Tuesday, January 5, 2010

100% Participation

When I was in college I vividly remember one of my freshman year professors saying the following "Since today is the first day of the course, everyone in this room as an A+. All you need to do for the rest of the semester is maintain that grade.".

This came to mind as I was riding to work this morning. It's the second day of work for the new year, and I currently have ridden my bicycle to work both days, giving me an A+. Now all I need to do is maintain that grade!

Bicycling to work every day can be a challenge, especially in a snowy state. While Denver pales in comparison to places like Buffalo NY or St. Paul MN we do get a decent amount of snow that turns into slick, lumpy and downright annoying ice. Here are a few tips that keep me riding on the icky days and enjoying it!

1. "There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing". As annoying as this adage is, it's true. I suggest dressing for temps about 10 degrees warmer than the temperature outside. Otherwise you'll get sweaty! Good gloves, warm shoes, and a cozy scarf also help tremendously.

2. Take it slow. Don't expect to make record time on your way to work on snowy or icy days.

3. Take it easy. Plan your turns, stops etc nice and early. Any last second maneuvers can cause you to loose control on slick roads.

4. Wear your helmet. Even a slow speed crash on ice could really mess you up! Plus, you don't have to worry about your head getting hot. I wear an Ibex brand wool knit cap under my helmet which keeps me toasty.

5. Light up like a Christmas tree. One of the most unfortunate side effects of cold weather is a significant lack of daylight. Red in the rear, white up front. Plus, in most places it's the law.

6. Have fun. We use the buddy system on my block. My neighbor has trouble making it to work on time and I get wimpy when it gets cold. We meet up in the morning and heckle each other if either of us flake. A little friendly competition keeps us going...

Oh and think warm thoughts. Knowing there is a hot cup of coffee at my office when I arrive is a nice carrot on a string!

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