Black ice and bikes

I recently did a guest interview for Simply Bike’s “Biking While Pregnant” series — you can read it here.

People often express surprise at the weather conditions we bike in, which include some pretty extreme temps (hot and cold),  rain, wind, and snow.  For us (though much less so for me, at the moment), these conditions are just part of using a bicycle for transportation.

As a general rule, there are two conditions in which we don’t bike: ice on the road and lightning storms.  Late Friday afternoon, freezing rain coated area roads just in time for rush hour.  After a failed attempt to fit his bike in a coworker’s car, followed by narrowly missing a bus, Matthew decided to chance the icy streets rather than wait 20-30 minutes for the next bus.

He made it to within a few blocks of our apartment and then went down on some black ice on a side street.  Fortunately, he escaped with just a few bruises and aches.  (His bike is also fine.)  After making it to the sidewalk (he said the street was so slippery he could barely stand up!), he opted to walk the remaining blocks.

The next day, when I suggested biking to an afternoon apartment appointment, he was understandably hesitant.  With the roads still icy in the morning, I reluctantly agreed to the car.  When the time came, I walked outside and proclaimed, “We totally could have biked.”

Our destination was less than two miles away, the kind of trip that can really almost be reached by bicycle as fast as by car, and we had fifteen minutes, so we headed to the basement for the bikes, quickly donned cold weather riding gear, and pedaled down the road.

As it turned out, the apartment was a total flop.  I would have been really annoyed if we had driven, but the bike ride turned it into a nice afternoon outing — so glad we reassessed road conditions, and that Matthew was willing to get back in the [bike] saddle.

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