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Celebrating 31 Days of Winter Bicycling

Winter in Minnesota can be delightful, gorgeous, fragile, challenging, and sometimes far too gray. In January of 2018, Melissa Wenzel issued herself a challenge to a winter-weather version of April’s “30 Days of Biking.” Fellow winter bicyclists in Minnesota and around the world joined Melissa in her pledge to bike every day in January. In 2019, Fred Kreider decided to extend their own January biking goal and biked every day for a full year.

 

For 31 Days of Winter Biking 2020,  I want to share with you the joy, the beauty, and the camaraderie of winter bicycling, featuring the voices of some of the winter bicyclists themselves:

 

 

https://twitter.com/mikeapolismn/status/1216093700855685120?s=20

https://twitter.com/eBikeSTP/status/1217936805405908992?s=20

 

Bicycling in winter is truly joyful, despite the challenges. I personally love snow and cold, but not all of us do – as Melissa wrote last year:

Lastly, while I still don’t love winter, I am getting better about embracing the season and feeling more comfortable biking year-round.

I hope you’ve all had a happy January, and found some delight in the winter weather. Please feel free to share your own stories of winter bicycling in the comments, or read more of January’s tweets at #31daysofwinterbicycling.

Don’t forget! This Friday is Winter Bike to Work Day, which is another great opportunity to try a snowy ride. 

says "winter bike love strike, Save winter, ride with us" with drawings of a bicycle, heart, and an "X"

Winter Bike to Work Day 2020

Jenny Werness

About Jenny Werness

Jenny is a carfree, bicycling, tree-loving St. Paul resident, with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Our rapidly changing climate should be of utmost concern to all of us. Board of Directors of streets.mn, 2019-2021; Climate Committee Founding Member; Editor-in-Chief.

9 thoughts on “Celebrating 31 Days of Winter Bicycling

    1. Jenny WernessJenny Werness Moderator   Post author

      Me too! It’s fun and inspiring to see so many snowy bike riders around. Plus, the routing crowdsourcing is invaluable. Thank you!

  1. Lori Klongtruatroke

    Even though I ride year round, I would have never willingly, purposefully tried to ride every day in January if Melissa had not started this. Seeing the other riders participate, not just here in MN but from all over the world, really helped push the energy level needed to help keep this going for me. Plus, it’s hard to believe how much fun it can be to embrace Mother Nature when she’s essentially giving us the middle finger here in Minnesota.

    1. Jenny WernessJenny Werness Moderator   Post author

      Completely agree. It’s so wonderful to see your photos and insights from daily riding. Thank you!

  2. Christa MosengChrista Moseng

    I loved seeing all these pictures! I can’t believe nobody ever told ALL these people that it is impossible to bike in the winter and nobody does it. In fact, I saw two more people taking their bikes off the bus this morning that haven’t gotten the memo!

      1. Melissa Anne Wenzel

        (-: HAHA!

        I remember hearing a winter biking speaker present at my work ~2011. Before she spoke, I was jazzed to bike in the winter. After hearing her realistic information about gear and winter maintenance, I realized it wasn’t for me.

        Except I started biking occasionally in the winter. “On the good days.” Then it turned out there were more good days (or as they say, no bad days, just bad layering). And then I got studded tires so there were vastly more good days than bad days. And then I learned which layers worked best for me. And then I learned how to wash my bike, which isn’t that difficult and allows me to use household things like old tooth brushes, spray bottles, a rag. Dish soap.

        Ugh. It’s easy enough for me to bike. Now it’s harder for me to find a different mode of transportation in the winter, now that we moved to an area of Saint Paul without routine bus service and we only have 1 (electric) car between the two of us. I may as well just bike. That’s the easiest thing to do.

        (-:

  3. Melissa Anne Wenzel

    I love this on so many levels and am deeply honored you wrote this. I was just trying to not be so curmudgeonly about winter and to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised that it helped. I will say that seeing bike tracks in newly fallen snow still really, really, really help me out on the bad days. And make me smile and wave and feel filled with joy on the good days.

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