"Will people still ride their bikes this winter?" I wondered.
I was driving back from Florida, and was filling up my rental car somewhere around Mt. Vernon, Illinois, where the marquee advertised gas at $1.99 per gallon. While it is unlikely that we will see gas prices like these in Chicago, it is undeniable, that, at least for the moment, they are going down. Before I returned my rental, I filled it up at $2.67, and later that afternoon, the same gas station posted a price of $2.58.
In case you haven't figured it out, high gas prices are great for the urban bicycle shop, like Rapid Transit. When they start falling, especially at the same time as mercury does, we worry.
Bicycle retailing is an emotional business. Two months ago, a line at our counter was several layers thick. Today, hours may go by before anyone enters the store. Is it the weather, or the price of gas?
More rationally speaking, we know from experience, that many people will continue to use their bikes without regard for the price of gas, and despite the weather.
Unlike fluctuating gas prices, winter weather cannot be disregarded by the winter cyclist in these latitudes. For you, brave souls, I have compiled what I hope is some useful winter cycling advice in one convenient spot: right here.
- Why ride in winter in the first place? 10 great reasons, courtesy of RocBike.
- Think it's cold here? Here's a kick you in the butt for you.
- Some winter riding essentials.
- What would your mother say? Advice on keeping warm. And some more.
- A story about winter riding hazards, and some other things (like tires).
- Tips on how to keep your bike in good shape this winter.
- If you're gonna ride your bike in Chicago this winter, you'll need service. This is it.
(Photo from Dingbat)