The Chainlink

Are you still riding in this weather to work or school? give me a shout

I ride to work everyday and generally stick to the main thoroughfares enroute to downtown...which during the summer are jam packed with cyclists. During drizzly days like today there is a marked reduction in cyclists...probably 70-80% or more. This is a stark contrast to Portland, where this kind of weather occurs all year round and doesnt keep anybody from riding...are we snowmen people? No, were Chicagoans and we're tougher then that, but where are all my brothers and sisters? Its more important now then ever to maintain representation on the road as already drivers are getting more aggressive as they feel 'our season' is over. Give me a shout if you're still riding in this weather as sometimes its easy to feel like the few of us left are the only ones still out there...thanks for the support.

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Yup, dropped my daughter off at school in the Burley on my way to work. We WERE going to take the trail-a-bike if we got out in time, but just as we got outside the first drops came. (She does NOT have rain gear - yet.)
Since starting to ride my daughter to school this fall I take a much less traveled route than I used to when it was just me, a bunch of time on Ravenswood rather than Lincoln, for instance. Most of it is the snow route I worked out last year.
Still at it. This is my absolute favorite time of riding of the year: no "conversion fixies" (see crappy-old-ten-speeds) speeding up to pass on the right, then meet back up 40 feet later at a stop light. Being from Minnesota, the bikes get hung up in Chicago on the first 30 degree day, and don't come down for 4 months.

I wish we had more Bike Winter people in this city, but must say, open bike racks, clear bike lanes, and a lack of hipster fixie conversions make riding all the better for the rest of us.

I have the full fender cruiser out and ready, been out on a few rides with, but not even close to hanging my other bikes just yet. But, I have put front and rear brakes on for the winter.

But the best part? Now, and in the winter, we have our secret society of cyclists: you can wave and smile to other cyclists all winter long (don't forget to say hello if you see me :); as a bike messenger MANY years ago in Minneapolis braving the freezing cold, our fellow messenger hello was a middle finger with a smile--hate winter, love biking!

I am still thinking of this downtown messenger that I saw in the second winter of January last year: I was getting to work at 7:30 and leaving at 6:30 at night all that week; if you remember it was about -800 degrees fahrenheit--I saw this guy on my to work and on my way home all that week. 11 hours, 5 days a week in the coldest week of the year. If anyone knows this guy, I would like to put together a fund to buy him a trophy: MOST AWESOME WINTER BIKER OF ALL TIME!

My winter biking advice: keep your feet dry and hands warm--For the past 10 years, I have been wearing baseball batting gloves in winter to keep hands hot and dry all winter long!

Happy biking!
winter riding in Chicago is the best. every 10 degrees or so, you can cut the amount of bicyclists on the road in half. the only days i dont ride are when it gets too slick. after rain freezes over, drivers usually have to relearn how to drive in slippery conditions.
Still riding! I don't really mind the drizzle and showers. Its the wind I hate. And the fact that there is much less daylight.

I actually look forward to the fall, when traffic really lightens up on the LFP. (I take the LFP from Hyde Park to the Loop.)

I know what you mean about the support, though. I ride year round. The number of bikers really drops off in January - February. So when I come across the few other people that are riding at that time of year, I always nod or wave. There get to be so few riders that I feel as though we're in some sort of secret club.
yes. I am already overdressing. I have to 're-learn' every year what to wear when the wind is X mph and the temp is XX. Fortunately - I have a warm shower and clean dry clothes at work. I basically shower with
my sweaty / dirty clothes each morning; then hang them up when I leave in the evening and put on
yesterday's (they are now dry) clothes to ride home.

DB
still riding and am planning on commuting all winter (with exceptions on very icy days).
although the last few days have been hot?!
that is awesome you have a shower at work!

daniel brown said:
yes. I am already overdressing. I have to 're-learn' every year what to wear when the wind is X mph and the temp is XX. Fortunately - I have a warm shower and clean dry clothes at work. I basically shower with
my sweaty / dirty clothes each morning; then hang them up when I leave in the evening and put on
yesterday's (they are now dry) clothes to ride home.

DB
Well, there are currently 111 members in the Bike Winter Group ;-)

http://www.thechainlink.org/group/bikewinter
Fall is my favorite time to ride! A chill in the air! The bike lane starts to empty our. I can pull on my wool over the knee socks. Bike winter fashion is way better than bike summer.
Ha! ain't it the truth. I end up packing or stripping off so much extra clothing that I brought "just in case." I think most of my pannier is clothing.

daniel brown said:
yes. I am already overdressing. I have to 're-learn' every year what to wear when the wind is X mph and the temp is XX. Fortunately - I have a warm shower and clean dry clothes at work. I basically shower with
my sweaty / dirty clothes each morning; then hang them up when I leave in the evening and put on
yesterday's (they are now dry) clothes to ride home.

DB
ridin it everyday.
I love riding this time of year, even in the rain. The weather is cool so you end up not breaking a sweat if you push a little too hard; milwaukee ave doesn't feel like an unorganized road peleton; and your coworkers look at you like you are slighlty crazy, which helps keep them honest. I just plan ahead to change at the office so I can say screw it if i get wet.

The only thing that sucks, imho, are the wet metal grate bridges on rainy days that you eventually have to cross to get into the loop. Sketch city crossing most of them when the roads are wet.

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