And So It Begins…

Winter! The low 20’s biting cold surprised me!

I might be putting on my studded tires soon. :)

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37 thoughts on “And So It Begins…

  1. Steve A says:

    Is that headlight as bright as it looks in the bottom photo? That Bern helmet is looking real good right about now!

    • dottie says:

      The headlight is pretty bright, although I’ve heard of an LED upgrade that would make it brighter, considering that.

      • Speaking as Dutchbikerster, they do provide quite a bit of light. My solution to wanting more light was to just throw a nice battery operated on on my handle bar. I only use it when it’s really, really dark or when I want extra visibility.

        Hub generated lights are the bomb! In the Fall and Winter I just leave them on all the time. The extra visibility is nice and not the extra hassle of battery lights is appreciated.

  2. Emma J says:

    I’m applauding! Go you for riding in all kinds of weather! (What do you do instead of studded tires?)

  3. Christa says:

    And I thought it was cold here in Santa Barbra…

    Night cycling is intimidating, but it’s just a matter of being prepared.

  4. Eduardo says:

    Do you have an entry about the studded tires? This my first winter riding my bike in cold weather, I’m in western Kentucky, is not as bad as Chicago but who knows.

    • dottie says:

      I mentioned them here and there last winter, but I’m working on a proper post for Monday. Stay tuned.

    • If you only get snow occasionally, you might not want to put studded tires on because they’re a bit of a drag when there’s nothing on the ground. You just end up switching them out again for your regular tires.

  5. Christa says:

    Anyone else notice the green handlebars? Story?

    • dottie says:

      Ha, I think we were simultaneously posting comments on each others’ blogs :)

      The green ribboned handlebars are part of my project to Christmasize my bike. A way to bring holiday cheer and get drivers to be nicer to me. They did not come out how I imagined, though, a bit tacky. This weekend I’m going to buy some more ribbon and work on it some more.

  6. Giffen says:

    Hello! Who is that fabulous lady in the last photo? ;)

  7. I am really looking forward to the post about studded tires! I am thinking now whether I will get them installed on the Pashley or not once it starts to snow here. It has been an uncharacteristically mild November and beginning of December so far though.

    • Brian says:

      Here is the Schwalbe web site, you can order from them on-line, the best are their “Marathon Plus” Trust me, unless you ride them til they’re bald they’ll never go flat, I know this from experience. Unfortunatly, I can’t seem to find studded tyres for my Opa.

      • I got caught up in the tire size confusion, too. I was back ordering some 700’s, which isn’t going to take very long because I’m lucky to live in the same town as the distributor QBP, when I noticed the size of my the tires on my bike said 28×1.75, not 700. After some investigation I found that most Azor/Dutch bikes in the US are 28×1.75, which is the same as 700mm, which is the same as 622-47. This according to an employee at Portland’s Cleaver Cycles bike shop. Talk about confusing!

  8. Anne Hawley says:

    So it’s true! There really is such a thing as studded snow tires for bikes. Wow. I await your post on the subject with bated breath!

    Meanwhile, lovely winter scenery photos. Your bike next to the bare lone tree is charming.

  9. Aaron says:

    We’ve had several snow storms in Boulder this season after which I just commuted on my mountain bike for a few days without a problem, just like last winter and the winter before. But the storm this week put a layer of snow over a sheet of ice. After crashing hard a couple of days ago, I decided to pay the $70 x 2 to a LBS to put snow tires on my mountain bike. They really make a difference. To test them out, I rode on a side street covered in a thick layer of slick ice. While the ridges in the ice are still treacherous, the slickness of the ice is not a problem. The forecast indicates that I’ll get to enjoy them some more next week.

    • dottie says:

      That’s what prompted me to buy studded tires last December – falling on my ass :)

      • Aaron says:

        By the way, one reason that I knew about using snow tires for commuting was from reading about your experiences last winter. Prior to that, I thought they were really only for hard core winter mountain biking.

  10. BikeBike says:

    We had a first really nasty winter storm here in Calgary yesterday. Lots of wind and about 20cm of snow fell. The wind made some of the snow drifts nearly impassible on our cargo bike – nearly :). My son was cheering me on to punch through the deep snow drifts and pretty much giggled the entire way home!

    Here is a picture of my son in our Madsen – – (that is not a deep-vee rim on the back!).

    Studded tires are a great option if you have sections of your route that are icy. They dont do much for snow but can add a level of sure-footedness that makes winter cycling less scary and more enjoyable.

  11. Charlie says:

    Rachel McAdams was on The Tonight Show last night talking about cycling, and when Conan asked her about what she does in cold weather, she mentioned she had studded tires for winter.

    • dottie says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! One little statement about transportation cycling by Rachel McAdams on the Tonight Show has the potential to inspire so many people. Already today about 25 people have come to this site by googling some version of Rachel McAdams and bicycle (and we are buried in the results list).

  12. winter is here, too! i just bought some fleece, down, windproof mittens and a windproof balaclava. dottie, i’m in it for the long haul this winter!! (and i’m excited).

  13. MarkA says:

    Stud tyres?! Oh my goodness, we Brits complain about the weather over here but it’s not going to get NEARLY so cold as to need stud tyres. Next time I’m thinking it’s too cold to bike and feeling lazy and contemplating taking the Tube, I’ll think of you guys. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. We have had no Snow in Ireland but Plenty of Rain and also bad Flooding in various parts of the Country. Whereas this only occurred Rarely, now it is a regular occurrence a couple of times a Year the same as our Neighbours in the UK.

    Although we had Frost in the Mornings and Night time but it only gets down to – 3 Celsius and only rarely down to – 9 Celsius. We might get a bit of Snow in January it usually only lasts a Day or 2. Most People get Wet Weather Tyres but do not really bother getting Studded Tyres until you have a Mountain Bike.

    We had a Blue Wave Anti Climate Change Demonstration in Dublin Today Saturday 5th December with people Wearing Blue TEE Shirts and Clothes and People Marched up to Government Buildings in Merrion Street to Protest against the Government Pandering to big Business and not stopping Pollution and being to Motor Centric in not Restricting the Cars through Dublin City.This is backing up the Climate Talks in Compenhagen.

  15. Anne says:

    I read in an earlier post that you use Schwalbe Marathon Winters on your Azor Oma. I have a Batavus that also has 29″ wheels and am looking for a set of studded tires to fit it. What size do you use? Last year I just rode a decrepit mountain bike but I’d really like to keep riding my Batavus this winter. So much more comfortable.

    • Brian says:

      Dottie said her studded tyres were slightly narrower than the standard Schwalbe’s, I ordered one 42-622 for my Opa from the Schwalbe web site. They’re awfully expensive though, $77.00 dollars for just one. I’ll see if it fits and get another, if it doesn’t, I’ll return it. I can’t wait to try it out.

  16. Zweiradler says:

    I am still waiting for winter. Temperatures below freezing are not yet in sight. Today we had over 50 °F.


  17. sara says:

    I noticed the green handlebars as well. Please post more photos of your holiday-decorated cycle.

  18. Tom Kitz says:

    Awesome article! I look forward to reading more upcoming blog posts from you. I just picked up a set of Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 tires myself, and so far they’ve been great in the recent snowfall that we just had.Bridgestone has come a long way over the years, and I’d say the Blizzaks are some of the best snow tires that I’ve driven on. (during the wintertime that is!)

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