Winter biking in Calgary

The past week and a bit have been pretty cold out in here in the prairies, we’ve been averaging Christmas_004temperatures of -15, even bottomed out at -32 last night.  For the most part though, it hasn’t stopped me from biking to work at least three days a week.  Sheena took this photo of me, taking off on the coldest day I’ve biked so far, -23 C.  It wasn’t too bad getting to work, but really I started to realize the cold
at about 13 of 15 kms.  Thankfully, you stay warm for most of the trip, but nearing the end, the sweat freezes and things get a bit chilly.  Nevertheless, with some good and warm biking gear (including Nana’s knitted wool socks, my favorite), it’s still good exercise!  When it’s snowy on the roads, I take the old mountain bike seen here.  After it’s cleared up (usually from a Chinook), I break out the road bike again.

Here’s a sample of what I’ve found works for the cold and dark winter riding:
ski goggles, lycra balaclava, waterproof breathable pants, long johns, reflective bike shoe covers, two pairs of mitts (shell and inner), breathable tee shirt, fleece under jacket, gortex shell, and few neat flashing LED lights.  Thankfully, most of the stuff I also use for hiking, which makes it easier.  Still cheaper than taking the car though!

I really do wish the city would build biking paths that cross the north part of the city from west to east.  Currently, most of the biking paths are focused on downtown — where the typical commute takes place I guess.  I don’t mind the weather, but the traffic on northern roads does get the best of me sometimes. 

6 thoughts on “Winter biking in Calgary

  1. Is that you Dave??? oh yes I can easily tell, by your jacket maybe??? Ha!! Looks like someone I might know? Brrrrrhhhhhh! Looks awfully cold compared to our mild weather in the east.

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  2. My road bike won’t accept them, but I had considered it for the mountain bike. However, the snow in Calgary isn’t as bad as I remember biking in while in Halifax…so I figure it’s not all that necessary…

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