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Comfortable Commuter: Gearing Up For Winter Biking-Year 1

March 22, 2011 1 comment

EDITOR’S NOTE: First-time contributor Sarna Salzman made a move across town that lengthened her commute by 6 miles. As one of the few people I know in TC who has never owned a personal car and gets quite cranky after being around them for too long, she was left with little choice: gearing-up for winter biking. We will run part II tomorrow morning.

Comfortable Commuter: Gearing Up For Winter Biking-Year 1

- by Sarna Salzman Read: Part II

As a recent convert to ‘winter biker’, I offer you my perspective on making winter a bike friendly season because after my first day, I came home with a powerful appetite and a strong sense of liberation. I would like to help others like me feel comfortable making a similar move.

The author navigating the 8th & Garfield intersection (photo: glhowe)

Let me back up and say, I’m pretty much a scaredy-cat when it comes to biking.

I don’t like being near cars and I don’t like to fall. I am not one of those ‘sporty’ types. I don’t get excited to loop up-and-down Old Mission after work or travel in circles through Leelanau County. I don’t enter races and I certainly don’t do triathlons. Also, when I’m on my bike, I’m in street clothes not spandex.

I love bicycles. They are the most efficient form of transportation humans have ever invented. I’m a commuter and I ride my bike to get somewhere. That’s pretty much it.

The Big Move That Forced The Issue

I recently moved into a house with my partner on the very east end of Traverse City. Moving from the castle at Minervini-ville (The Grand Traverse Commons) took some convincing, not the least of which was that I had to give up my 4 minute walk-commute to my office, which is also at the Commons. The new 6-mile round-trip commute is a bit longer than I will willingly walk…on a regular basis. Yes, I’m experienced at organizing carpools for myself and yes, I am familiar with the BATA Cherriot. Still, once the snow started flying, I found myself ‘borrowing’ my partner’s car nearly every day for the commute. There are some strong positives for commuting by car: it’s warm, you can style your hair in an ‘up-do’ and wear long skirts. Still, not something I want to do everyday.

I needed a bike.

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NOTE: To be continued…(shopping can be complicated)

This Is How They Bike Winter In Minneapolis

March 22, 2011 2 comments

Video Tuesday

via 

Minneapolis has been declared the top cycling city in the United States, yet for a lot of the year temperatures hover around zero. The above slide show of images celebrates the pedal powered commuters making it happen.

We have our own winter riders in Traverse City, but the MyWHaT photo department was slacking this year so no comparable slide show representing Traverse City. Next year.

What would really help is if there were greater numbers of Traverse City-ites riding. There is still time to give it a try….I believe a storm is brewing.

Did you bike this winter? How was it? Not that bad, huh?

NOTE: Our second post today is a convert’s story of gearing up to pedal her first winter.

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