Let’s talk about winter riding

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So. It’s really starting to feel like winter, and we thought we would throw out the ole’ cold weather commuting tips post.

Salient items are as follows:

 Winterize your ride: Invest in some fenders, which will keep you dry in slushy conditions. Switch out those slicks for knobby tires or even some big studded snow tires to give you more traction. Consider using your mountain bike if you’ve got one – it’ll be a slower, safer ride.

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Dress for anything: Layers! Denver = warm during the day, freezing frigid evil at night. Get yourself a decent base layer (that tight, polyester superhero stuff) and a balaclava to conserve the warmth in yer noggin. Gloves that are like lobster claws or mittens will keep your hands warmer than five-fingered gloves.

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And your feet – they will get really cold, and that’s the WORST. Using some sort of foot covering will minimize the discomfort. They sell those things at REI and bike stores for too many $$$, but you could also DIY with some thick socks that will fit over your shoes.

Maintain your machine: Lube, triflow, regular cleaning, etc. If you need help, work on your bike here, here, and here  – they’ve got tools and expertise.

Volunteer so other people can get bikes: Lots of places around town to help out with holiday bike giveaways, general wrenching duties, etc. Such as: Lucky Bikes Re-Cyclery, The Bike Pit, The Bike Depot, Community Cycles, and Longmont Bike Garage.

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Loiter in places that are warm. Truth: sometimes I don’t want to ride my bike. Because it’s cold, because I’m lazy, etc. When that happens, I like to loiter in the public library, the Denver Bicycle Café, the Recyclery, or Mutiny Books on South Broadway.

Go to an event to be with like-minded weirdos. Such as:

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Holiday Mancraft: Today, Dec. 6! We hear that Connor Cycles, a local maker of hand-built wooden frames, will be there.

A Winter of Cyclists, a film about a group of bikers struggling through cold-season commuting, is playing at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder December 8. It will be at the SIE Film Center in Denver Jan. 17.

Registration for the Colorado Bicycle Summit (Feb. 10, 11 2014) is now open. They’re going to talk about how to improve bicycling in our state.

What do you do to stay on your bike during the winter? Please tell us; we want to know all your secrets.