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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WooHoo!! for riding all year. Although I do not currently have a workplace to ride to I am still out there riding almost daily. Today, it was just a short ride to meet up with my son (who also rides) so we could ride home together. What a blast. With the skies so grey the contrast with the gold and red leaves was just gorgeous.

Funniest thing about riding in this weather and even more so in winter, is how non-cyclists react when they see me on the bike. And this year I will have the little one with me more....can't wait for the reactions. Silly people - I am out there having a blast, enjoying the fresh air and the freedom to move about rather than being stuck in a car in a long line of not so happy drivers.
Reddog said:
Riding alone on bone-chilling winter days is a sublime pleasure.

BRING IT ON!!!

I'm still riding! I'm a dog-walker, and I ride my bike for my route. i.e., all day everyday! :-D

(Doesn't mean that I am excited for the snow to come though) But yeah, I want to move to Seattle someday, so I figured that I might as well tough it out now, to train myself. HAH!
I'm afraid of lubing constantly - so I don't always bike -

One day when I can afford to bring in the bike for a quarterly lube to the shop boys I'll ride every day. Takes time to repack, oil and replace.
Great photo!! Makes me long for a good snowstorm.

Joe TV said:
Reddog said:
Riding alone on bone-chilling winter days is a sublime pleasure.

BRING IT ON!!!

still riding and ready for February.
Man all you guys RAWK!!!! Thanks for all the encouraging words. Just came home and soaked to the bone but thinking about all the great spirit out there that keeps Chicago rolling on 2 wheels year round.
Some days when it is pouring I will take the train because I get a Upass as part of my tuition at Loyola. I usually do bike it though. I am actually looking forward to the snow because it is less wet then the rain. I have any where from a minimum 20 to a maximum 30 mile commute each day, so now and again I take a rest. I like to ride with racing fenders on my Surley Steamroller which helps a lot. I get a little nervous with the crazy drivers but I have a front light and a rear flasher. Good luck with all your rides and stay safe!
I am from Minneapolis too! This is where I learned to bike and love biking in the winter. Have a great winter!

Francis Buxton said:
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!
Wabash is a great metal grate free south bound way to the loop. I come back north on State, but take the sidewalk across the bridge.

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.
Didn't see another cyclist out there this AM, and I discovered a couple of items of clothing that need some Scotchguard, but it was OK.
I ride most days. I'm not afraid of cold, but I am scared to death of slippery conditions. I ride to work at about 5:30 am in the west suburbs, and the lighting is poor. Even with a pretty good headlight, its hard to avoid ice spots or wet leaves.
Also, I still need to invest in some raingear. I would appreciate suggestions.

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