Winter Commuting: Part 1

By | December 18, 2013

I am a fair weather cyclist.  When the temperature and precipitation begin to drop, my bike and my cycling aspirations go into hibernation.  There are few things I hate more than riding in the rain.  Riding in the cold is tolerable, but just barely.

This year is a little different.  I have taken a new job.  Now instead of commuting to work in the warm, lazy comfort of mine auto-mobile…  I find myself waiting on the street for a bus, which is usually 20 minutes late.  What should take 15 minutes by car is taking me 40 minutes, if the bus is on time.  That 40 plus minute bus commute to Downtown Seattle is spent with loud, fragrant and interesting people.  When my bus passes a cyclist or is passed by a cyclist, I feel a twinge of jealousy in the pit of my stomach.  It is time to rethink my winter cycling hibernation.

I have to be honest.  I have no intent on becoming a wet weather bike commuter.  I HATE riding in the rain.  However, even in Seattle there are opportunities to ride to work and stay dry even in the winter.  It is my goal to take advantage of these opportunities.

Here are the specifics of my commute:

  • 15 miles each way.
  • Most rides home will be taken in the dark.
  • Due to traffic and hills, I expect the commute to take an hour each way.  
  • Anticipated 30-55F Temperature Range (not very cold to some, I admit)
I expect it will take some effort to find the right gear to make my commute as comfortable as possible.  Next up, I will run you through my gear, test it on some commutes and determine what adjustments need to be made.  Stay tuned!  
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