I wrote about my idea of cycling through the winter here and here. Sam wrote about it here, and that one includes lots of links to other posts about winter cycling.
Unlike Sam, my goal was to be a bike commuter and I am proud to say I DID IT! I go to the office four days a week, and since November I have avoided going in only about three times. Once was definitely due to a heavy snowfall. Once was due to a predicted snowfall where we were advised to stay home, and once was due to bitter cold (-43C with the wind chill). Admittedly, I did get lucky because a few more were regularly scheduled work-from-home or planned vacation days, but there weren’t many of those.
It turns out I love cycling in winter. I am warmer on my bike than when I try to walk. The roads are usually less slippery than the sidewalks. Admittedly, cycling in traffic isn’t for everyone, but there are enough winter cyclists around that I found most cars and trucks are paying attention and are pretty respectful about giving me enough space for safety.
Most of my rides are relatively short, and I have invested in a little bit of gear to ensure I stay visible, warm and dry. I have studded winter tires which I needed more for confidence than for road conditions. The only time they were really handy was the night I went for a group bike ride immediately after a snow storm when the roads hadn’t yet been cleared.
Now it is officially spring, and I am starting to shed the layers and think about getting my summer bike out. So here is one last celebratory selfie of me and my bike as winter draws to a close. Note the patches of bare ground in my yard.
2 thoughts on “I
SurvivedThrived Through a Winter of Cycling”
Huzzah! Congratulations! This is a great post, showing how a combination of preparation, good gear, clear goals, and good-feelings-feedback can result in enjoyment and satisfaction. Love it!
Thanks! My only regret is that I waited so long to try. But I wouldn’t have had some of the useful things that made me feel safe and warm because either they didn’t exist or I didn’t know about them. And I love the community of cyclists I have discovered through the winter.