Cold Weather Bike Riding Tips: Don’t Be Silly With the Chilly

It’s been almost a year since my post The Winter of Our Discontent; Cool Bikings. There were some good ideas in there (of course) but not quite enough tips. And since we’ve had a few low temperatures approaching 40 F, which is the high in some places, I figure it’s time to stop turning a cold shoulder to this topic. I shouldn’t complain; 40 F is warm for many people in northern climes. WINTER IS COMING, so I’m trying to acclimate, that way I won’t be overdressed when the temperature does plummet.

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There’s No Biking Like Snow Biking and Walking in a Winter Wonderland in Austin, Texas

Hot it’s not. Hotter than hell would be swell right about now. Because here in Central Texas the Valentine’s / Presidents Day cold front is a weeklong blast that has 2 million people statewide without electricity. Like much of the US, we’ve suffering through an Arctic weather pattern that is so cold (how cold IS it?) that temperatures are below what it normally is in Anchorage, Alaska. It was forecast to be 5 degrees F tonight, and we got our first ever Wind Chill Warning, meaning it could feel like under 0. This was the third heaviest snowfall ever and the most since 1949. Over 6 feet fell at the main weather station, though where I stay was not as much, but it was plenty. Except for my year in New England, this is the most snow I’ve ever seen. The roads are not safe, and most everything is shut down for several days. But today the sun came out, and I’m still A Dude Abikes, so I went out on a wobbly, wandering walk, and later a short, slushy, and slow bike ride.

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Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down: Onward Through the Fog

Austin awoke to a soggy, gray blanket of fog that only horror writers and car insurance agents love. I awoke with fog as well, but in my brain. Just as well that I have no job to be up for at the butt crack of dawn. There was also a ray of light: a note on my blog from a Seattle author I mentioned the other day, Paulette Perhach. An authot writing to A Dude is big deal, y’all! Later in the day, I got connected with another Seattle writer, Carol Tice, a ghostwriter who does coaching. Eventually, I got my cobweb-addled brain and body out for my walk and a bike ride… into the rain and mist I went.

Downtown on an errand, I ducked into a Starbucks (a tiny coffee company based in Seattle you may have heard about) for a tinkle and to use their free wi-fi. I used to live in Seattle. After a few years of suffering through miserable winter days like today, escaping often to the YMCA for what I dubbed a “shake n’ bake” — sauna, steam room, hot tub — I was chased out of town by the constant state of darkness and moisture. The Starbucks gestapo was also to blame since they rightly claimed I didn’t buy any coffee. All that’s to say that rainy days and Mondays always get me down. Except you can’t keep a good dude down for long.

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Some Downsides of the Car-Free Lifestyle

In my fourth annual post about living without a car, 14 Years Not a Slave to Cars, I talked about the obvious benefits of riding a bike and not having a car. Of course there’s helping the environment, getting exercise and Vitamin D, and getting to write blog posts that are read and celebrated by 10’s of people around the world. But there are downsides, too. Let’s talk about it!

NOTE 1: If you clicked on, read or liked my Southern Walnut Creek post, please feel free to do so again. I accidentally duplicated it so removed the post.

NOTE 2: You may have seen that sometimes I’m scheduling posts for early on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. Normally I post late Monday, Wednesday or Friday. But I think I may be losing a few potential viewers the latter way, so I’m trying the former. What are your thoughts about the schedule? Please let me know in a comment.

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No Bike for You! 24 Degrees and Sleet Win

Today was a day that I could have biked, but I didn’t.  I could use the sleet and tiny hail that fell on Austin streets today and the cold weather for excuses.  But the precipitation didn’t stick to the roads, and it’s not like I’m in Fargo, North Dakota or somewhere actually very cold.  With enough layers it can be done.  There was my headache, probably due to a lack of sleep.  For the latter, I can blame the excellent film Sicario:  Day of the Soldado which I stayed up to watch on DVD.  Or there was being busy:  two friends were over to help start packing for my move, and they gave me a ride to the second half of a how to start your own business class.  I walked almost two miles and then just wasn’t feeling like going back out.  So I didn’t.  It was nice to, um, just chill out.

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