Chicago Sun-Times

Bike Days are Back!

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I got on my bike today for the first time since November. I know, I know -- I could have biked when it was colder. I could have put on the vinyl pants, balaclava and ski goggles and braved the snow and ice when the temperature was lower than my shoe size. But I'm a physical coward, so I waited until it was warm.

And it was fun. Muddy, but fun. My saddlebags and boots were liberally polka-dotted with road grit by the time I got to the Sun-Times, and I spent some time in the washroom sponging it all off. But the exercise endorphins feel good.

On the way in, I calculated how much I could save if I biked every day. I usually take an L and a bus to and from work. That's $2.25 for each train ride, plus the transfers, which makes $5 for the round trip. Figure $5 per workday for nine non-winter months, and you've got a mortgage payment. Which is a nice thing to consider, though my enthusiasm was dampened by a crazy cabbie honking at me while he was in the bike lane.

Anyone else get on their bike this week?

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Yes, I too ride to "work" ... unless its pouring rain in the morning, which is not often. I live in Naperville and ride to Route 59 train station. I have an old "commuter bike" I call it - 80s version of Schwinn Cruiser - with big fat tires that handle up to 3" of snow without a problem. Black ice, yes, can be treacherous but accommodated (this morning was the worst for it in last 3 winters). Only counting the $2 parking fee, it saves me ~$350/year which covers my liability-only auto insurance for the year.

I will keep my $1,000+ road bike in the house until 50+ temps return.


Enjoy your wait time on CTA suckers!!

My beautiful carbon fiber road bike has been in my basement since November. There is no way I am going to ruin a bike, that cost me upwards of $1,000, in lousy weather. My baby will be used only in good weather conditions.
I have been doing spin classes at the rate of 2-3 per week and I will say that it has helped to maintain and even improve my fitness.
Bike days are not quite back for me yet, but it won't be long.

I ride everday of the year, through cold, snow, ice, rain, sleet, wind, ect. It's can be down, but the burbs are not very bike friendly. I get run off the road, yelled at, honked at, stuff is thrown at me. Funny thing is I make better time to most local destination than if I drive.

On the bike yesterday and thru winter. The cold is tough, but it can be dealt with. The really frightful thing is ice, especially the black ice.

What's really nice about this time of year is the slow increase in daylight. It's not dark at 5 pm any more.


It was a nice day for a bike ride today. Two years ago I was happy if I could fit on my bike. I got on after 12 years and when I finally climbed on, the whole bike tipped over with my weight. So the bike was put back into the garage. Today,70 lbs lighter, I'm like Forest Gump, I ride and I ride! There is no stopping me now.
So, yes, the bike days are back. Very good exercise. Rode for 90 minutes and it was very refreshing.

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This page contains a single entry by Mary Wisniewski published on February 10, 2009 12:26 PM.

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