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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Seasonal joys of bike commuting

Image of fall bicyclistFrom the Journal Gazette Times-Courier (Charleston, Illinois), 10.06.07:

Bicycling to work means 'experiencing the seasons'

(Molly) Daniel tries to ride her bicycle from her home on the northeast edge of Charleston to her job as a grant specialist at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center at least four days a week.

She said it’s a seven-mile, 35-minute trip if she takes the most direct way on the Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail bike trail, but she likes to take other routes for at least an hour-long ride. "I just connect to the outdoors a lot more," she also said. "I'm experiencing the seasons the way I did as a kid."

Bad weather doesn't necessarily stop Daniel from making her bike trek, though she said "35 degrees is my limit" as for how cold it can get before she'll travel another way. Wind can be "pretty discouraging" and rain was "a little intimidating" at first but now she enjoys riding in the rain sometime. "You're going to get cold more than you're going to get wet," she said of riding in the rain, as long as you have a rain jacket. (Read more.)
Profile of a bike commuter in Illinois, who enjoys the outdoors on a bike. (Who doesn't.) The fall is a particularly great time to be a bike commuter. So get some lights and keep riding.

Image: Web capture.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips


clark said...

it's funny how arbitray temperature limits are. i ride 6 mi. to work reasonably comfortably at 10 below F, but think i'd draw the line at 25 below. but then, i probably couldn't handle 90 degree heat. just read a story about 300 people needing treatment and even one runner died, at the chicago marathon. 88 degrees and humid.

Noah said...

Great article!

I find joy in every kind of weather, with rain being the most difficult. This time of year is particularly pleasant. The temperatures are dropping, acorns and walnuts snap under my tires on the multi-use paths, and things just seem more peaceful than in the summer.

In the snow, my mountain bike is often just as fast and considerably more maneuverable than most motor vehicles. Pedaling gets my body warmed up within a minute, and I can't say the same thing while I'm scraping the windows of my car.

Some people mothball their bicycles for autumn and winter. While I might log more recreational miles in the spring and summer, this is truly one of my favorite times of the year for bicycle commuting.

Yokota Fritz said...

I lived in Illinois 8 years and bike commuted for most of them, and this was before the advent of the excellent lights and batteries that are available now. My coldest commute was -40°F, but it was less than a mile to work. My worst was 0°F in blizzard conditions -- I had to stop and call for a ride that night.