A cold and windy commute: Did you ride?

People on Bikes Ladd's Circle-39

Layer up and get out there!
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Riding in the cold or the wind isn’t too bad; but put them together, throw on a good chance of significant snowfall, and some folks here in Portland start to think twice about riding their bike to work.

Of course, as we’ve reported several times in the past, many people seem to ride no matter what the conditions.

I asked our friends on Twitter if they planned to ride this morning and here are some of the reactions:

So let us know…

Did you ride into work today? If not, why not? If so, how did it go?

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Joe
Joe
10 years ago

I’m not on my bike yesterday or today. Just too cold and with the windchill BRRRRR! However tonight getting home after work with snow on the road I wish I had my hover bike. Traffic I suspect will be a nightmare.

Doug Rosser
Doug Rosser
10 years ago

Rode Monday through Wednesday and while Wednesday was tough, it’s not really the cold and wind that keep me off the bike. After breaking my leg two+ years ago in a magical combination of wet + freezing temps, I usually leave the bike at home and take the bus when I see that combo in the forecast.

JC
JC
10 years ago

I rode yesterday and on my way home the gusts were so strong they slowed me to almost stopped. But I made it. 🙂 Was planning on riding again this morning but someone going the same way I was offered me a ride in their nice comfy cozy car, and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

RH
RH
10 years ago

I biked this morning. Earmuffs, scarf, wool hat, warm boots, wool sweather. and sunglasses (to keep eyeballs from freezing) 🙂

Andy
Andy
10 years ago

I rode in today, and I’m glad I did. I saw only two cyclists on my route (normally it’s 8 or 10), but all in all it was nice. The wind was at my back for a big portion of the ride, and then added that extra little challenge gusting from the sides. I’m looking forward to the ride home – snow rides are always interesting!

mw
mw
10 years ago

Rode in yesterday and today. Not too bad with the right gear. I’m checking the radar to leave for home early if the snow really starts coming down

Jeff
Jeff
10 years ago

All I know is first sign of snow, and I’m hightailing it back home!

steeplechase3kpdx
steeplechase3kpdx
10 years ago

I wore several layers and only the tips of my fingers were cold. I’ve skied enough over the past 15 years that I have more than enough warm and windproof stuff. The problem with my hands is that my ski gloves are too thick the work the shifters on my bike so I have to layer up with other things and they just aren’t quite warm enough.

Alan Love
Alan Love
10 years ago

The wind on my eastbound ride in this morning was the killer. Exhausting, but still worth it. Once the 2 cylinder engine was warmed up, the cold wasn’t an issue. If the snow does come this afternoon I’m not too worried, since fresh snow usually has pretty decent traction to it. It’s a couple of days from now when it compacts that it gets slippery.

John Liu
John Liu
10 years ago

Rode yesterday, rode today, will ride tomorrow unless roads are very icy. Waiting for the forecast snow today – if it starts coming down hard, I will try to leave work a bit early.

The headwind yesterday afternoon was both strong and cold. It helps to be on a dropbar bike – sorry, Dutch bike riders! – but even so I tucked in behind cars as much as I could.

My usual rain gear (jacket, pants, booties) usually works well for chilly days too. During these cold snaps a balaclava protects the ears and cheeks. This morning I upgraded to ski gloves.

One thing I notice is that being cold hurts our physical coordination and perhaps alertness. I saw a couple ill-dressed cyclists fall over at stops yesterday, wind might have contributed but I think they were simply cold.

David
David
10 years ago

I rode all week until today. It was cold but the only really annoying part was heading home going east on Going every night and riding into that head wind. I took the bus in today only because I do not like the idea of riding home at rush hour while it’s snowing.

Puddlecycle
10 years ago

Yes – big smile under the balaclava! Ready for the Portland Winter Olympics Ride this Sunday.

Todd Hudson
Todd Hudson
10 years ago

No sir, I took the MAX! I’m not taking my chances on snowy roads – especially knowing that motorists haven’t the slightest clue how to drive on ice/snow.

longgone
longgone
10 years ago
Reply to  Todd Hudson

And that differs from ..???

SilkySlim
SilkySlim
10 years ago

Rode this morning, wearing one extra layer up top and a pair of liner gloves inside my big puffy lobster ones. Felt pretty good! Wind out of the east was pretty darn strong – the right side of my face was feeling it heading up the waterfront. Bring on the snow!

Rob
Rob
10 years ago

I rode yesterday and today. All was ok except the fingertips… even the ski gloves didn’t quite meet the challenge. I rode my mtn bike today, just in case it really does snow this afternoon…

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
10 years ago

love this weather.

Oliver
Oliver
10 years ago

I didn’t ride today, the train was just too inviting. With all the snow predicted for the afternoon, I’m kind of regretting that decision.

Criss Cross Crusade
Criss Cross Crusade
10 years ago

did my 10.5 miles from Richmond to Kruse Way… I was fine, and I went for a walk for coffee after getting there and was surprised at how cold it actually was. 20 is fine on a bike, but brutal when just walking around… at least here in mild PNW.

Andy K
10 years ago

I rode inbound on the Sunset MUP this morning and chatted up the only other rider I saw. I would have talked longer but it was hard to move my jaw in the cold. I’ll believe the afternoon snow when I see it.

Alan 1.0
Alan 1.0
10 years ago
Reply to  Andy K

I’m seeing it.

Marty
Marty
10 years ago

Road yesterday and after dealing with the wind gust I decided to sit this one out today.

Chris Anderson
10 years ago

Took the kid to school today in the Bullitt. I wasn’t the only parent doing bike drop off. Wow that wind! Thank goodness for e-assist.

WAR
WAR
10 years ago

Who can be the Smuggest!

Criss Cross Crusade
Criss Cross Crusade
10 years ago
Reply to  WAR

Most smug… Bike Snob’d

lahar
lahar
10 years ago

Nice ride to work, a little cold but I figured I’d rather have my bike with me then not for the commute home. The worst part of this is the east winds, the ride home from downtown last night was delightfully rotten.

Nick
Nick
10 years ago

Neoprene and studded tires. Bring it on.

Ianc
Ianc
10 years ago

Heck yeah! Inner SE to the MAX, then through Hillsboro to work. My fingers are still warming-up, but it was fun. Can’t wait for the snow tonight. Besides I didn’t know it was too cold to ride until I’d ridden, right?

pdx2wheeler
pdx2wheeler
10 years ago

My wife said I should drive today. I told her today is the worst day to drive cause if/when the snow falls traffic will be a nightmare. Worst case scenario will be to put the bike on Tri-met, and the tail between my legs…

Nathan
Nathan
10 years ago
Reply to  pdx2wheeler

Despite love-love-loving a snow ride, I’m contemplating MAX’ing it through the urban Westside for the same reasoning.

dan
dan
10 years ago

It’s not really that cold – the cold snap in November (or was that early December?) was in the teens. A couple inches of snow will definitely spice up the commute though.

deborah schultz
deborah schultz
10 years ago

Road M-W this week. Double wool layers on every part with acrylic and/or leather over the top. Was generally warm enough – but the wind was ridiculous on Wed night – especially on the way over the Broadway bridge. With no buildings to break the full strength of the head on wind I definitely went backwards at one point! Thankfully no side gusts got me!

Even normally passive drivers were a bit crazed last night. Today and tomorrow I’m working from home to give my ear an opportunity to stop thumping. 😛 Stay safe and be prepared for side gusts!

JV
JV
10 years ago

Rode in, just an extra hat and scarf was the only change from the normal attire. My ride is not far though, just about 3 miles from SE to downtown. I was definitely cold by the time I got inside, but am looking forward to biking around the next few days. Aired-down tires and zip ties FTW!

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
10 years ago

Rode yesterday, and actually enjoyed the brisk climb over the West Hills. One good thing about the 26/Sylvan/Zoo corridor route (my choice in winter) is that besides being safer at night than the Beaverton-Hillsdale or Hall/Oleson/Multnomah/Barbur corridors, it’s more sheltered from the wind.

Did not ride yesterday, because my manager was smart enough (unlike, say, PPS) to tell everyone to work from home without going in. Probably going to be an ugly afternoon on the roads.

But even if I’m not going to work, I’m still planning to get out and about on two wheels in whatever conditions prevail, thanks to studded tires on the commuter and super-fatties on the mountain bike.

Forum Law Group LLC - Bicycle Law
10 years ago

Wind stopper undies. Fantastic.
http://amzn.com/B0011V5CM8
Bring it on.

Alex Reed
Alex Reed
10 years ago

Rode in. Wore warm clothes on all parts of my body. Was totally fine, actually a little sweaty. Rode home at noon so as to not deal with aggro drivers later in the day. It was a bit slow with the wind and snow blowing in my eyes but kind of fun. Now I’m working from home, cozily.

John Liu
John Liu
10 years ago

Left work early, fun ride home, took it slow and never had a traction-free moment. Hope more snow accumulates this afternoon!

John Lascurettes
10 years ago

First time in a long while that I electively opted out. The gusty wind plus snow just made today too much of a hassle. Either on their own would have been just fine with me.

Paul WIlkins
Paul WIlkins
10 years ago

Nah, bus for me today. Hoofed it yesterday, nothing like a brisk run at 24 degrees. But I might run home today, depends in which way the coin flips.

Paul WIlkins
Paul WIlkins
10 years ago
Reply to  Paul WIlkins

Ok, prolly not gonna run home.

To everyone out there, it’s OK to skip riding on a day like today. It doesn’t make you less hardcore.

Ryan D
Ryan D
10 years ago

I road today. I had no problems with the snow but I do tend to be cautious and go slow in this sort of weather. Cars seemed to give me more distance today than I am used to.

Mindful Cyclist
Mindful Cyclist
10 years ago

I rode in yesterday, but tried going home and the wind gusts right before the sunset path prompted me to turn around and take max. Don’t remember the wind in the cold snap of December. Today I opted out. Riding down an icy hill is too much for me.

JRB
JRB
10 years ago

I don’t mind cold temperatures, but with the wind, I left my bike at home except for Monday. The bus gives me a chance to catch up on my reading 🙂

greg byshenk
greg byshenk
10 years ago

I rode all week, but my commute is short. The wind Wednesday was brutal, but it was not that bad today, and the roads were fine (though I took it slow).

John Liu
John Liu
10 years ago

Now, who is going to ride tomorrow?

It is snowing hard and there will be at least a few inches of fresh snow on the roads, except where plowed. The fresh snow will be easy enough to ride on, the packed plowed snow will be more slippery.

The roads will be quite empty, and most drivers will be going slowly and giving cyclists a wide berth – just as you’d edge gingerly around a flailing, deranged man on the sidewalk – so you can probably pick your choice of surface.

I brought my laptop home, so I do have the option of working from home. But I kind of want to ride in, just for fun.

Reza
Reza
10 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

I might find a coffee shop with wifi to camp out for a few hours. I stayed home today (like a boss) and I worry about cabin fever if I stay home again tomorrow. I live Downtown though, so I will most likely walk.

Zach
Zach
10 years ago

When I wasn’t thinking about how cold my fingers were through my gloves, I actually had a lot of fun riding home today. (Granted, I have an easy two mile ride from inner SE to downtown.) I loved the hushed feeling of it all, and seeing everything move at a slower and much safer feeling speed. There’s nothing like a shared struggle to remind you that we can all be more considerate of each other out on the road.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
10 years ago

I’ve lived in Portland for quite a few years and seen a good number of snowstorms, but I can’t remember one where it was coming down hard and 18 degrees out. Usually if it’s that cold it’s dry too.

I ended up going to a cafe with wifi for much of the afternoon. Picked a place about 4 miles away so I could have a longer ride, including a nice cruise up the Esplanade. Boy, roads were absolutely jammed everywhere around the inner eastside, but not a problem for me. This is one of the few situations where it is better ride on sidewalks than in the street. It was a total blast, being totally unstoppable in the amount of snow we had so far. The studded-tire commuter rig won’t be unstoppable if it keeps piling up and getting wind-packed though, so I may have to switch to the fat-tire mountain bike for tomorrow’s riding.

TOM
TOM
10 years ago

I’m a rider who tries to get out 365 , but have been housebound the last 2 days. Starting to get cabin fever. If the winds subside some tomorrow, think I’ll leave the 700c bikes and get out the old Fuji Suncrest mountainish bike , pump up the tires to only below recommended PSI level and head out with my camera. 🙂

Sounds like fun since I’ve been gathering my “real cold” weather gear today.

daisy
daisy
10 years ago

I rode both ways today. The morning was fine as I was dressed warmly enough and my commute is only three miles. The afternoon was slower going, and my hands did get cold.

I also rode the sidewalk up (east) on Broadway and Weidler to N. Williams. I didn’t trust the cars there. Plus the sidewalks had less snow.

TOM
TOM
10 years ago

I just got in from a ride down Stark from se 142 to 102 then over to Halsey,up to 122 over to Burnside and home again. (7.05 miles)
Snow and wind are starting back up … big MTB tires were little help ….got off and pushed a couple of times , and others I put a foot down and just pushed along with it.
Could NOT see sidewalk or bike lane , so I took the traffic lane on Stark, 102 and 122. Not very many cars and most did not mind sharing with me (had my rear light flashing). Of course there HAS to be a jerk kid in a jacked up truck that felt a need to shout something nasty . And another who could not go around me and felt the need to sit 10 feet back and honk constantly.

Those 2 brought back dreams of carrying a paintball gun and doing some impromptu marking …

wimpy a$$ library was the only closure that I encountered.