I walk out the door from work, fully clothed in what many winter commuters call “ninja gear.” I look to the sky and see snowflakes falling gently to the ground. My breathing seems so loud under the balaclava and winter helmet. I walk to my lonely bike that is locked up, brush the snow off her saddle and situate my lights. It’s a dark night and the snow makes it even more ethereal.
I walk up the sidewalk, my bike rolling beside me. I stand at the edge of the curb while I wait for a vehicle to drive by. I always wonder what they think, because so many individuals think you are either insanely cool or completely crazy for biking in the winter.
Snow covers the streets in a soft mess that could lead you to slip if you weren't careful. My front tire is large and my back tire is knobby. The tire pressure was low in both. Traction is something that will get you far. You start to remember and re-learn the tricks of riding in snow, like when you can stand up and pedal, and when you cannot. If you take away too much weight, your tires will spin out under you. Sometimes I crouch while I climb the hills. This year I have more weight to maneuver around than last year, due to the tires. It’s a challenge and I enjoy it.
I pedal my usual route home, listening to the tires under me while they roll over the snow. The sound they make makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. I’ll admit, running a large tire on the front of my bike amuses me. The sound it makes on clear pavement is something I really enjoy. It makes me feel powerful for some reason.
I arrived home with a peaceful feeling. Winter on bike is something that many individuals deny themselves or say it’s too hard to do. It’s really not, and actually can be pretty fun! The snowflakes fell in the light emitted by the streetlights and I felt like I was in a movie. Te only person out in the dead of night, blazing trails with her bike. This is one of the reasons why I commute in the winter.
Photo credit-Flicker Creative Commons