Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter biking basics!

As we’ve been sharing about our partnership with Urbane, we have so enjoyed what people have suggested as future blog ideas. One was ‘why don’t you bike in the snow!?’ and we totally had to laugh. Been there, done that, and will continue to do that! People think we are absolutely insane, and maybe we are. But honestly - it’s all part of the adventure, and it’s actually really fun. And not to mention a great workout!

So now, maybe you’re curious (or just want to see if we really are that insane). What do you need to know to get you on your bike on a beautiful Michigan winter day?

Gear: To Wear

It may go without saying, but we’re saying it anyway. WARM GEAR. Like, Army/Navy surplus-style. Pea coats are beautiful and great but NO. You need padding and layers and more layers. When you’re biking, the wind can whip up pretty chilly, but you also need to remember that when you are standing at a bus stop, waiting? It’s even colder. So don’t be shy, you can always shed a layer or two (just make sure to leave a little extra room in your bag).

One of our favorite added winter biking gear items is what we affectionately call the ‘creepy face mask’. It wraps around your mouth and nose, with appropriate cut-outs for each so, yes, you can still breathe, and fastens behind your head. And think about what this looks like with cold-weather breath. Total Halloween/Jason. No one messes with 2W4W when we are face-masked up. A public safety bonus!

With all that extra padding from all those heavy winter layers (and delicious holiday treats), if you happen upon a patch of black ice? An easy bounce back!

Gear: On Your Bike

All you really need are wide tires and a good solid mountain bike. We both ride mountain bikes that we’ve had for years, and they are nothing fancy. But they are amazing, and have gotten us through many, many winters and many situations with very minimal falls (from sidewalks that are shoveled to biking through an actual mini-blizzard!). Just also make sure to give yourself a little extra time to get where you are going. Like driving, winter biking can be a bit of a slow-go!

Gear: In Your Bag

Three words: Kleenex, hand lotion and chapstick. Cold weather essentials that you are probably already used to keeping on hand, but they become even more important when it’s you + the elements.

Those one-time hand/foot warmers stashed in your bag are such a bonus. They don’t take a ton of space, and can be life-savers if you are stuck waiting at a bus stop longer than you had hoped.

Oh and a full flask. Keeping your insides warm is key, so be sure to stash some of your favorite warm-up drinks (we are partial to Jager and Hot Damn!).

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