Is it crazy to bike in the winter?

Oaks and Spokes is sharing stories about people bicycling in Raleigh.  We are kicking off this project to collect and share short stories, each featuring a common theme, with a question about bicycling in the winter.

Is it crazy to bike in the winter in Raleigh?  Let’s find out what people who were out riding in Raleigh on a mild night in January responded…

Bundle Up: Cold Weather Clothing

Now that winter finally has us in it’s icy grasp, I think it may be a good time to talk about some of the gear that can make riding in this weather more comfortable. I’ve been hearing a lot of “I don’t have the right clothes” or “It’s too cold out to ride my bike”, and I think with a little advice we can help to change that! Check out the rest of the article below to keep warm and toasty during those cold winter commutes.

Kristy ready for her bike commute to the office during the "polar vortex."  She uses two pairs of gloves in very cold weather due to poor circulation in her fingers and needs an extra layer in addition to wool tights to insulate around hips and thighs.
Kristy ready for her bike commute to the office during the “polar vortex.” Temperatures dipped down into the teens so she used two pairs of gloves due to poor circulation in her fingers. Experience also tells her she needs to put on an extra base layer in addition to wool tights to insulate around hips and thighs.

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A Park with a City In It

capital city greenway 1968 raleigh
The 1968 Capital City Greenway report

Raleigh’s greenway system is a unique and forward-thinking network of natural areas within the city. Despite containing a ribbon as asphalt for cyclists and pedestrians it is far from your typical multi-use path. The Capital City Greenway is a natural preserve that reaches into and around Raleigh. It’s history began in the late 60’s with the intersection of one William Flournoy and the Raleigh Capital Improvement Plan.

We’ve spent some time with Bill Flournoy and we able to learn how the greenway system has grown from a concept on paper to an ever-growing natural refuge for people and wildlife alike.

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I am not a cyclist.

I am not a cyclist.  At least I’ve never identified as one.  I’ve never bought a bike, there is no bike rack on my car, and “cycle score” was never a consideration when I moved into Raleigh. I wanted to walk into town and accepted driving into work.

Fast forward a couple years and I wouldn’t want to be in the city without a bike.  I use it to socialize, exercise, to get out of the house, or enjoy some nice weather.  Neighbor having after-work beverages a mile or so away?  A bike can be a little easier than getting out the car & finding a spot to park.  Early voting?  Way easier to lock up than find a street spot on a workday.

City Market
Riding a bike doesn’t define a person.  It’s often just a part of the day-to-day.

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Get Your Santa Hat On

Santa Suit not required, but highly recommended.
Santa Suit not required, but highly recommended.

Tis the season for dressing up in a Santa Suit and riding your bike around town!

You don’t need a special reason for bicycle-induced holiday cheer but fortunately for you all there are some special opportunities in Raleigh to break out your “cool whip,” toss on a festive hat, and practice your “ho-ho-ho’s.”  This is one of my favorite kinds of winter riding.  High visibility beards.  To find out more details on what bike-related festivities are going on while the squirrels are gathering up all the acorns this holiday season, keep reading.

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