didnt use it was in the snow and ice - I had to get a train. I really couldnt afford a car and was commuting from Battle into central london 6 or sometimes 7 days a week and would have had to pay parking charges on a car.

the key is keeping the bike as clean and well maintained as you can - it wouldnt be unusual to find me cleaning/maintaining the bike at 11pm at night in the freezing cold to have to go to work at 5am. the other thing you must invest in is decent kit - dont skimp on any kit as it really can make the difference between a horrendously miserable commute and a slightly difficult one.

now I'm lucky in that I have a 4x4 as well as the bike for work, although I still carry out the same maintainance and cleaning routine (just not at 11pm anymore)
 

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Wing Commander
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I am self-employed and my boss (that's me) asked me to use my bike for work. That meant my boss had to carry out a health and safety risk assessment and provide me with adequate protective clothing.

The HSE advice I told my boss he should follow, specifically mentioned that any clothing should also take into account the temperature and weather proofing.

So my boss bought me totally Gore-Tex XCR winter gear that keeps me warm and dry almost no matter what gets thrown at me.

And in the summer I have light airy gear with some ebay sourced Gore-tex overlayers in case it rains.

Sometimes I quite like my boss, even though I know he's a git really.:D
 

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Captain unsensible.......
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I am self-employed and my boss (that's me) asked me to use my bike for work. That meant my boss had to carry out a health and safety risk assessment and provide me with adequate protective clothing.

The HSE advice I told my boss he should follow, specifically mentioned that any clothing should also take into account the temperature and weather proofing.

So my boss bought me totally Gore-Tex XCR winter gear that keeps me warm and dry almost no matter what gets thrown at me.

And in the summer I have light airy gear with some ebay sourced Gore-tex overlayers in case it rains.

Sometimes I quite like my boss, even though I know he's a git really.:D
Dont you work for some communist bloke?
 

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May Contain Nuts
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2,350 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
thanks guys (and Sharrie ;) )

I've just had an offer on the car that's acceptable, now just to make that final decision.

I've already got the winter riding gear anyway (HG Cruise Goretex)
 

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bigtrailie admin
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4,710 Posts
I ride every day of the year (apart from when I fall off :rolleyes:) ever since getting rid of the second car two years ago, I'm not that fond of ice and snow but with the right gear I had no real issues with cold or wet.
Sure there are times when the missus goes out in the car that I feel a bit stranded but so far have always managed to find work arounds :thumbup:
 

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Wing Commander
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Wing Commander
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I've just had an offer on the car that's acceptable.

I've already got the winter riding gear anyway (HG Cruise Goretex)
Must be a crap car if you need all that gear to drive it.:D
 

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I used to commute all year round when I was in the UK ... only had problems once or twice when I couldn't get the bike out because the road was an ice rink. I used the HG cruise gear and it's warm and waterproof - like everyone's said, gear is the most important part.

Make sure you've got adequate luggage - I used to get my suit, shoes, paperwork and sometimes even the laptop in my rucksack! Top box or panniers might have made my life a bit easier :rolleyes:

And ... it's better to be riding than stuck in a traffic jam!
 

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I ride all year round and only stay of the bike in really bad weather where it would be lethal to do otherwise.
I used to have a car but found it too expensive for the amount of use it got.
I now belong to a car club that gives me access to a car hen I need it without the extra costs of servicing, I just pay for the time I use it.
 

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Premium Member
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I now belong to a car club that gives me access to a car hen I need it without the extra costs of servicing, I just pay for the time I use it.
Is it this one?



Watch you don't get egged on into going too fast
 

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In London there are a few Streetcar and Zipcar do an internet search to see if there is a similar scheme in your area.
I have access to a brand new VW Golf 5 mins down the road from my house.

Try This Site for locations.
 
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