Over the past year I have been working really hard on riding my bike a lot. I was scared to ride it in Philly because of the small streets and cars, but I realized that the more you ride, the easier it gets.
When I started back to school I used my bike as my main mode of transportation. Sure I could take the bus, but it would cost me $4 roundtrip, and that’s $4 I would rather spend on a beer. I’m lucky that I only have to take 1 road, and it has a bike lane as well.
Eric has talked about commuting before, but our commutes are different. First off, mine is short, only about 3 miles roundtrip (his is 32miles). But secondly, I ride in the clothes I will wear for the day, and I don’t have the opportunity to change. My clothes have to be functional, but also cute.
My commute and wardrobe were put to the ultimate test when I woke up yesterday morning to snow falling like crazy. I hoped my 8am class would be canceled, but no dice. I weighed my options of riding my bike, taking the bus or driving my car, and I settled on my bike.
While I am no pro, I figured I could offer up a few tips on riding in the snow and looking cute while doing it.
Probably your best option is to get some studded tires for your bike. Or get some wider tires. I have neither so I went with option C, I made my bike fixed gear. I used to ride fixed, but then went to single speed, but flopped my hub back to fixed for winter. I am loving riding fixed and love the control it gives me, especially in crappy weather. Never heard of fixed gear? Click here! Essentially you don’t have a freewheel on your bike and as long as your wheels are in motion your feet are pedaling (no coasting!).
Ride slow. No seriously. Even if you get going and feel like you have control of your bike, you never know when you might hit some ice.
And on that note, wear some shoes with actual traction on the soles. A lot of my boots have slick soles, which suck if you have to put your foot down to catch yourself. I wore some knee-high boots that have a really great sole.
The best non-bike advice I can give is something we have been taught since we were kids. WEAR LAYERS. And if you are smart with your layers, you can stay warm without looking like a marshmallow.
While I am no fashionista, I thought I looked cute and didn’t have a ton of bulkiness going on. AND I WAS WARM!
Here’s a breakdown:
Land’s End jacket – I got this jacket last year and absolutely love it. I checked and it looks like it’s no longer available online. This jacket was really affordable and keeps me really warm (without using the feathers of ducks!).
Yellow beanie – Honestly I just threw this on to tuck my hair up in, I put the hood of my coat over it and it stayed up the entire time.
Extra large scarf – I like huge scarfs so I can pull them up over my face if I get too cold.
Sleeveless dress – Hah, yea I wore a sleeveless dress.
Cardigan – Because my dress was sleeveless. I thought about putting on a hoodie but decided against it.
Pair of tights numero uno – I have on some extra thick black tights as my base layer on my legs.
Heavy socks – I then put some ski socks, that are really thick, over my first pair of tights.
Pair of tights numero dos – These are the pair you see and they are the American Apparel Footless Plush Pantyhose. These tights are AMAZING and totally worth the money. I wear them all the time and they are so warm. They are really thin I have been wearing them under pants as an extra layer. I am going to go buy more pairs soon because I love them that much!
Tall boots – Any type of tall boots would be your best bet. These got some road grime on them, but I just went into the bathroom and wiped it off. Easy peasy.
Gloves – I’ve been wearing The North Face Power Stretch Gloves. I love these gloves, but not really for this type of weather. I wore two pairs today to keep my fingers warm.
Oh, and I looked like a total dork because I put on my lab safety goggles to keep the snow from hitting my eyes. The snow really hurt and these were my best option at the time!
We got a good snowfall last night and probably have 10 inches at our place! We are supposed to get even more this weekend. Yikes.