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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Absolutely still riding! And will keep it up all winter long. And will continue trying to convince friends who think I'm 'crazy' that biking in the winter is actually a lot warmer than waiting for buses and trains. Just dress right and create your own biosphere. Love the less traffic on the bike path, hate the less room on the streets once they plow snow into the bike lanes.
I am still out there, ready for my second bike winter.
Yeah, I'm still out there. This will be my 3rd winter riding. Funny how so many in the "Chicago Bike Scene" are riding the bus when there's a little drizzle!
when the roads are super wet or icy my favorite crossings are Lake street from the west Wells from the north or LOWER michigan ave to lower wacker access road.

Adrian Rohrer said:
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.
Yeah, the Washington St bridge into the loop from the west isn't a bad option either. It has a concrete surface rather than a straight metal grate surface. I'm just a creature of habit, so I need to force myself to remeber to change routes and avoid sketchy bridges (I'm looking at you Kinzie and Randolph St bridges) when rain/ice is going to be an issue.

jen said:
when the roads are super wet or icy my favorite crossings are Lake street from the west Wells from the north or LOWER michigan ave to lower wacker access road.

Adrian Rohrer said:
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.
i also love riding at this time of year. cool weather and fall colors make for a great break.

i was all dressed to go this morning, but the rain bike had a blown spoke :(. i ended up driving to the burbs in my cycling clothes, with back wheel in tow. headed straight to LBS after work.
Yes! Haven't missed a day in weeks.
Totally still riding, although it gets a bit silly when it takes me longer to get dressed/undressed commuting than it takes for me to get to work (i live less than two miles from work!)
haven't missed a day of ridding in four years. looking forward to winter #5!!

the morning commute on the mountain bike after a fresh snowfall is surreal, i just love it!!
I ride the whole year. I also feel like part of a club when there are fewer and fewer bikes on the road. The only thing that sucks is that I really watch the forcast now to determin what to wear.
Rosa Diaz said:
This is my first year riding, I am not sure how long I will last. I do not ride everyday, but try to get out there.

That is the right attitude. One problem that I have with Bike-winter is that it often becomes a peeing contest about who can ride in the lowest temperatures, worst snowstorm, etc.
I ride year round, but if the weather is too foul, or I am just too lazy (more likely reason), I will take the Metra. No need to put yourself at risk in an attempt to fit in.
Frank
I am looking forward to my second winter of biking. Fewer bikes on the road is a plus. Cold temperatures do not phase me as I have excellent winter gear. Mostly what you need is the proper attitude. (a little crazy in moderation helps) And, like others, I like the response you get from people who are astonished that you are riding in horrible weather.
The cold is not a problem for me. Excessive Ice and snow, and narrower lanes due to snow are a problem. You need to be extra careful, take your time, scan ahead, and understand that you wont be going very fast. do that and you will be fine.

Also, I ride a bike with thick knobby tires. Cant afford a second bike yet. So winter is when I get payback for being the last one in the pack all summer.
Riding alone on bone-chilling winter days is a sublime pleasure.

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