Dec 4, 2010
I am pretty convinced that a bike can be as good a form of transportation in winter as a car, and better than a car on ice. After a slight hiatus from the bike I finally wheeled it out and went for a ride this evening. It felt VERY good to be on a bike again. The alleys were tricky - packed snow over ice. That was very squirmy, even with studded tires. The side streets, however, are very rideable in the tire tracks and the trail along the Parkway is generally in good condition. The only tricky stuff out there are the intersections, where the plow spooge blocks the trail crossings.
Grovecraft wool hat has also been a blessing. Holly's hats are wonderful soft Merino wool and fit better than any other ones I have tried. She was selling these at No-Coast today and also sells at Freewheel, Hiawatha and I think at the Hub.
The only winter cycling problem I am still having is my eyes. They tear a lot in cold weather, but I have a pretty low tolerance for goggles. I feel claustrophobic in goggles and they steam up (or my glasses steam up) as soon as I stop, so I am always taking the damn things on and off at stop lights. I am considering getting some of those wrap-around glasses with prescription inserts. Maybe Santa will deliver the goods on that this year.
Finally, it's just a lot more fun and engaging to ride a bike in winter than it is to drive. Even with studs, I find you have to pay a little more attention, and the little fishtails and side-slips keep you very in touch with the road conditions. You are also presented with a lot of little challenges, like busting through a ridge of plowed snow at an intersection. You think nothing of this in a car, if you even notice it all. On a bike, you to come with a strategy in half a second, bust through it, and then you give yourself a little high-five when you succeed. That's good clean fun.
If you have not tried it, put on some long underwear, find a plowed trail and go for a little spin. It's a beautiful way to enjoy winter and a lot more accessible than most people would think.
at 8:08 PM