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Breaking the Myths of Winter Biking

POSTED UNDER Healthy Living

Since winter weather is here to stay for the next couple of weeks (hopefully!) for our more seasonal regions, we thought it’d be a great time to discuss something a bit taboo in the world of commuting – bicycling in the winter.

Now, if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that’s spared by Old Man Winter, by all means ignore this and get on your bike! For those of you who are conscious of your commute and its impact on the environment – and also happen to live in a place where the temperature can dip below the freezing point – we have some myths to break for you.

Learn more about reasons you should ride bikes more often here!

Myth #1: It’s too cold to bike in the winter.

Obviously there are times when this myth can actually be true, especially if your area is under severe winter weather advisories. But, most of the time waiting for a bus or train or waiting for your car to heat up and defrost is not much warmer than riding a bike. Unlike waiting for something to heat you up, your body acts as a heater once you start cycling. It’s arguable that your internal body heat from cycling can keep you warmer than your car heater – certainly more than waiting at a stop or platform.

Myth #2: Biking in the winter is unsafe.

Snowy roads, icy patches, other drivers on the road – these are all things that should be top of mind during winter weather. The thing is, however, the worries you have as a bike rider in the winter are the same you have as a driver. The risks and the precautions are the same for cyclists and drivers alike. Precautions include practical outerwear (coat, gloves, hat, etc.), snow tires (for both cars and bicycles) and being careful with speed and braking.

Myth #3: Biking is not an efficient form of transportation.

So often in our commute we’re worried about getting from A to B as quickly as possible. But there’s something to be said for not necessarily taking the long way, but commuting in a way that allows for a nice segue to start and end the day. Not only is biking (or walking or taking public transportation) more environmentally conscious, it can also be therapeutic. Your commute becomes a journey, giving you time to think and process the day instead of just rushing. Physically, it’s also healthier than driving. So maybe bicycling is not as efficient as driving – especially in the winter – but it certainly has advantages that driving does not. 

Biking in the winter sounds daunting at first, but if you really weigh the pros and cons, it’s not too different from biking on the perfect spring day. Think about biking on your next commute home.