In the summertime, it’s easy to get out on weekend rides to loosen the legs and clock some good miles. But in the winter, the weather is just not as pleasant on a training ride. Consider switching your approach to commuting to work by bike. This can be a great way to get some miles in and arrive at work. We call that feeding two birds with one biscuit.
KNOW YOUR ROUTE
If you’re not used to biking to your workplace, plan it in advance. Simply bushwhacking and making up a route as you go could land you on some sketchy roads. Use your area bike map (like the Portland Metro area Bike There map) to find the best roads for biking.
GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA TIME
Even once you have your route down pat, give yourself a few extra minutes to allow for flats and other mishaps along the way. What with booties, rain pants, gloves and all, simply putting on all your riding gear can take nearly 10 minutes, so be sure to allow for that time as well.
SET YOUR GEAR OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE
No one wants to spend the waking hours scrounging for a lost glove. Set your gear out the night before. If it is still wet from the previous day’s ride, find a convenient place to air dry your gear overnight where it will be easy to suit up in the morning. For additional tips, see our Gear Care article.
SET YOUR REWARD
If you’re facing a really dreary week, set some rewards in place to help motivate. Plan ahead some nice treats for yourself to make it a little easier to get out of bed in the morning.
Seriously, you biked 12 miles in the rain to get to work? WAY TO GO! Reward yourself with a tasty treat, a hot bath or whatever else will help you feel pleasantly relaxed afterwards.
TELL PEOPLE YOU’RE COMMUTING BY BIKE
No, don’t brag – how gauche! – but do tell people you’re commuting by bike. Broadcasting your intentions makes them more real, more concrete. And, let’s face it, sometimes that creates a little accountability, too. When you coworker asks “How’s the bike commuting going in this nasty rain we’re having?” it’s much cooler to say “Oh, not too bad, I’ve got good gear so I stay dry” than to say “I gave up.”
DON’T GIVE UP!
You can do it, and we’re here for you. Share your winter commuting woes below in the comments and on Twitter with the hash tag #KeepRiding.