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Six at Minus 8

February 25, 2011

From Andy Coupland:

I thought you might like this:

 It seems to support one of the comments from data-nerd Canadianveggie: “Rain and snow are obvious deterrents to cycling, but extreme cold apparently isn’t. On days where the temperature dropped below freezing, but were dry, cycling volumes were on par with days averaging +5 C.”
So it’s minus eight (and less with the windchill) and as I crossed the street there were six cyclists on the bike lane. It was way too cold to hang around to select the greatest volume of cyclists; it was a genuine snapshot in time!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2011 12:55 pm

    Nice shot. I got in a mini bike traffic-jam on a really cold morning in December on Hornby:

  2. Ron permalink
    February 25, 2011 2:34 pm

    That’s the same as jogging in the cold – the exercise keeps you warm.

  3. Sean permalink
    February 25, 2011 9:40 pm

    The wind made it cold indeed on my regular bike run to BCIT and back yesterday. But CanadianVeggie and Ron are right – cold isn’t really a deterrent when biking because you generate your own heat. It’s actually a lot more effective than trying to warm up by having hot air blown on you from a car’s dash vents. But you do have to make sure your extremities are well protected.

    I’d rate rain as a bigger deterrent and icy, slippery conditions as the worst. It’s really great to see Vancouver salting the bike routes!

  4. Andrew permalink
    February 25, 2011 11:22 pm

    We go skiing in the cold, why not cycle?

  5. Rick permalink
    February 26, 2011 8:49 am

    I agree with Andrew! I don’t bike downtown but use the Central Valley Bikeway and I’ve noticed this week that ‘traffic’ hasn’t been altered by the cold. Despite the cold toes I think sunny, cold and DRY is a pretty good mix for cycling in…

  6. Sean permalink
    February 26, 2011 7:59 pm

    I cycled downtown today (via the Viaducts and Dunsmuir) and of course everything was snow-covered by the late afternoon when I had to make my way back home again. Since the air and ground were still below freezing the snow was dry and not too slippery, so I didn’t have any real problems getting home again other than having to walk up two one-block long hills (Woodland S. of Kitchener and Gladstone N. of Trout Lake) that were too steep for me to get traction on.

    I was surprised by the number of other cyclists I saw braving the snow. There were four of us waiting at the light to cross Main Street at the east end of the Viaduct – that’s a lot more than I’d have expected late on a snowy Saturday afternoon.

  7. Alan Robinson permalink
    February 27, 2011 11:42 am

    The real trick to winter cycling is keeping your core cool while keeping your extremities warm. Since I’ve moved to Chicago, I’ve cycled quite comfortably in -25 degree weather with just a long sleeved shirt, jacket, long johns, gloves, and a tuque under my helmet. The gloves have to be thick and long enough to cover at least up to my wrists.

    When road conditions are icy, I have a bicycle with studded tires that I ride. With the studs, I have more grip than if I were to walk.

  8. February 27, 2011 12:13 pm

    agreed, ice and rain are dangerous, cold is not! 1000s of Copenhagen folks bicycle when it’s colder. Just need to keep your core from sweating as Alan R said and your feet and ears and hands warm which doesn’t require expensive gear; just some forethought!

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