Winter Group Rides – Critical Lass

Chicago’s monthly Critical Lass ride continues on, even in the dark cold!

Usually I avoid winter group rides because biking for a long time at slow speeds in freezing temps is a great way to freeze my extremities off.

The ladies behind Critical Lass understand these problems and have adjusted the winter rides accordingly. For the next few months, the ride will be short (3-4 miles) and end at neighborhood bars that are close to home for as many of the lasses as possible.

This plan worked perfectly for December’s ride. A hardy group of 16 lasses showed up and spent much more time drinking pitchers of beer in a cozy pub than pedaling in the cold.

To stay up-to-date on the different dates and locations for Chicago’s Critical Lass ride, check out the Facebook page.

What do you think about winter group rides? Have you been on one this year?

  • http://twitter.com/bikeyourlife Bike Your Life Green

    Looks like a lovely ride with a great group of ladies. We are doing a Christmas Light Bike Ride next Friday night. It’s an annual event. About 20 of us meet up, decorate our bikes to the nines with Christmas lights and pedal around for an hour or two looking at lights in one of the nicest neighborhoods in town. This year I hope for no snow. :)

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      So fun!

      There doesn’t seem to be serious snow anywhere in the U.S. yet, so hopefully your ride will be snow-free. :)

  • http://twitter.com/turtlepacing Run Turtle Run

    Looks like a lovely ride with a great group of ladies. We are doing a Christmas Light Bike Ride next Friday night. It’s an annual event. About 20 of us meet up, decorate our bikes to the nines with Christmas lights and pedal around for an hour or two looking at lights in one of the nicest neighborhoods in town. This year I hope for no snow. :)

  • http://breakingchainstakinglanes.wordpress.com/ Coreen

    I organized my first winter group ride this week. Seven of us checked out some holiday light displays and finished the night with skating. Keeping everyone warm was the biggest issue. We encouraged everyone to bring thermoses for hot drinks, and ended up ducking into a heated underground parkade when some folks were getting cold, where we rode around until security got wind of us. That was an excellent warm-up ;-)
    I think that shorter routes and a warm destination are good ideas but I worry that a warm stop mid ride might really suck momentum. And for the next winter ride/skate or ride/toboggan, I think a hot tub finale is in order.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      That sounds like the best holiday ride. I always thought it was silly how many people drive their cars slowly in jammed traffic through light displays – riding a bike is so much nicer.

      A hot tub finale would be the best ever!

  • Jessica Musselwhite

    Next time you guys have a ride, I’m totally there.

    • http://www.anniebikes.blogspot.com anniebikes

      I rode yesterday for 6-7 miles in 22 degrees with a stiff north wind. I did not enjoy it at all. I tried to increase my speed but the bit of snow and icy patches reduced me to a cold-toed uncomfortably slow ride. I went home to warmth. I’ve reached my limit – boohoo!

      • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

        Yeah, some days riding in the cold sucks. If you haven’t already tried toe warmers (I use Little Hotties), I highly recommend them to make winter much more enjoyable.

    • http://www.lucitebox.com/ Holly

      Jessica–be sure to “like” the Chicago Critical Lass Facebook page. We’re planning the January route this week or immediately after the holidays and will announce the details on Facebook. Dottie also usually mentions it here, too.

      I love winter group rides. It’s sometimes so peaceful to be out there alone on a bike, but it sure doesn’t hurt to have friends to ride with when it’s winter. Especially if your friends have a flask ; )

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Yay!

  • Jessica Musselwhite

    Next time you guys have a ride, I’m totally there.

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      Yay!

  • http://www.anniebikes.blogspot.com anniebikes

    I rode yesterday for 6-7 miles in 22 degrees with a stiff north wind. I did not enjoy it at all. I tried to increase my speed but the bit of snow and icy patches reduced me to a cold-toed uncomfortably slow ride. I went home to warmth. I’ve reached my limit – boohoo!

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      Yeah, some days riding in the cold sucks. If you haven’t already tried toe warmers (I use Little Hotties), I highly recommend them to make winter much more enjoyable.

  • Anne in Geneva, IL

    Have not been out for a few weeks — sprained knee. I would luv-luv-luv! to go on a group ride to look at Christmas lights and stop at a pub or someplace, but no one here does that (that I know of, anyway). Riders frequently go past our house on the trail, but I haven’t seen groups. Bummer as I’ve compiled a bigger stash of gear this year … battery operated LED Christmas lights for the bike and cargo trailer, wool balaclava, wool glittens, non-fogging shop glasses to wear over rx glasses, diy helmet and ear cover, winter bike with snow tires, diy shoe covers …

    Sadly, it all must wait for this knee to get better. Have fun downtown! :D ::friendly wave::

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Bummer, I hope you feel better soon. Maybe next year you can organize a holiday ride in Geneva. :)

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      Bummer, I hope you feel better soon. Maybe next year you can organize a holiday ride in Geneva. :)

  • Erica Satifka

    I went on my first ever group bike ride a week ago and it was amazing! Then again, it’s not THAT cold here in Baltimore, and it still hasn’t snowed, and I hope it doesn’t (come on, global warming). Lots of the riders wore holiday lights on themselves or their bikes, I need to find a setup like that next year.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      That’s cool that you chose a winter group ride to be your first. I know what you mean about the weather – Chicago is in the high 30′s!

  • Erica Satifka

    I went on my first ever group bike ride a week ago and it was amazing! Then again, it’s not THAT cold here in Baltimore, and it still hasn’t snowed, and I hope it doesn’t (come on, global warming). Lots of the riders wore holiday lights on themselves or their bikes, I need to find a setup like that next year.

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      That’s cool that you chose a winter group ride to be your first. I know what you mean about the weather – Chicago is in the high 30′s!

  • Margyartgrrl

    Last week, Cincinnati riders went on our first ever BRIGHT Ride: we dressed up ourselves and our bikes in holiday best. We had lights and wreathes on bikes — even a tiny lit-up tree on a rack. We saw lots of red clothing, fancy hats and helmets, and Bicycle Santa with his sleigh rode along. Over 60 of us rode about 10 miles — including right through our center city where the annual LIght Up events were taking place. Lots of smiles — on riders and watchers. Grand time! And not too cold.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Great photos of a very festive group! I can see why the ride brought smiles to faces. :)

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      Great photos of a very festive group! I can see why the ride brought smiles to faces. :)

  • Kevin Love

    I am not a big fan of group rides, but one of the few that I’ve been on is Toronto’s “Coldest Day of the Year” ride. On average, January 30 is the coldest day of the year, so that’s the ride day.

    One of my father’s saying is “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” All I know is that when I dress right, I am not cold and can stay outside all day comfortably. Here’s a photo of me published in Momentum Magazine. Vest, jacket, tie and overcoat on top, long underwear and wool pants on bottom, with two pair of black wool socks under the highly polished leather of my shoes. I can ride around in style and comfort all day.

    http://momentumplanet.com/downloads/slideshows/12/slides/2/index.html

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      How dapper! Love it. :)

      Chicago has something similar, on the day with the coldest recorded temperature, but we call it Winter Bike to Work Day. There’s no group ride, but we meet up downtown on the way to work.

  • Dominique

    where do you guys get all your cool helmets?! I’m so jealous!

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      The two helmets in the last two pictures are from Nutcase.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kevin.giant Kevin Love

    I am not a big fan of group rides, but one of the few that I’ve been on is Toronto’s “Coldest Day of the Year” ride. On average, January 30 is the coldest day of the year, so that’s the ride day.

    One of my father’s saying is “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” All I know is that when I dress right, I am not cold and can stay outside all day comfortably. Here’s a photo of me published in Momentum Magazine. Vest, jacket, tie and overcoat on top, long underwear and wool pants on bottom, with two pair of black wool socks under the highly polished leather of my shoes. I can ride around in style and comfort all day.

    http://momentumplanet.com/downloads/slideshows/12/slides/2/index.html

  • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

    How dapper! Love it. :)

    Chicago has something similar, on the day with the coldest recorded temperature, but we call it Winter Bike to Work Day. There’s no group ride, but we meet up downtown on the way to work.