Winter can sap any motivation for bike commuting with its shorter days, cold temperatures, and snow—not exactly ideal cycling conditions for many people. To boost moral and motivation, the bicycle advocates at Lane Change challenge everyone from the diehard riders to casual cyclists to consider getting – or rather staying in – the saddle throughout the winter.
The group has started a program called the Winter B-icicle Challenge, which began 1 December and calls on riders to keep pedaling through all three winter months. “One of the reasons we decided to get other people involved in the B-icicle Challenge, instead of just making it a personal goal, was to draw on other winter riders for motivation and it’s definitely working,” Emily D’Ath, an advocate at Lane Change, told BikeRadar. “On the 1st of December we had people from all over the world sending in photos and messages of their ride to and from work and school.
She says that knowing that there are other people out there who are also dusting the snow off their seats and pedaling off into the cold definitely provides encouragement. The challenge creates momentum to keep people riding through winter. “We would encourage everyone to sign up for the challenge and start sharing your wintery rides with the rest of Winter B-icicle Gang,” adds D’Ath.
And while they hope everyone can partake, D’Ath admits that there are limits to how intense and dedicated individuals should be. In other words, safety is still a major consideration.
Common sense suggestions include: practicing more caution than when riding during warm weather, keeping the headphones off, dressing warm, lower tire pressure, and knowing if you’re under the weather to avoid pushing it too hard. “Safety, of course, comes first so if the weather is particularly bad, and you’re not confident it is safe, we suggest you walk or jump on the train or bus instead,” says D’Ath. “One of the few rules of the challenge includes not riding when ‘the road is so icy we’ll most probably break our necks.’”
Lane Change's Winter B-icicle Challenge