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Friday, February 24, 2012

Winter Bike Commute

Some people think I'm crazy. It's the middle of winter. In Wisconsin. And I'm on my bike. Riding almost 11 miles each way to/from work.

Yeah, maybe I am.

Snow fall and I'm riding, at least part of the way.  10°F and I'm riding. (For the record, I think that's about my bottom limit, at least with the gear I have.  My feet were cold that morning!)

And I arrive at work or home, my back drenched in sweat, feeling awesome. (Thankfully, we have a locker room at the office w/ showers!)

Tonight, as I start this post, it's snowing out. Big, wet flakes. It's quite beautiful. Clinging to the trees. I think there's about 1-1/2 inches in the ground already. I don't know how much more will fall.
Fresh Snow Fall in the Morning!
But I know I'm looking forward to my ride to work tomorrow.

I'll decide in the morning if I'll ride the whole way. Or if I'll load DB (an older hybrid bike with wider tires) on the rack and drive into town before riding 4.5 miles to the office. The main issue is the 1.5 miles of highway between Waunakee and Madison. So, we'll see if it's still snowing in the morning. And if the plows have been out.

I'll finish the post tomorrow. And maybe include a pic or two of my bike commute.

The Next Morning: Madison ended up with about 4" of heavy wet snow.  A little less in Waunakee.  Despite that, the highway between the suburb and the big city was not especially safe to ride on.  So, I did end up driving into Madison and parked at a strip mall just over half-way to the office.  I call this type of commute a "Park-N-Bike"  I rode DB about 4-1/2 miles from there.
Riding thru Tenney Park in Madison
Hey! I'm not the only nut job riding in this!
The Trusty Steed (DB).
Oh, and for the record, I'm not completely nuts. Of the first 8 weeks of the year (40 weekdays), this is only my 17th trip by bike. (Missed days due to holidays, a conference, meetings or appointments out of the office. There was one day I didn't ride because of the weather. Ok, I am a little nuts.)


  1. Part Deux:

    This morning (Mon, 3/5), it was 10° (F) at 7:00 and we had a dusting of snow last night. Great ride to work today. The only thing that got cold was my toes. It's all about the layers! I had 4 on top and 4 on the bottom. And my back was drenched in sweat! (I do need to explore chemical toe warmers for <10°, because even w/ thick wool socks and my heaviest shoe covers, my toes were cold for the last couple miles.)

    It's warming up fast here, already 19° at 9:00 with a hi today forecast in the mid-30s. Into the 50s tomorrow and Wednesday!

  2. Boss, You're my hero! This is amazing to a warm blooded CA girl, who doesn't go outside if its raining!

    1. Thanks, Julie! If you think I'm amazing though, you should check out some of the tweeps in the Twin Cities, like @blueallez, who do it there. He's my inspiration to keep going. (Well, him and gas at $3.79/gal!)

      I saw on twitter the phrase "no bad weather, only bad clothes."