When I first started riding at age 25, I only rode during the day and only if the temp was over 70 degrees. I was literally a fair weather rider. Now many years later, I find myself biking to and from work all year long. And I must admit it’s not nearly as bad as I thought. It sounds crazy, but I actually enjoy riding in the winter. Don’t believe me? Here’s what won me over:
1. Park anywhere
The spring and summer mean more people are biking. YAY! That also means fewer places to park your bike when you arrive at your destination. In the winter, you don’t have that problem. You can park almost anywhere.
2. Be #awesome
Biking to work in the cold and wind and snow leaves people in awe of you. While they were stuck in traffic in a warm car you were passing them, avoiding the traffic, braving the elements and being amazing.
3. Hains Point 100
Every December one of our amazing volunteers, Megan Jones, organizes the Hains Point 100 event to raise money for Women & Bicycles, WABA’s program to encourage and support more women to ride bicycles. The idea is to ride 100 laps, 100 miles, 100 minutes, 100 seconds, 100 anythings, etc. around Hains Point in East Potomac Park. And she raffles off incredible gifts and swag too. Register for the Hains Point 100, this Sunday on December 17th from 8:45 am-3:00 pm and help raise money for a great cause.
4. Stay healthy
Exercising throughout the winter helps to boost your immune system which can help you fight off colds and the flu and stay healthy. Plus, more biking means you can eat more holiday cookies.
5. Improve your mood
When the time changes we have a lot less daylight, leading to anxiety, crankiness, and even Seasonal Affective Disorder. One way to combat that is to bike to work. Being out on your bike is a great way to get a little more sun, fresh air, and daylight in your life during the winter.
6. Skip the shower
Summer riding is fun but can be sweaty and leave you feeling like you need to shower after every bike ride. But in the winter you can ride and arrive at your destination and not feel like you need to shower before your first meeting. But it never hurts to keep some wet wipes or a stick of deodorant in your office, just in case.
7. Bike Lanes are less crowded
(at least until everyone reads this post!)
8. Friendly competition
If you are one of those people who need a bit of motivation to ride through the winter you may want to try Freezing Saddles. It’s a friendly winter competition and the goal is to ride at least 1 mile every day from January 1 until the last day of winter. Each registrant is part of a team and there are fun (and sometimes meaningless) prizes that are given for the person and team that rides the most miles, rides the most often, visits the most coffee shops, and more!
9. Bike & Skate
Join us for our first ride event of 2018. We’ll be riding to ice skate at the Ft. Dupont Ice Arena on Ely Place SE. If you haven’t ice skated in a while or you ice skated last week, you should come join us for a fun bike ride and skating event.
Biking through the winter isn’t for everyone. And there are some days when it’s below freezing and you just don’t want to. There’s nothing wrong with that. But winter biking is worth a try occasionally. And you never know, you just may begin to like it.