"Go slow" was the advice my friend Joe gave me when I asked him if he had any tips for getting through the winter on a bike. He is a veteran Maine winter biker and said that as long as you dress warm and don't try to go too fast, making it through the season isn't as hard as you might think.
Winter really didn't show up here until this week. It was literally 68 degrees and sunny here about nine days ago; it's 25 and blustery outside right now. The transition was quick.
Biking outside when its 25 degrees is remarkably easy with the right set of clothes. I've been sporting long johns on my legs with a good hat, pair of gloves, and two jackets — the inside a thin, warm wind blocker and the outside is a hooded rain shell. My hat is thin enough to fit comfortably under the helmet and my beard keeps my face from freezing off.
One cool thing about biking when temperatures have fallen below freezing is that it feels like a real accomplishment when you get to your destination. I rode 12 miles roundtrip last night to attend an offseason ultimate frisbee workout and felt kinda badass for doing it on my bike — it was freaking cold out!
I'm lucky to have two great electric bikes to help me get through the winter; the kind folks at both Pedego and Currie Tech are letting me put their bikes — the Pedego Comfort Cruiser and Izip Trekking Enlightened — through their snowy paces. It'll be interesting to see how the batteries hold up in the bitter cold. So far I've been really impressed with how they've held their charge, though we will see if I'm just as impressed when the mercury falls below zero.
I'll be writing something here every Friday with stories and thoughts about winter biking. If you have any stories to share about your own adventures on two wheels in the offseason, please drop a comment.
Ride on riders, and stay warm.
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