On Tuesday, December 16, we had an informative evening at the Albion Hotel, where we learned about how to cycle in winter. We paired up with Green Drinks, http://www.greendrinks.org/ON/Guelph,%20Ontario, whose mission is to provide an opportunity for Guelphites interested in the environment to enjoy a few pints in a relaxed and agenda free evening.
Cosmo Carere was our resident expert, as he both winter cycles, and is owner of Speed River Bicycle. He provided information on the latest gadgets and clothes available to those who take winter cycling seriously.
Carere indicated that winter cycling has seen an upward trend in the past couple of years. Selling winter gear and servicing bikes keeps him busy in his bicycle shop in the winter. Many people are now cycling for recreation in the winter, not unlike those who choose to cross country ski or snowshoe.
Here are some of the products that Speed River Cycle have on offer to help make winter cycling easier: studded and non studded winter tires, jacket shells, waterproof gloves, shoe covers, wool socks, and the flexichute: a neck warmer and winter hat all in one. You can see more of the product line at http://speedriverbicycle.com/
Another “expert winter cyclist” was Suzanne Gates, a retired teacher who cycles year round. She told us that nothing deters her from cycling, as she even cycled year round while teaching on a reserve in Northern Manitoba, not far from James Bay (!) She has 5 bikes. Her winter bike is a beater bike, able to withstand the abuse from salted roads and slush. She keeps a studded tire on that bike.
Al DeJong, also retired, has just hit the 100,000 km mark on his bicycle. He has but one bike, and cycles in all but terrible winter weather. His secret, among other things, is keeping his bike well oiled.
I cycle in winter until the snow really flies. I find that my down filled winter coat that goes down to my knees has been the game changer. For me, it’s all about staying warm!
What about you? What is your winter cycling tip?