There’s cold, and then there’s winter bike commuting.
Coming from Montana, I thought I could handle any weather that Vermont blew my way – but when wind chill kicked the temperature down to almost 40 below zero last year, I was a bit out of my element.
When you commute during this cripplingly cold season, you need more than great gear (my recommendations can be found here) you also need some serious mental discipline. As your wheels are spinning it’s easy for certain thought patterns to pop up in your head:
- I wonder if I’ll still have fingers when I get to work…
- At what temperature will my eyelids freeze together?
- Has time – along with everything else – also frozen?
And although there’s no way to completely kick those thoughts, here are some of my tricks for feeling the warmth of gratitude towards your icy trudge.
- Remember all of the bugs you encounter during the summer? Well that isn’t a problem now.
- What about the insane bike traffic, dogs on leashes and toddlers toddling – nope, none of that anymore either.
- Nose continually running? That’s okay! There’s no one else on the bike path to interfere with your air-hanky.
Winter commuting is a different beast. It’s slow going, so remember to stop (or just ride slowly, so as not to freeze) and appreciate that you have the opportunity to be here with crisp air in your lungs and wind in your hair.