This is How We Do It

Winter bike commuting, it’s not for the faint of heart. Then again, with the winter we had last year {warmest on record, ya know}, it’s not all that bad, either. 😉 With this week, being an extremely notable exception with the weather. Holy Mother of Christmas – it’s COLD OUT THERE.

Last year, Jay and I both worked right around 4 miles from our work locations respectively, so we both biked pretty much every day. I would bus every once and a while, and since Jay is not on the bus line, he would also drive if the roads were too slick to accommodate his trusty set of bicycle wheels. BUT – I think he drove like twice last winter because it never snowed. In Michigan. Go figure.

This year has started out with a bit more snow – but – overall it’s been manageable enough for Jay to cycle in pretty consistently. The key to pulling it off is to dress in layers. Lot’s of them actually! 😉 In all seriousness, as long as you have a few pieces of vital gear. You are good. to. go!

For reference here is Jay’s bike. It’s the Trek 7.2 .I’ve got the same one. but the ladies version 😉

Trek 7.2
Trek 7.2

First and foremost – is warmth. Since the mornings here in the mitten are often hovering around 20 digits, you want to make sure your phalanges are sufficiently covered. I opt for my trusty mittens, as my ride is short enough that I really don’t have a chunk of time to warm up as much as Jay does. He theory is usually to start out a wee bit cold {wakes ya up ;)}, and by the time he hits mile 1 or 2, he is feeling just about right. That being said, for your hands and feet, there really isn’t much extra blood pumping through em’ after a few miles, and if anything they get colder as your trip goes on. So…. for Christmas Jay asked for a pair of military issue trigger mittens. These things are embarrassingly ugly, in my humble opinion. But he loves them. I mean he puts these on his paws with pride and big old foolish smile on his face. So ya know – if they keep his hands warm – live and let live, ya know. 😉

Trigger Mittens
Trigger Mittens

Equally important is your safety. It’s always important to wear extremely bright clothing when riding a bike into work, but in the winter, the days are pretty short so a light is really crucial. We recently got this light for Jay and it’s hella bright. Helps me rest a little easier to know all those drivers can see my hubby chugging along on the road. He also was gifted a great Sugoi bike jacket for Christmas from his family. It helps complete the legit, bike commuter look. 🙂 Plus it has reflective piping all over it, another added safety feature.

Sugio Bike Jacket
Sugoi Bike Jacket

As a comparison, I usually choose to bike commute 9-10 months out of 12, and I like walk the coldest days {1.5 miles, 20 mins}, or if it’s rainy/crappy out, I take the bus {6 min. ride to downtown}. Jay likes to bike 12 months out of the year, and he only drives if the roads are too icy to bike, or if it’s raining. He is hard core. I mean, look at his lobster gloves. For schlepping all his work clothes and lunch, Jay uses this Topeak bag, which has great side pockets to store lots of extra stuff.

Topeak Bag
Topeak Bag

Biking to work, and to all of our life activities, has truly been one of the BEST changes Jay and I have ever made. Since we got hitched, Jay has probably lost 30 lbs {I would say due to my cooking, but he is the cook! ;)} – and we are both so much healthier. When we were house hunting, one of the most important things to us was our location – which has paid off dividends. Our commutes take 20 mins, but they are also our exercise  so it’s a total win-win. We love it!

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