That’s it, folks!
Not it, in the sense that “it’s” over. But it, as in, one year of bicycle commuting. Last spring, I set a goal to stick it out and try my wheels at winter biking. It’s been a hell of an experience – cold, dark commutes were the highs and lows – but it was pretty amazing and I’m grateful that I was able to do it without much struggle.
Biking is seriously the best. It’s so good for a clear head, fresh air and community. I get exercise every morning (although, I kind of don’t count it – right, Hannah?) and my legs are so strong. I earned them.
Anchorage is having a mild winter and there have only been a few commutes with soft snow to plow through. Those mornings were a little tricky, but if you can relax and go with the flow & movement of your tires, you’ll get by okay. For the most part, the roads have been hard pack with snow and recently, ice. With studded tires, I whip through the road route to work and the Chester Creek Trail is smooth sailing on the way home.
Last week was the most uncomfortable commute of my winter bicycling experience. It was -4 degrees at my house in the morning before I left for work. Here’s a snap shot of the forecast, plus my layers for the day’s ride:
Not pictured: double layers of socks and gloves (or my helmet). It was bitter cold. Even with the body heat I created on the way to work, I was grossly uncomfortable. My glasses steamed up quickly then frosted within a mile of my home.
All frost everything. Why put myself through this, you may ask? Well, the easiest answer is that Adam & I are a one-car family and he needed the vehicle that day. Why else? I’m an able-body, tough-minded, sometimes fool-hardy young woman. And a casual badass, this is just what I do.
With that, I’m grateful spring is only a month away and warmer temperatures are in our future (eventually…). All of this bicycling is taking us from here…