There’s snow in the forecast! Weather pros think is very likely to begin tonight (just before the evening commute). With that in mind, I wanted to remind folks that using a bicycle when it’s snowing or when snow is on the roads is a completely viable way to get around — just as viable as using transit or driving a car.
As we’ve documented in years past, plenty of Portlanders have no trouble riding on snowy roads. Here are some photos in case you think that everyone hangs their bikes up when the snow comes down…
Remember last year? The TV news was calling it the “worst commute in 20 years!!” and PBOT and TriMet were reeling from countless fender benders and roadways full of abandoned cars. It was “snowpocalypse”! Yet, from what I heard and observed, people who went by bike seemed to do just fine.
Of course, no matter how you get around, snow and ice make traveling more hazardous. If you do choose to go by bike, here are some tips.
- Use the widest tires possible, and consider lowering the air pressure a bit for better traction.
- Begin to think about stopping long before the intersection.
- Don’t (!) rely on your brakes. I found dragging my foot on the ground to be more reliable.
- Keep equal and constant pressure on your pedals — don’t accelerate suddenly.
- Try to keep your body weight centered over your wheels.
- Ride as smoothly as possible. Gently lean into turns instead of turning your bars.
- On roads, ride in the parking lane if possible (less ice).
- When possible, ride on the sidewalk.
- When in doubt, walk or just stay home.
For more info on biking in the snow in Portland, read our past snow coverage. For more inspiration, browse our photo gallery of snow images and watch what happens when it snows in Utrecht, a place where bicycling is respected and is considered a viable and vital means of transportation — even when it snows…