January 15, 2013

Cold Weather Bike Commuting Q & A

It’s the winter and you’re still riding your bike – awesome! You’re probably finding that family, friends, and co-workers have been peppering you with questions about it. You’ve likely heard, “How do you stay warm?” Argh. Asking a cyclist that question is like asking a vegetarian, “Where do you get your protein?” Though annoying, it requires a thoughtful response.

I’ve found there are a few questions I’m asked over and over again. While it can be tempting to give a curt response, use this opportunity to be a bicycle advocate. Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire someone to give bike commuting a try.

January 7, 2013

What's with Winter Bikes?

On any given winter weekday morning, it is easy to spot Madison’s sizable contingent of “winter bikers,” who are actual people beneath layers of winter bike gear: balaclavas, goggles, breathing masks, construction-style reflective vests, winter Lycra, and wrist-deep Bar Mitt handlebar gloves. While it is encouraging to see so many people out biking year-round, as I have written in previous posts, such as “Riding a Bike in the Winter Isn't Extreme,” all of the specialized gear is not a prerequisite to biking in the winter. I believe this extends to the bike you actually ride: You don’t need a “winter bike;” you just need a decent bike for year-round transportation.