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Editor-in-chief of Momentum Mag, Mia Kohout, shares her thoughts on riding through the winter.
Full disclosure: I am a fair weather rider. Although there is much I love about the change of seasons – wearing autumn and winter clothes, being cozy by a fire, and making soup – I do not love that I will only ride my bike about half as often as in spring and summer.
As much as I would love to ride every day of the year no matter the rain, snow, sleet, or hail, I am just not one of those people. Every time autumn and winter arrive I think to myself, “Come on, Mia. You can do it this year. You love riding your bike!” And then one morning I look out my window to a grey rainfall and I just cannot bring myself to do it. I don’t like feeling rain on my face, being first cold and then too hot, and I find it hard to see when squinting to keep rain out of my eyes.
But, when I do get on my bike in the winter, wow, does it ever feel good! And sure, a warm spring day is my favorite time to ride but I also feel pure joy when I get on my bike on a clear winter day. For me, days when there is no ice and it is still cold are the best. The crisp air, brilliant sun, and clear sky keeps my blood flowing, my energy high, and I feel incredibly satisfied.
I know that winter riding can actually be special once I’m outside. First, because I have raised my courage to brave the elements, and second, the road is less busy. Also, since I am not riding my bike as often, when I do ride it almost feels like it’s the first time all over again.
I now admit it’s not all or nothing when it comes to riding year-round. Some days I ride, other days I do not. I have little tricks and rules for myself that have allowed me to keep riding through the colder months.
For example, if I wake up and it is not actively raining or snowing, I will hop on my bike. Otherwise, I leave my bike at home and find a different way to get to the office. This rule has helped me ride more often and not get lazy in the darker months. We are creatures of habit, so it just takes putting riding into your daily routine, and sometimes the right outfit and equipment, to enjoy winter riding under most conditions.
Do you have tips for riding in the darker, colder months? Let us know!
Mia Kohout, editor-in-chief | email@example.com | @MiaKohout
Mia’s Tips for Winter Riding
1. Stay bright and pack an extra set of lights
2. Love your layers and pack a rain poncho (my Cleverhood is a winter staple).
3. Ride when you feel comfortable.
4. Know when to leave the bike at home.