I’ve been riding my bike all winter. That’s right, I’m one of those “crazy” cyclists you see periodically during the months of December-March. This was my first winter riding – last year I stored my bike and TTC’ed it everywhere – and it really wasn’t that bad. Yes, it can be very cold, but if you layer appropriately it can actually be quite warm as you ride, since you are moving your body. I don’t have special bike clothes, I ride in my work garb (although most days I wore leggings under my pants or pantyhose and leggings with my skirts). Cycling is way warmer than walking. I generally did not ride when it was snowing and there was accumulation on the ground, but there were only maybe five days like that all winter.
It takes me 45 minutes to walk to work and while that’s not bad in nicer weather, I do not want to be outside for that long in the cold. TTC is hit and miss – sometimes it’s a 20 minute ride if I make my connections, other days it’s over an hour to get to work. Plus I get motion sickness on the bus/streetcar and I hate the crowds. Riding only takes 15-20 minutes. I feel so at ease on my bike, and I like the control it gives me. I can pass traffic, I don’t have to wait for anything, and it’s quick. If it weren’t for the pedestrians who cross mid street without looking and the careless drivers, it would be a completely stress free trip to and from work.
I saved at least $80-$100/month by riding my bike. That’s around $300-$400 for the winter. I had minimal maintenance, a flat here and there, nothing major. Whenever we eventually buy a house, I want to be able to ride to work in under 45 minutes.
Now that it’s almost summer, I’m a happy girl. Feeling the breeze on your skin as you ride in the morning is a great way to start your day. Shorts and t-shirts can’t come fast enough.
How do you get to work in the winter? Are there any other winter cyclists out there?