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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bike commuters laugh at the cold

Image of parked bicycle on snowy street
From the Iowa City Press Citizen, 12.03.08:

Biking is a great way to get around in the summer, but come winter a warm car sounds a lot better than a frosty saddle and bitter winds to many people.

But not everyone.

This year it appears more people are forging ahead on their bikes as temperatures dwindle. "I love it," said Ray Haas, 53, who works at University Hospitals. "I really think it's great that more people are being persistent about it."

That's what Haas has been seeing so far, and he would know. The Coralville man has been biking through the winter for the past nine years and says the bike racks are looking full these days. Area bike shops agree that more people seem to be braving the cold this season. Many people picked up the bike commuting habit as gas prices surged earlier this year and are persevering as it turns cold.

Haas bikes to his job year-round. It's an 8.5-mile round-trip commute from home, about 20 minutes. Last winter, he skipped 14 days, he said. "Temperature isn't usually a factor," he said. "On occasion, I am wondering, do I really want to do this today. But once I get going, I feel pretty invigorated, and I don't have regrets. It kick-starts my day. (Read more.)
Another timely article providing inspiration and information for cold weather bike commuting. Most important lesson offered here: Layer, don't overdress. Missing lesson: Wind protection. Make sure your jacket and pants have some windblock feature. I love fleece, but it doesn't keep you warm on a breezy ride.

For an informative and humorous site on cold weather cycling, don't miss

Image: Web capture.
Visit: Making the most of biking in the cold,
Visit: Bicyclists Try To Stay Safe In Winter Conditions,
Visit: Bundle up for winter riding, Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD)
Visit: Winter bike commuting, Minnesota Public Radio
Visit: Decider's guide to winter biking, Decider Milwaukee
Visit: Winter cyclists can enjoy roads less traveled, The Steamboat Pilot (CO)
Visit: Growing number of cyclists commuting in winter, Leader-Telegram (Eau Clair, WI)
Visit: Biking in winter requires forethought, The Coloradan
Visit: Cycling Through the Snow, Detroit News
Visit: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, Lawrence Journal World (KS)
Visit: Cold weather no barrier to bicycle commuting, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Brr: Tips for cold weather cycling, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Stay flexible during winter cycling, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


Mommy & Daddy Kennedy said...

I rode my bike to work again today... it was 29 degrees when I left home. Sometimes I dread it when I get started, but by the time I'm halfway through my ride I'm so happy with riding. I go 4 miles each way and enjoy every minute of it.

ciclistaurbanoTO said...

I ride to work every day and I full support what it's said in the post. my tip for clothing: fleece for warmth and a thin waterproof breathable rainjacket for the wind. but if it's really cold and/or snowy I just wear my snowboard jacket -vey warm- with a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath. the temperatures I get in winter though are just a few degrees below 0 celsius (-6 to -10) at the most.

Ed Kohler said...

That's great advice. Personally, my biggest challenge is dealing with keeping my feet warm. They don't get as much action when spinning down the road as they do running. Put that together with the wind chill and I'm good to around 20F but not lower.

David Hembrow said...

Where we live, around 40% of all journeys are by bike. This is true all through the year, including when it snows.

There's no drama, no thought that there is anything special about it. People just keep riding. It's been below freezing all day today, and as on every Saturday, the city centre is full of bikes.

Palm Beach Bike tours said...

Hey, people in Indiana can ride when it's cold because you expect it. We folks in Florida are a little more delicate.

Anonymous said...

It's no big deal for Iowa folks to ride in the cold, because they expect December to be shivery.

We Floridians, on the other hand, are bit more delicate

Samuel said...

Cold is not such a big deal. Even -30C (-22F) isn't horrible. What get's you is the road conditions. If your choices are only to ride in the rut made by cars or the snow bank on the side then you've got problems. If the roads are clear, then life is still good.

Paul Dorn said...

Here's an interesting story from Canada, proving cold is no reason to stop cycling: Cyclist braves cold to battle global warming, Sudbury Star (Ontario)