Winter Cycling – Good Alone Time

While cycling can be sociable, I love to meander around the city alone. Plenty of time to think and simply enjoy. Today I set out for my favorite thrift shop, Haystack Vintage, and also bought new knee-high snow boots at DSW. As always, a shopping trip was so much more than that. The cold and physical activity was invigorating, and after I bought the most flattering vintage black wiggle dress for $17, I meandered over to the lakefront park nearby to capture the last bits of sun. I never got outside like this in the winter before cycling. The temperature was around 14 F (-10 C), and my fingers and toes were cold, but my body was fine in a dress, turtleneck, wool tights and wool overcoat.

While I was riding, Mr. Dottie went for a run and returned with icicles on his eyelashes, eyebrows and balaklava. Good times. I bought him some Yaktrax for Christmas (equivalent of studded tires for running shoes) but he hasn’t had to pull those out yet.


A lovely Sunday, a happy new year. How is your 2010 going so far?

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22 thoughts on “Winter Cycling – Good Alone Time

  1. Happy New Website!

    I hope you don’t mind, but I’m borrowing your icy dock pic for my desktop. It’s cracked!

  2. Steve A says:

    Does Mr. Dottie find a hat OVER a balaclava to help him? I’ve never done that even when skiing.

  3. Anne Hawley says:

    Oh, your photographs are GORGEOUS! I am full of admiration for the wonderful color composition with the surprising oranges.

    Just lovely. And I couldn’t agree more: cycling on a winter’s day is a fantastic way to get centered and have some quiet mind-time.

  4. Oma looks determined; she is clearly an experience bargain hunter. And I love the way that huge shoebox looks on the rear rack. I am curious about the vintage wiggle dress; please show it in a future post!

    Finally, I am so friggin’ jealous that they plow the bike paths in Chicago! I am only now realising how much I depended on the Boston trails to travel to some further-away places.

  5. […] know winter riding in colder climes can be invigorating. And at times, breathtaking. I even did it myself when I lived in Denver, unwilling to give up a single day of riding that […]

  6. anna says:

    Chicago seems freezing cold, but then you also have that beautiful snow! I envy you! Keep yourself warm and everything will be fine :).

  7. Catherine says:

    Brr. You’re a braver woman than I am. I now have to officially give in to the idea that I have become a southern wimp when it comes to the cold. I used to be very hearty when it came to winter and all its components, but no longer. I actually considered calling in sick today specifically to avoid having to emerge from under my pile of blankets. Seemed reasonable at the time.

    I think I’ve given up the very idea of the bike commute when the low is predicted to be below 35. There’s not enough wool in the world to make that sound like even a remote possibility. I can just barely handle zipping around town to/from the grocery store and Metro etc. It’s too bad, because this has taken me by surprise. I really didn’t think the cold would bother me much at all (I was significantly more concerned about the dark). Turns out, the cold bothers me more than just about anything on the face of the planet.

  8. Lorenza says:

    beautiful photos!! so jealous of your ability to cycle through snow and ice… here we had no grit or salt over pavements, cycle paths, side roads and all :( I am walking everywhere and still today I took a nasty tumble, snow turned to slush then froze over… a continuous sheet of black ice… I hope it starts raining soon! I never thought I’d say that! lol! x

  9. Liset says:

    Biking in the snow is so difficult! Especially when it has frozen… you slip away all the time. The pictures are beautiful :)

  10. Great new site, ladies! Love it!

    I thought of the two of you this week as the hubby and I shopped the vintage clothing stores for fifties fashion.

    We attended at murder mystery on New Year’s Eve dressed as 50’s era James Bond spies. I found a very cute, black A-line dress with rinestones along the neckline ($12) and an absolutely fabulous heavy wool coat with a (fake) fur lining (quite a bit more than $12 but well worth it). Worn with my buffant hair-do and tall black boots, it was a hit! I also found a little sun dress with a 70’s style pattern and 20’s style flapper fringe (also $12). I can’t wait for the warm weather to wear it.

  11. Sara says:

    I LOVE your site. Such a clever idea and something that just makes me feel good!

    2010 for me is going great, though, I’m really confused about what day it is. Happens every January.

  12. RowdyKittens says:

    Love the post and your new website. It is beautiful. :)

  13. oma is so stylish in the snow!
    2010 is going well, especially considering i’m still luxuriating in vacation reading books (okay, and watching season 5 of lost), although i am missing my bike back at home…

  14. Doohickie says:

    How is your 2010 going so far?

    Pretty good. I haven’t had a chance to ride my bike to work yet, but I’ve taken it out on several evening rides. I know what you meant about Good Alone Time; the trails around here are deserted. It’s kind of nice.

  15. Dagne says:

    This is really inspiring! I’m a mother of two in Ottawa, Canada and have been struggling with winter cycling (we’re also carfree). We’re passionate cyclists in the warmer months, but once the snow and deep cold hit, my drive to cycle drains away. It doesn’t help either that the last time I geared up for a bike ride, in December, I discovered that my rear breaks were shot after leaving the bike parked outside a few too many times in frigid temperatures. I want to get back on my bike before February comes round. How do you find riding on really slushy/slippery/messy roads in winter? Thanks for the inspiration, especially those wonderful photos!

  16. Amy says:

    It’s so hard to find places in our city where you feel really alone. I used to get up early to run the lakefront trail just to get that feeling; it’s great to see it can also be achieved biking in the winter.

  17. Scott says:

    Thanks for the tip on Haystack, I will check it out.

    I missed our recent cold snap because I was on a mountain in Wyoming where it was 25 degrees warmer than in Chicago! Now I’m back to the grind and enjoying the clear cold cycling weather.

  18. Christa says:

    “While cycling can be sociable, I love to meander around the city alone. Plenty of time to think and simply enjoy.”

    Yes, I love this! I still don’t know why it’s so magical, but it is.

    One time I saw a peacock while cycling around Davis. Cats, plants, smells, children laughing…. random things like this are so memorable.

    And while on a ride with a friend, she mentioned that she’d not seen this famous public art. She was shocked at the discovery after having lived in the area for a decade.

  19. Christa says:

    Also, lovely photos. Makes me wish for some snow in Santa Barbara.

    Beautiful coat.

    Yes, treasure hunting at thriftstores is pretty fun. Love vintage.

  20. Jodycb says:

    I know what you mean about bicycle alone time. I think one of the main reasons I’ve stuck with the bike commute (besides enjoying cycling) is that it’s this nice built in alone time every day. It’s quiet. No one is asking me to do anything (except to get out of the road & that’s not too often.) Just me and my thoughts… and my bike.

  21. Julie H says:

    I CANNOT believe you two can make Californians jelous of our Chicago weather! Kudos!

    Biking in the winter can feel soooo good and really get you out of the “winter blues”. I am not a heathclub kinda person anymore so being able to commute and get exercize at the same time kills about 18 birds with 1 stone.

    You just need the right clothes. I recently discovered wool, wow is it great material!

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