How to Ride in -20F Weather (The Portland Pity Party is Over)

It’s pissing rain in Portland. This shouldn’t really surprise anyone – it IS January after all. But there’s something about riding 3 or 4 hours in a torrential downpour and 39 degree weather that has a distinctly soul-sapping effect.

It was particularly hard to motivate this morning as I laid in bed listening to Biblically large drops crash into the roof above my head. Then I got up, checked my email and found a note from my friend Jodene, who’s been reading my blog – in one iteration or another – since 2002.

The subject line was “cold weather biker” and there, right on cue, was a link to Winnipeg CycleChick, a fun, snarky, inspirational and funny blog (Her about statement: “Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I’ll go ride my bike.”) written by a woman in Winnipeg who commutes in all kinds of crazy fucking weather, including their recent -29C (-20.2F) days.

The post, called “Dressed to Chill” documents her patented Honey Badger Winter 2012 Collection – a home grown layering approach that keeps her rolling in the Arctic-stupid conditions. Her humor, along with her bundling creativity, were enough to make me end my Portland pity party and head out for a roll-about.

Thanks, Winnipeg CycleChick, for keeping it real and keeping those of us down here in the temperate PNW honest.





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5 Responses to “How to Ride in -20F Weather (The Portland Pity Party is Over)”

  1. chr15 says:

    Reminds me of a freind of mine and her crazy Canadian winter epics.

    Welding mitts on her hands.

  2. Mike N says:

    I read Winnipeg CycleChick religiously. I also live in Winnipeg, so that might have something to do with that. I have to say, she has way bigger balls than I do. I put the bike on the trainer when it hits the freezing mark. But there are a LOT of bikes on the road in Winnipeg this winter. I think I’d like the rain better.

  3. [...] happened across the desk of one of my favourite bloggers (and secret girl-crush) Heidi Swift, who wrote a post about my winter commuting campaign and associated badger-wear in her kickass blog Grit and Glimmer. This kinda blew my mind becuase Heidi Swift is The Shit. She [...]

  4. Sierra says:

    There’s a group of about 10 riders in Whitehorse who ride through the year. Fuck -40.

    Although the truth is that you learn to ride where you live. I rarely ride in rain, simply because it only rains 10-15 days a year, so it seems like something I can afford to miss. If I didn’t ride in winter weather, I’d be trapped in my house for 9 months a year.

  5. Jason says:

    Winnipeg = Winterpeg