Filed under: Advocacy, Commuting, Education, Gear, How To, Outreach
I ride, a bicycle, in Wisconsin, year round…
In my discussions with cycling friends who only ride in fair weather, here is my conclusion. I will assume they are like other normal people and are a good sampling of the population.
They don’t ride in the winter because: It’s cold, and slippery, and cold. I did have a concern or two about their steeds and the salt, but mostly, it’s cold.
My answer is usually a question. You live in the midwest, it gets cold here, you don’t seem to suffer from bouts of hypothermia, how do you stay warm? And thus, I answer their biggest problem with riding in the winter.
Second big problem is usually the snow and ice on the roads. This is the more complicated answer, one most cyclists enjoy though. Buy stuff for your bike. This is a list of possibles:
Studded tires- they just work. Carbide studs last a long time. Tires are easy to change, most cyclists should know how to fix a flat.
Fenders- there are easy to put on fenders using rubber straps, some snap on to the frame or, have permanant ones put on. I reccomend having a shop put them on. They can be a pain to line up.
A bag- any bag you can carry an extra layer of clothing, batteries for lights (I assume you have them already) and other bits of bike nessessity. I use a Messenger bag but any backpack, bike trunk or pannier bag works. If you need water proof, use ziplock bags.
The big thing that I have added to my bike for cold weather riding are: POGIES! – these are the big handlebar mitts. Every type I have tried are warm, some are not waterproof. Everyone I know who has them becomes a winter rider. They range from $20 for ATV mitts to $100 for the super Alaskian type. I generalize extremely, just search for ‘bicycle bar mitts’ or ‘pogies’.
You don’t have to ride in the snow. The streets clear off a couple days after a snow and are quite passable. Riding in the snow can be challenging, expecially when there is loose snow to go through. Mostly, keep yourself kind of fluid and roll with it. Momentium will get you through, always ‘be ready’ for the bike to slip when going through the loose stuff or over ice if you don’t have studs.
Simple answer to riding in the winter, in Wisconsin. Wear warm, layers work best but, any warm will do.
Look for the next article: How I ride in the winter- The gear.
Join us in bringing in the new year with Matthew and the Onabike crew at their annual 1-1-1 ride. Departs 1:00 p.m. from the visitors center on Main st. in Onalaska. Distance varies depending on the weather and who shows up. Past ride have varied in distance from 6-32 miles. This will be the 17th year for the ride.
Come promote biking and volunteer at the Bike Valet at the Green Living Expo at the Lunda Center at Western Technical College
Saturday October 13.
The Green Living Expo is from 11:00 – 4;00 pm
Bike Valet Volunteers can sign up for a one hour time slot at the DRBC homepage, under Get Involved
Filed under: Advocacy, Bike Lanes, Bike Paths, Committees, Commuting, Education, Events, Issues, Outreach, Rides
DRBC is now listed on VolunteerMatch.org. This will give us more visibility to those searching for volunteer opportunities related to bicycling. Also, some companies have a “Dollars for Doers” program that gives employees the ability to have grant money donated to their favorite non-profit organization.
As some of you may know, by day I am a librarian, really I am. This means, in a very stereotypical way, I love reading as much as I love riding my bikes. When I can sit down in the evening after a nice long ride and read a book about bicycling pretty much all is right with my world. With that in mind I thought I would share a few of the titles I have read recently or my favorites, just in case you need something to read yourself.
The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance
By David Herihy, 2010
I really enjoyed this book. It is full of the romance of the bicycle that was at its height during the Victorian period. Frank Lenz sets out on a journey to bike around the world, this book recounts what is known of his journey and the search, although belated, to find him after he disappears in the Middle East.
Winding Rivers Library System Catalog