cycling in the snow
Having just returned from our extended visit to see both of our families, I was eager to work off some of those holidays pounds and get back on my bike. We were very late to get snow this year so although I have been cycling this winter, today would mark my first ride since snow covered the ground. Fortunately, temperatures were in the mid 40s F and the day felt positively balmy, so I really could not resist running my morning errands on Nerp. I was a little nervous since the roads and sidewalks were very icey when I last saw them (before our trip), but a short ride to campus and the post office would allow me to test the road conditions without committing to too long of a ride.
Well, it was marvelous! It felt so good to be back on a bike! And the ‘hot’ temperatures made it such a pleasant ride. I stuck to well plowed neighborhood roads and hopped off to push my bike over the few icey patches I encountered. The more I rode, the more confident I felt in my ability to navigate the roads, and by the time I headed home, my nervousness had dissipated completely.
My only qualm: the above freezing temperatures caused much of the snow to melt and the roads were very wet – I need to add those fenders to Nerp ASAP. I got splashed a lot, although the large pink crate over my back tire took a lot of the brunt for me and did a nice job in shielding my back.
On campus, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many other bikes were already chained to the bike racks; clearly, others were still out there, cycling and enjoying the winter on two wheels. But no… upon closer inspection I noticed that every single bike had a little white leaflet attached to it, marking it as an abandoned bike soon to be removed. Bummer. Especially since some of those were some pretty nice bikes, making me wonder what what would compel someone to simply abandon their bike at the start of bad weather. May I suggest something crazy here: storage.
Anyway, today’s ride was just the introduction I needed to snowy cycling. As long as the roads are decently cleared, I can navigate around town for short-distance commutes and can continue to incorporate cycling into my daily routine. Success!