Tag Archives: next bike adventure

Happy Flashback Friday, everyone! In today's pic we venture back to last season.Our Fat bike loving friends can't wait for the winter season.

Bike Pic March 31, Flashback Friday To Fat Biking Last Season

Happy Flashback Friday, everyone! In today’s pic we venture back to the frozen fun of last winter. You probably don’t want to think about the cold weather we all have endured. For our fat bike loving friends, we’re sure they cannot wait for the winter season to roll back around once again.

View the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and remember to register for the Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour and all the other fun rides coming up.

Thanks for viewing Today’s Flashback Friday To Fat Biking Pic

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our picks with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with one of our camera’s ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!

With March officially ending tomorrow, grab the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and start planning your next bike adventure.

Bike Pic March 30, Start Planning Your Next Bike Adventure Today

With March officially ending tomorrow, we are excited for the 30 Days of Biking initiative that’s coming up! After you have signed up for it, grab the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and start planning your next bike adventure. Will you stay close to home or venture out and explore a new area?

As always, remember to register for the Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour and all the other fun rides coming up.

Thanks for viewing Today’s Plan Your Next Bike Adventure Pic

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our picks with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with one of our camera’s ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!

These bike events are a great start to March. You can get some more fat biking in, hone your BMX skills on an indoor track, and more.

Bike Events: Check Out These Cycling Events to Kick Off March

By Andrew Ellis, HaveFunBiking.com

This time of the year, where everyone is getting antsy, spring feels as if it’s just on the horizon. However, Mother Nature isn’t done teasing us with more snow. Luckily, there are still some bike events coming up to scratch that cycling itch while we start planning our #NextBikeAdventure. Over the next few weeks, weather permitting, consider a fat bike rally in Bemidji and several chances for mountain bikers and BMX riders to hone their skills while waiting for warmer weather. Now, get those bikes out and get ready to ride!

Upcoming Bike Events .

Minnesota

BMX Events

Thursday, March 2nd
Rum River BMX Clinic
Industrial Park – Isanti, MN
6:00 PM
Entry: $15 (Pre-registration required)
Isanti, MN
These clinics are designed to help you improve your skills no matter your skill level. Each clinic will go over specific aspects of BMX racing such as going through the gates and jumping. These sessions are also taught by certified coaches, assistant coaches, and trainers.

Friday, March 3rd
Rum River BMX Practice
Industrial Park – Isanti, MN
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Entry: $11.00
Isanti, MN
It’s cold out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ride. So get yourself ready for those crazy outdoor tracks by getting some good practice on the indoor BMX track at Industrial Park. You’ll be able to meet other riders, and also hone your skills in preparation for warmer weather.

Saturday, March 4th
Local Race
Industrial Park – Isanti, MN
Registration: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Race follows ASAP registration
Entry: $16.00
These races are for every skill level, and perfect for putting those new skills to the test. And if you just want to watch, then you can get into these bike events for free.

Sunday, March 5th
Northland Fire & Ice Series
Industrial Park – Isanti, MN
Registration: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Entry: $16.00
This popular racing series will have two races each month and will culminate with the final event in December 2017. Also remember that everyone is welcome to race in these bike events.

Tuesday, March 7th
Rum River BMX Practice
Industrial Park – Isanti, MN
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Entry: $11.00
It’s March but the weather may not allow you to hit the tracks yet. So get yourself ready by getting in some good practice on the indoor BMX track at Industrial Park. You’ll also be able to meet other riders, and hone your skills in preparation for warmer weather.

Friday, March 10th
Rum River BMX Practice
Industrial Park – Isanti, MN
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Isanti, MN
It’s the weekend! So kick it off right by hitting the BMX tracks at Rum River. Hone those skills in time for the upcoming outdoor season so you can really show off at all those spring and summer bike events.

Saturday, March 11th
Rum River BMX Local Race
Industrial Park – Isanti, MN
Registration: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Race follows ASAP registration
Entry: $16.00
These races are for every skill level, and perfect for putting those new skills to the test. And if you just want to watch, then you can get in for free.

Sunday, March 12th
Sunday Funday Racing Event
Industrial Park – Isanti, MN
Registration: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Entry: $16.00
You may have to go back to work or school tomorrow, but enjoy Sunday afternoon at the tracks! These races are open to all skill levels.

Tuesday, March 14th
Rum River BMX Practice
Industrial Park – Isanti, MN
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Entry: $11.00
Isanti, MN
It’s March and you can almost feel warmer weather coming your way. So get yourself ready for those crazy outdoor tracks by getting some good practice on the indoor BMX tracks. You’ll also be able to meet other riders, and hone your skills.

  • The Rum River BMX Center is just North of the Twin Cities Gateway, for lodging and more things to do when in the area.

Fat Bike Events

Saturday, March 4th – Sunday, March 5th
Northland Fat Bike Rally
Lake Bemidji State Park
Bemidji, MN
If you want to get in on some fat bike action before the snow melts, then this your event. There are two days, but the main rally is on Saturday. There’s a 10K and 28K option for all experience levels, and a brand new kids’ event that will be around 1K. There will also be a group ride on Sunday.

Iowa

Educational Bike Events

Thursday, March 8th
Women with Wrenches: Basic Maintenance
World of Bikes
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Registration: $35
Iowa City, IA
This women-only clinic will cover every part of your bike. You’ll learn how to clean your bike, adjust the seat height, basic day-to-day maintenance, and more. You can also bring along any tools and small bike accessories you have questions about.

Bike Tours

Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour

Also, think about the Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour, in Southeastern Minnesota this summer. Join the fun as the nine Root River Trail Towns host the 2nd Annual Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour over the weekend of July 7-9, 2017. A repeat of last July’s successful inaugural Bicycle Tour, this year’s three-day ride offers a whole new set of routes and scenery. Starting in the Norwegian community of Peterson, participants will pedal through some of the most scenic back-county roads and trails rolling through Minnesota’s Bluff Country.

These bike events should help feed your urge to pedal and help get you ready for the spring and summer. If the winter blues are keeping you down just remember spring is on its way. And soon you’ll be on your way to your #nextbikeadventure.

Waconia is a family friendly bike destination a few minutes west of Minneapolis.

Explore Waconia and Discover All its Many Lakeside Attractions

by Andrew Ellis, HaveFunBiking.com

With small town charm and uptown pizzazz the city of Waconia, is a fun lakeside community just west of the Twin Cites, bike friendly and ready for you to explore. Nestled along the southern shores of Lake Waconia, in Carver County, the area boasts many year round activities including; sailing, boating, fishing, water skiing and swimming, just to name a few other recreational opportunities when not touring around on your bicycle, while visiting.

The town’s tourism draw was sparked in 1884 when Coney Island, in the middle of Lake Waconia, was turned into a resort. A future planned park area there in a few years, today the mainland has become very popular as a resort community to take its place. Its friendly parks, streets and nearby trail makes it easy to explore all of Carver County.

More About Bike-Friendly Waconia

The warm, welcoming community of Waconia is located less than 45 minutes west of the Twin Cities. Its lakes and surrounding wildlife help make the town a relaxing locale for tourists from all over.

To describe the town as “bike-friendly” may be an understatement. Most of its streets cater to those who prefer pedaling their way around, which makes exploring the area much easier. You can visit one of its several lakes, or immerse yourself in the town’s history. There’s also many locally-owned shops to browse, and restaurants to satisfy your appetite.

Riding Options When Visiting Waconia

The area has plenty to offer those who prefer to get around by bike. There’s access to trails that take you beyond the town’s border, and bike-friendly county roads that allow you to explore everything the town has to offer. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Dakota Regional Trail

The northern part of the town has access to the Dakota Regional Trail. Part of the Three Rivers District, you can actually ride it all the way to Wayzata. The paved trail’s Waconia section will take you through its neighborhoods and wildlife. You’ll also get a nice sneak peek at Lake Waconia.

Carver Park Reserve

The park, managed by the Three Rivers District, provides access to the Lake Minnetonka LRT Trail. It’s another trail that can take you beyond Waconia if you wish for a longer ride.

Road Bike Touring

If you don’t want to stick to the trails, then you’re in luck the  town is full of bike-friendly roads that allow for almost limitless exploration. It also has plenty of shops, restaurants, history, and more to fill an entire weekend.

An At-A-Glance Look at Waconia

Be sure to check out our At-A-Glance Waconia Article for more details on where to stay, play, and explore for your hand-held devises. As this story and the At-A-Glance Article are mobile-friendly for your convenience, have fun!

Exploring Northfield has a lot to offer anyone who comes to visit. This guide should provide you a great head start to finding your #NextBikeAdventure.

Ride Your Bicycle Around Northfield to Discover the Town’s History

by Andrew Ellis, HaveFunBiking.com

What started as an agriculture and milling community, along the Cannon River with two colleges, has transformed Northfield into a place for cycling tourist of all skill levels and interests to enjoy. There is even a reenactment and annual bike ride, each fall, centered around the 1876  Jesse James gang bank robbery that put Northfield, Minnesota in the national headlines.  Today, with both Saint Olaf and Carleton colleges based here, their presence has helped create a a bike-friendly atmosphere few other small towns can offer.

And when not biking you can enjoy the arts, history, nature, shopping and other multiple outlets for a memorable visit.

More About Bike-Friendly Northfield

Northfield is located 30 minutes south of the Twin Cities and sits along the Cannon River Valley corridor. As a multiple college town the community offers a relaxed lifestyle with picturesque surroundings that attract tourists from all over.

For cyclists, it’s like pedaling through paradise and that’s not just describing the many trails it offers. The two colleges here also add to the bike-friendly environment, along with a vibrant downtown full of locally-owned shops and restaurants. For the history buff, there’s also plenty about the town’s connection to Jesse James and routes that were used by stagecoaches of that era.

Riding Options When Visiting Northfield

There are many miles of trails in the area of Northfield and Dundas that are accessible for pedestrians, bikers, rollerblading, wheelchairs, and those bringing strollers. These trails wind through many neighborhoods and also offer breathtaking views of the nature within the community.

Mill Towns Trail

The Mill Towns Trail is the central section of the planned recreational trail between Cannon Falls and Fairbault. It will also eventually link the existing Cannon Valley to the Sakatah Sing Hills Trail, in Faribault. The first leg of the trail was built a few years back between Northfield and Dundas. Today, it has a bridge that crosses the Cannon River to connect the trail to downtown Northfield. See all the bike trail options here.

Mountain Biking Options

The Sechler Park MTB Trail is a shared-use trail system that’s open to mountain biking, hiking, and snowshoeing. Organized by Cannon Valley Offroad Cycling & Trails (CROCT), it’s a two-way trail approximately 3.5 miles long if all sections are ridden in both directions. A small skills park was added a couple years ago.

There’s also Caron Park MTB Trail, which is south of Northfield. It’s a relatively new trail system and a second trail was added in the summer of 2016. Thanks to CROCT, the trail will be ready for use once the spring thaw and Cannon River flooding is done.

Road Touring Options Around Northfield

There may not be as many farms along the quiet county roads heading out of Northfield, but there are plenty of loop options for your bike. One of the local club’s favorite routes follow the old stage coach route, south out of town. Then it swings to one of the last standing virgin timber stands in Minnesota. You’ll also be able to visit Nerstrand Big Woods State Park for a glimpse of what the terrain looked like back in the days of the Jesse James era. See many of the Northfield Bike Club’s route options here.

An At-A-Glance Look at Northfield

Be sure to check out our At-A-Glance Northfield Article for more details on where to stay, play, and explore for your hand-held devises. As this story and the At-A-Glance Article are mobile-friendly for your convenience, have fun!

 

Check Out Some More Weekend Bike Events in Minnesota for another Fun Biking Adventure

by Andrew Ellis, HaveFunBiking.com

This next weekend may still feel far away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for it . We’re back with another list of bike events to for you to choose from over the next ten days. And if you have the urge to find something out of state, we added events from our neighbors that could make for a nice weekend road trip.

This Next Weekend’s Bike Events

In Minnesota

Saturday, February 18th

Fat Frozen Fun Team Relay Race
Elm Creek Regional Park
Champlain, MN
Fat Bike

If you care more about having a good time than competing for first place, then this is the bike event for you. This relay bike event is geared towards those who are relatively new to riding fat bikes, or are nervous about competing solo for the first time. There’s a two-hour option for teams of 2 or 3 riders, and a 4-hour option for teams of 2 – 4 racers. There’s also a solo 2-lap for those just getting into fat biking and mountain biking.

Sunday, February 19th
Does this Fat Bike Make My Butt Skinny Fat Tire Fat Bike Ride
Waconia Brewing Company
Waconia, MN
Fat Bike

Start a new tradition with the Waconia Brewing Company’s inaugural bike event. It’s an 8-hour event starting at 2:00 PM. You register on the day of the ride starting at 11:00 AM at the brewery. Registration is free with the donation of a canned or dried food donation to the Waconia Food Shelf.

Sunday, February 19th
Ladies Fat Bike Ride
Tonka Cycle & Ski
Hopkins, MN
Fat Bike

These bike events should give you nice selection through Presidents Day. If you can’t make any of these, then there’s plenty of events going on every month in the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Just keep an eye out so you can find your next chance to ride.

Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour

Also, think about the Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour, in Southeastern Minnesota this summer.

Join the fun as the nine Root River Trail Towns host the 2nd Annual Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour over the weekend of July 7-9, 2017. A repeat of last July’s successful inaugural Bicycle Tour, this year’s three-day ride offers a whole new set of routes and scenery. Starting in the Norwegian community of Peterson, participants will pedal through some of the most scenic back-county roads and trails rolling through Minnesota’s Bluff Country.

In North Dakota

Sunday, February 19th
Bikecicle Fatbike Race
Rhombus Guys Brewing Company
Grand Forks, ND
Fat Bike

If you feel like heading out west to North Dakota next weekend maybe you can cap it off with this bike event. It’s a fat bike-exclusive race for all skill levels consisting of 15-20 miles on Grand Forks’ Greenway trails. It’s a loop that starts and ends at Rhombus Guys Brewing Company.

In Iowa

Friday, February 17th
Ames Bike Summit
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Ames, IA
Informational Event

The main discussion this year be about the steps being taken to make transportation healthy, and the Complete Streets strategy that makes sure roads are usable for everyone. It’s open to the public and admission is free.

Saturday, February 18th
1st Annual Bondurant Winter CHOWDER Ride
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Bondurant, IA
Bike Ride

It’s the perfect time of the year for a free bike ride that takes riders from Bondurant, IA to Berwick, IA via the Chichaqua Valley Trail. They’ll then turn around and go back to Bondurant which will result in a ride roughly 10 miles long. After the ride, participants will be able to enjoy a much-deserved meal at Reclaimed Rails or Founders Irish Pub.

Another perfect weekend to take in some bike events and get outdoors for some fat biking.

Check Out Some of This Weekend’s Minnesota Bike Events for a Great Biking Adventure

by Andrew Ellis, HaveFunBiking.com

It’s the middle of winter in Minnesota and another perfect weekend to take in some bike events and get outdoors for some fat biking. There are plenty of events to choose from that will keep you going until the snow thaws and the spring riding season begins. There’s even an event this weekend where you can buy or sell biking equipment and get ready for your #nextbikeadventure.

This Weekend’s Bike Events

Snow Bomb Fat Bike Race
Saturday, February 11th
9:00 AM-10:30 AM (On-site registration)
11:00 AM – LeMans-style start
Holzinger Lodge
Winona, MN
Fat Bike Event
It’s time to get your fat bikes ready for the 4th Annual Snow Bomb Fat Bike Race at Holzinger Lodge in Winona, MN. The criterium-style race is hosted by Winona Area Mountain Bikers (WAMB), and is open to all ages, skill levels, and bikes. Riders have the option of a 2-hour endurance or 1-hour sprint race with both men’s and women’s categories.

Fat Vasa Race 
Sunday, February 12th
Fat Vassa: 10:30 AM
10km Ride: 12:00 PM
Vasaloppet Nordic Center
Mora, MN
Fat Bike Event
Here’s another chance to get out into that Minnesota winter for some great fat biking. The Fat Vasa is a 35km race and the ride is 10km. The course includes a single track, lake crossing, and a loop.

Twin Cities Bike Swap
Sunday, February 12 
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
National Sports Center
Blaine, MN 55449
The Twin Cities Bike Swap is the perfect event to help you get ready for the upcoming riding season. It’s go-to event for all your biking needs. It has everything from BMX and mountain bikes to the all the essential gear you’ll need for a safe ride.

These bike events should give you nice selection leading up to Valentine’s Day. If you can’t make these, then there’s plenty of events going on every month. Just keep an eye out so you can find your next chance to ride.

Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour

Also, think about the Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour, in Southeastern Minnesota this summer.

Join the fun as the nine Root River Trail Towns host the 2nd Annual Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour over the weekend of July 7-9, 2017. A repeat of last July’s successful inaugural Bicycle Tour, this year’s three-day ride offers a whole new set of routes and scenery. Starting in the Norwegian community of Peterson, participants will pedal through some of the most scenic back-county roads and trails rolling through Minnesota’s Bluff Country.

The Minnesota Ironman is the kickoff event for cyclists of all skill levels, starting this year in Waconia and touring Carver County.

The Minnesota Ironman: Sign Up this Wednesday for the Experience of a Lifetime and Save

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking

It’s barely dawn, the weather is cool as he drags his unwilling body out into the world. The headlights of his car shine through the last remaining darkness as he pulls into the lot. His tired bones haven’t yet committed to the 51st Minnesota Ironman Bicycle Ride, but the energetic atmosphere drives him forward. He unshackles his bike, and after a few quick checks he heads toward the growing swarm of riders. The day may not be perfect, conditions could be troubling, but he knows completing the new course through Carver County holds coveted “bragging rights.”

What is the Minnesota Ironman?

The Minnesota Ironman is the kickoff event for cyclists of all skill levels, starting this year in Waconia and touring Carver County.

The Mn Ironman is the kickoff event for cyclists of all skill levels, starting this year in Waconia and touring Carver Co.

The Minnesota Ironman Bicycle Ride is the longest-running century and variable mileage ride in Minnesota. For over 50 years, crowds have gathered to ride the course designed in its varying lengths. It’s also the first spring road bike event of the season, too, so weather conditions can be a mixed bag. Temperatures have fluctuated from the 30s through the 80s over the years with the chance of rain always a threat. So, why sign up for this event?

There’s Nothing Else Like It Drawing Thousands of Riders

The Minnesota Ironman is the kickoff event for cyclists of all skill levels, drawing thousand of cyclists for the first road bike event of the season.

The Minnesota Ironman is the kickoff event for cyclists of all skill levels, drawing thousand of cyclists for the first road bike event of the season.

In May of 1967, one month after the inaugural Minnesota Ironman, Ralph Baer played and lost the first two player video game ever. That means that before people challenged themselves with a controller and a screen they were enjoying the challenges of the Minnesota Ironman. The Minnesota Ironman is an event, not a race, where completion is as lofty a goal as most could achieve. Its rolling hills, scenic courses, and friendly atmosphere make this ride a premiere event each year. And this year, starting in Waconia, MN and touring Carver County will be no different.

Bragging Rights Guaranteed

Why not wait a few weeks for warm weather?

The Minnesota Ironman is the kickoff event for cyclists, rain or shine bragging rights are guaranteed.

The Minnesota Ironman is the kickoff event for cyclists, rain or shine bragging rights are guaranteed.

Well, the answer is in the name. To be an Ironman, you need to prove yourself. Completing this ride means you have done something special. Even though the route is challenging and the weather often adds its own obstacles, you will not be alone. More than 3,000 riders take advantage of this annual bike tour. And the Minnesota Ironman Bicycle team will be on hand for any needed technical, coaching, and safety support.

Plus, It’s for a Great Cause

Hostelling International USA (HI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy recreation, international travel, and cultural exchange. Proceeds from this ride go to HI’s Minnesota location, which is surrounded by the natural beauty of Itasca State Park, at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.

The Minnesota Ironman attracts thousand of riders from all over the country, for a day of fun!

The MN Ironman attracts thousand of riders all over the country and offers everyone who participates a great time!

Whatever your reason for entering the Minnesota Ironman, know that you will be greeted on April 30th by thousands of old and new friends with similar interests, hundreds of smiling volunteers, and one amazing event. I am looking forward to seeing you there!

A growing number of cyclists see a winter commute as another opportunity to be more environmentally friendly .

The Winter Commute on Your Bike Can Be Great with These Tips

by Jess Leong, HaveFunBiking.com

The first snowfall keeps many inside by a warm fireplace. But there are a growing number of cyclists who see a winter commute as another opportunity to be more environmentally friendly – with the chance for bragging rights!

A growing number of cyclists see a winter commute as another opportunity to be more environmentally friendly .

A growing number of cyclists see a winter commute as another opportunity to be more environmentally friendly.

For many though, the thought of riding a bike in the winter can be intimidating for many reasons, including freezing temperatures, ice covered paths, and more. But if you prepare properly for the weather, then you may find it quite enjoyable and worth the effort. Plus, you will find plenty of gear options available to keep you warm and safe as you navigate your local winter wonderland.

Layering Up for that Winter Commute

As you ride, you create windchill. So you can make 40-degree day feel like it’s below freezing, leading to an uncomfortable commute. The best solution is to find jackets and pants specifically designed to stop wind. They do that by stopping air from pulling away from your body. A good base layer under a layer that blocks wind can make the winter commute comfortable even in below freezing temperatures.

Layering your clothing is important for a winter commute.

Layering your clothing is important for a winter commute.

You know your body better than anyone else, and this means you’ll have a better idea of what parts of your body get cold first, and what follows afterwards. Layer up accordingly for the winter commute. The layer closest to your body should wick away all the perspiration. This is very important. With the cold, if there is any sweat that makes your clothing damp, you’ll get cold faster.

Besides layering up clothing to protect your core, make sure that you protect key areas that tend to get cold quickly. For instance, winter full-fingered bike gloves for your otherwise numb fingers, earmuffs for those aching cold ears, nice warm socks for your toes and feet, and perhaps a face mask for when your face feels frozen. Also, a biking headband or headwear might be important if your head gets cold under the helmet. While a helmet can seem warm in summer, in winter it provides little protection against cold wind.

Tip: You should start the winter commute off feeling comfortable, so layer yourself accordingly. Once you start pedaling, you’ll warm up. You can bring an extra layer just in case you need it, but usually you won’t.

Seeing is Key

Have eye protection, like a pair of alpine ski goggles is important for a winter commute.

Have eye protection, like a pair of alpine ski goggles is important for a winter commute.

Having clear vision is essential for your winter commute. You need to be able to see and be aware of what’s around you. If you can’t see it increases the risk of unnecessary crashes. Finding proper eye protection is relatively easy and affordable. You can use a cheap ski masks as well as wrap-around sunglasses, if the sun poses an issue. You should also be able to wear standard reading glasses, too, and they may even be able to fit behind your goggles. They may fog up once you get inside, but you’ll be safely off the road by then.

Be Visible While Staying Warm

The cold winter months bring early sunsets and snow that can make visibility for drivers on the route you define to ride. In addition to wearing reflective clothing, state law requires such things as a white light attached to the front of your bike so drivers can see you from at least 500 feet away (if they are looking at you from the front). There must also be Department of Public Safety-approved red reflector tape or light attached to the back of your bike so drivers can see you from 100 feet to 600 feet (when they are directly behind you). It is also wise to have reflector tape or lights that traffic can see you from side streets and alleys. For information on what the law requires, click here.

Since the cold temperatures can shorten the battery life on your lights, make sure you check them often so your lights work when you need them! In terms of the law, if an officer pulls you to the side for not having a front light that meets guidelines (even if it’s there and just not on), there’s no excuse that can help you.

Ride the Right Bike

If possible, buy a standard bike that’s a single speed. We’d recommend a used or old bike. Bikes with suspension, multiple gears, or that are specialized can get worn down or ruined by the snow, salt, and grit. So getting a bike that you can ride and that can withstand the wear and tear of winter is the best route to go.

Once you find the enjoyment of riding in the winter, plan to commute longer distances and if its in your budget, a fat bike might be an option to consider. Fat bikes have large balloon tires that increased your surface area, giving you a better grip on the ground under you. This makes riding on snow and ice easier and safer. To learn if a fat bike is for you, visit your local bike shop.

Drive Defensively

When winter commuting by bike you must always be aware of your surroundings even more than warmer months. General visibility may not  is an issue whrn winter bike riding, but also watch out for slippery surfaces. Also, drivers can be can be more distracted this time of year so drive your defensively. So even thought they’re supposed to watch for you, make sure you keep an eye out for them as well.

Be Aware of the Weather and Be a Smart Biker

Winter means snow, ice, and cold winds. It also means that there is less daylight. Be aware of what options you have if the snow starts coming down heavily, it becomes really icy, or if overall conditions start to worsen. Have an alternate plan in place if biking becomes too dangerous. Plot riding routes that are near bus or train routes or anywhere with public transportation. If conditions get bad then you have another way to get home or to your destination.

Also, don’t make any sudden moves or do tricks with your bike, especially in icy conditions. This means don’t lean into the turns, as an example. Going with the turn decreases the amount of contact the tire has with the road or trail surface.  This is bad because your bike will have less power to stay upright. This might seem like a no brainer, but we have seen plenty of people who break quickly or make quick turns only to wipe out. Doing this in the middle of the street is dangerous and could become fatal.

Why Winter Commute?

Winter bike commuting is not only a great way to ride year-round and keep you in shape, but also it can save you money. Looking at cost, in terms of transportation options, biking is definitely on the low end. By the time you add in all the costs that come with driving a car or public transportation, the costs of using anything besides your own legs as an engine will be greater. Plus, you’ll not only be in shape and ready to go in spring, but you’ll also be regarded as awesome for braving that cold air.

Have fun, be safe, and remember to use your best judgement this winter while riding!