Bicycle Colorado

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

Winter-riding-3Let it snow, let it snow, and happy holidays to all! It has been a wonderful year filled with many bike-centric personal and professional experiences.

Now that we’ve finally had snow here in Denver, I’ve had the chance to put my adventuresome riding into play. While it’s taken me 30 years to evolve to winter riding, it has become my chosen means of travel—and highlights the importance of infrastructure best practices that separate cars, pedestrians and bicyclists.

Winter riding

Winter riding often highlights how much more work is needed to achieve a connected network of safe infrastructure for bicycling from any “point A” to any “point B.”

While home to work for me is only four miles, and there is some bike infrastructure, it can be quite sketchy sharing the road with cars when snow and ice are on the roads. Some motorists follow too closely and pass without sufficient distance between vehicles.

Dogs and bikes

On the lighter side, our four-legged family members, Luna and Sprocket, love running with me on my bike and racing through the snow at the park. Small bicycle lights that are intended to strap onto handlebars and seatposts make great dog collar lights for being out after dark on these short winter days.

dogs bike snow 250 pixels wideAnd bicycle lights intended to make me very visible this time of year can also be very festive.

Evolution

As I’ve written before, for many years I only rode in winter when warm and dry. It took me 30 years to realize that dressing for winter riding is very similar to dressing for skiing, which helped me overcome the perceived limitations of cold weather bicycling. And while I don’t expect many to suddenly give riding in the snow a try, with the right equipment and a little experimentation, it can be fun.

Snow and ice

Mtn biking Steamboat Sept 2015 with Luna Sprocket 250 pix wideSnow and ice are winter riding challenges. For those who might be curious, I have three sets of wheels and tires to choose between: limited tread road tires (for dry and wet conditions), knobby cyclocross type tires (for snow) and studded snow tires (for snow and ice).

Yes, there really are studded tires for bicycle wheels. The first time someone spoke of studded bicycle tires, I thought they were making it up!

Happy cycling and holidays

Colorful visibility for night time ridingI hope you and your bicycle(s) have enjoyed many great experiences in 2015. Please share a favorite bike story from this year in the comments, if you like.

And I hope many more great bicycling experiences are in store for you and yours in 2016!

Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.

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Bicycle Colorado
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