The City of Portland has issued a winter travel advisory due to a cold front on its way late this weekend. The forecast calls for “snow showers” starting on Sunday. If it comes to pass, things could get interesting out on the roads.
If you’ve haven’t already, now would be a good time to think about what you need to do and know in order to be ready to ride no matter what weather comes our way.
(Photo © J. Maus)
The first thing to do is dig out your warmest mittens, balaclavas, scarves and tights (if you haven’t already). For tips on staying warm, check out a winter riding guide we published a few years back. And if you’ve got little ones, there are ways to keep them warm too.
Another great way to learn how to dress is by seeing what others do. Check out the riding portraits we shared from a very cold commute last year (also scroll down for snow riding pics).
If it starts to snow, or if ice happens, there are ways to improve your bike’s traction. One reader shared a link to a big selection of studded tires — and even bike tire snow chains! — available from local online retailer BikesTiresDirect.com. Of course, there’s also the DIY zip-tie option.
When it comes to road conditions, we’ll update what we here on our Twitter account and to the City’s Public Alerts website. Speaking of PBOT, you might want to take a look at their map of snow plow routes (PDF here). Also, keep in mind that despite the growing Neighborhood Greenway network, PBOT doesn’t plow residential streets.
I personally think that if and when a significant amount of snow falls in the city, a bike is the best way to get around. As proof (and for inspiration), I leave you with a few of my favorite snow riding pics from years past…