Winter Bicycling Midpoint

I consider winter to be more than half-way over around this time, late January/early February. February is usually brutal, but at least I know spring is around the corner. This year, November, December, and now January have passed with only a few super freezing days and two noteworthy snowfalls that melted quickly. I haven’t even put studded tires on Oma yet.

By enjoying this extremely mild winter, I feel like I’ve gotten away with something major, like a jewelry heist. I almost don’t want to write this down for fear of jinxing myself, but I do want to celebrate making it over the hump of winter, however small said hump was this year.

How’s everyone else doing with winter bicycling this year?

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26 thoughts on “Winter Bicycling Midpoint

  1. I’m with you–it’s been a weirdly warm winter, even warmer than I anticipated moving a bit further south and out of Illinois. I keep feeling like I won’t deserve spring when it comes; I haven’t had to take out my Mt Everest mittens once!

  2. Carolyn says:

    Despite the one week of really cold weather, our Winter has been good again. We haven’t had a ‘normal’ Winter for at least 10 years. We are getting dumped with snow today, but it’s quite mild. Riding has been great! The main roads were bare yesterday and I could go down the road at a decent speed. It feels great being able to do that.

    (I haven’t heard back from CBC about the cold winter biking- I could call them anyways…but I’m to shy about that would you believe? – A person who follows me works at CBC and twittered me to phone the local CBC number that morning regarding cold Winter riding but I wasn’t near my cellphone to get the message)

  3. Amy Gawthrop says:

    It’s been weirdly warm this year. I’m not complaining! But temps on average in the 50’s. We’ve only had 1 snow, if you can call it that. Only about a half inch. So, plenty of good riding here! (I’ve just jinxed myself now, haven’t I?) :)

  4. Bobbin and Sprocket says:

    It’s been weirdly warm this year. I’m not complaining! But temps on average in the 50’s. We’ve only had 1 snow, if you can call it that. Only about a half inch. So, plenty of good riding here! (I’ve just jinxed myself now, haven’t I?) :)

  5. laura mchardie says:

    It’s been very mild in Scotland too, It’s my first cycling winter and I feel like I haven’t been challenged yet, it’s almost like i’m not “in the club” until I’ve cycled singing through some snowy conditions. I think I must be the only one hoping for snow and the chance to test out my sheepskin mittens!

  6. Timoohz says:

    Here in Very Northern Florida I didn’t even have to dig out my winter clothes until this week. I’ve managed with “office clothes” on my usual short rides, although I don’t wear gloves etc in an office. :-) All winter has been mild, only about -12C (+10F). Now it dropped below -15C and next week will be about -25C (-15F). I’ll have to do some thinking how to dress next week, I can’t just grab a coat and go.

    I’m not sure how much I’ll ride next week, as my bike freezes and rolling resistances will go up. I keep my bike in a warm storage over night, so at first the bike is easy to ride, then it’ll get heavier and heavier. This week it was only -15C and I already had to keep pedaling to keep the bike moving on a slight downhill. Next week I’ll have to keep pedaling even on the steeper downhills, to underpasses etc.

    I’ve been feeling like I’ve gotten away too easy. I don’t think I’ll feel the same next week. The winter is going to strike back!

    • LGRAB says:

      Florida? I didn’t realize it got so cold there! I grew up in North Carolina and 30F was cold for winter.

      • Timoohz says:

        No, not real Florida. :-)

        The Mayor of Toronto wants to get rid of bike lanes, because “nobody cycles in the winter as this isn’t Florida”. Here (65 degrees north) we do use our bikeways 12 months a year, so we must be in “Very Northern Florida”, right? Thus the name of my blog.

  7. Aaron Whaley says:

    I didn’t get away with anything…doctor’s office called, need MORE exercise! :P I did have a drop off mileage this year.

    FWIW I was just out in front of my house here in NC and the jonquils are blooming and crocus are up…

    Aaron (aka 2whls3spds)

  8. adventure! says:

    It’s been a really dry winter here in the Northwest–we had the driest December on record in Portland, and while we’ve had more rain in January, it’s still been on the dry side. Like today, for instance. 48F and sunny. Need to get out there on the bike.

    And I with you Dottie in regards to winter being almost over. February can be harsh, but it’s only 28 days, right? (Well, 29 this year.) Even if it’s non-stop rain next month, I can almost live with it, since we’re on the verge of spring. If it was non-stop rain in November, it would be different.

  9. David B. says:

    My friends in Alaska and Mongolia are experiencing one of the coldest Januarys on record with temps -40 and colder. Even the hardy folks are getting anxious for a break in the cold weather. Our weather in Michigan has barely gotten cold yet.

  10. Maven says:

    It’s been amazing, hasn’t it? This was the perfect winter to try out winter cycling because the conditions are so mild. I’ve biked in very cold weather this winter but only about a half inch of snow. Absolutely bonkers for Minneapolis, and I too feel like winter is nearly over.

  11. anniebikes says:

    In the middle of the season I would be skiing and trudging through ankle deep snow, walking my heart out. I’m still riding my bike so it can’t be winter!

  12. GravelDoc says:

    Southwest Missouri has had a very mild winter as well. We’ve only had one snow that accumulated enough to stick to the ground for more than just overnight. We have had some pretty cold (for us) streaks. This weekend the highs have been in the low 50’s and tomorrow is supposed to be in the low 60’s. Also, sunny and not too much in the way of wind, which is unusual for us. All that said, I have not been out on the bike as much as I’d like. Seems on the prettiest days I have had to drive the 28 miles to do hospital rounds. Today, though, I’m “free” and will get out for awhile this afternoon. Also, since I don’t have the longer trip to do, I’ll probably bike to the office (4 miles) this week. Everyone enjoy!

  13. Chrissy says:

    “Winter cycling”, and i’m using that term very loosely, has been great. Here in Vegas, it has been about 65 degrees at the hottest part of the day since this thursday. Before then, it was a little cooler, around 60-55. At night, it goes down to the mid 40s, which for people here, is freezing. But for me, coming from Philly, it feels pretty warm for the wintertime. The only drawback is sometimes we get some nasty strong winds because we do live in a valley, and with all my stuff it can make the ride a little wobbly, but it’s usually manageable.

    I’ve been out several days in a row now, just going on long rides to build my stamina, but with weather like this, it feels like a crime not to be out here!

  14. leafygreen says:

    I found this post most uplifting! I’m dying for the evenings to get lighter and I cycled home from work in the light for the first time since I got my bike on Friday(I left at 4.30). It was brilliant! I think in another 2 weeks it will be light when I cycle home at 5. Can’t wait!

  15. Vicki says:

    Interesting reading about the mild winter in the north. I am from Australia and we have had the mildest of summers where I live on the east coast. When I say mild, I mean in terms of no really hot days in the high 30s as we would usually get. This also makes cycling much easier. I wonder if there is a connection between the northern and southern hemispheres’ weather patterns.

    • LGRAB says:

      Interesting. Seems everything about the weather is connected one way or the other. When writing about winter or summer, I often wonder whether any Australians are reading and experiencing the opposite.

      • Vicki says:

        Yes we are! And reading about your winters makes ours seem so easy in comparison, I will never again say it is too cold to ride the bike.

      • Vicki says:

        Yes we are! And reading about your winters makes ours seem so easy in comparison, I will never again say it is too cold to ride the bike.

  16. Annie Angello says:

    I live in Central Texas where the weather is…..highly variable. So far I’ve ridden in rain, hail, hot and cold for the winter. But it’s mostly so mild, this has been some of the best cycling weather ever.

  17. A typically easy winter here (North Yorkshire).

    I have been running studded tires (Schwalbe Winters) throughout, even when the pavement is dry–if you keep them at the upper end of the pressure range they feel almost like conventional tires, and few of the studs make contact with the road surface, and those that do only “kiss” it.

    It’s minus 2 celsius and there will be ice on the road this morning, so I will probably run them at 45 to 50psi instead of the usual 80. Easy peasy.

    Be careful out there. Bob.

  18. Perthbiker says:

    As another Australian reader I have been admiring your determination in dealing with winter riding. In Perth on the west coast it has never snowed and most of us have no idea what it is like to cycle in it. Of course, we are in the middle of summer right now. The past week has been a bit hotter than usual and I have to confess to not using my bike on one of the days. I had a business meeting in an industrial suburb and although it was only a 15 km round trip there were no cycle lanes and a lot of trucks to deal with. It was also hot. As I drove there in my car the weather gauge was showing 44 C (111 F) outside.

  19. […] of snow. A lot of Chicago bicyclists get by fine without studded tires – and in fact I never put mine on two winters ago due to the relatively mild weather – but I like having them as an option.  What do you do to […]

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