Just Another Day in Bicycle Commuting Paradise

My initial plan for this blog was to start simple and build up the basic principles for how and why business casual biking (BCBiking) is the most rational way to get to work for many (if not most) people.  However, working out the details of how to operate a blog through WordPress and a crappy internet connection over the weekend prevented me from laying the groundwork.

Then, nature stepped in and delivered a little snow to the east side of the Rocky Mountains, turning my home-city and the surrounding area into a winter wonderland. Thus, I will dedicate my first blog post to celebrating this somewhat uncommon occasion.

With the small amount of snow came the hyperbole of the local news stations, who had spread out their teams all over the metro area starting at 5 o’ clock this morning with hopes of catching the first snow flakes touching the ground.  The banter was filled with dire warnings of getting stuck in the potential drifts on the way to work and the infinitely more likely traffic jams.  My favorite accompanying comment was the ominous threat that it only takes 30 minutes for frostbite to set in.

The daily news cycle always struggles to find news/stories that people actually care about and since almost everybody has to go out in the snow to get to work or school, the weather is a popular topic. Even loose, distant predictions of snow will lead to rerunning pre-recorded segments about the importance of snow tires or 4-wheel-drives or of keeping an emergency kit in your car.

All of this excitement and talks of preparedness seems to trump the true beauty that accompanies a nice dusting of snow.

The BCBiking perspective is much more positive.  It is true that I needed to be prepared with the proper clothing (stay tuned for more details on this) and potentially some slight modifications to the bicycling unit, but in many ways a day like today is just another day for me to enjoy my time outside. The bonuses of a day like today are the natural beauty of snow falling on the trees with the bunnies and squirrels frolicking about, getting the trails and parks all to myself, and the few extra calories required to burn pushing through the small snow drifts.

As I rode through the neighborhood near our home, there were dozens of pickup trucks prestarted and parked out front of peoples’ homes. Just to defrost the windows, the internal combustion engines get the opportunity to puff nice plumes of smog into the crisp winter air. I took the time to observe the people shivering as they swept the half inch of snow off the hood before hopping into the toasty cabin. I waved to the gawkers who act as if my way of getting to work is somehow inferior their own.  I wait at the stoplights alongside the tank sized SUV’s.  As they spin their wheels on the ice I calmly engage my gluteal muscles with a smug smile on my face.

I know that since this is my first real post, basically no one will be reading this but I welcome anyone who accidentally stopped by to offer some comments about riding in snow or whatever you feel like talking about.  If you are currently worried about the danger of riding a bike in these conditions, I welcome you to come back over the next few weeks as I anticipate this to be a common topic as the winter progresses onward.

Health, Wealth, and Mental Stealth BTYB Bicycle Commuting