In the Pacific Northwest it looks like we’ve hit that time in spring when we alternate sunny weeks with rainy weeks, which gets me thinking about what changes are in store for biking in spring. Does anything even need to change?
For example, you’ve helped me join the biking community in winter, arguably the worst time of year to commit to being car-free. I took your advice and got a bike rack, water-resistant panniers, better suited clothing, and bike fenders. It took me a bit to figure out the wet-pedal situation. I was thiiiiis close to replacing my pedals, when for my birthday in January I got myself a pair of the snazzy all-weather Vans. These have been a life-saver. They have enough tread grip I no longer noticed my stock-pedals being slippery, and the water resistance and high-top saved my feet and ankles. As you can see, in less than 4 months, they look like they’ve been around. I found out later the Bike Shop Girl in Colorado recommends them too for winter cycling, which made me feel like I’m getting this bike thing down.
However, high-tops during summer do not sound like a good idea. Anticipating sunnier weather, what do you do? Do you find low-profile, grippy shoes? Do you prefer a more grippy pedal? My regular Vans slip off the pedals, and I changed out the pedals on my kid’s bike to grippier ones so she could pedal in her low-tread shoes. What’s your school of thought here? And maybe this is a vapid question, but what do you wear as shoes on August days? Sandals?
While we’re talking spring, what about your fenders? I really thought fenders come off in the spring, but maybe that’s not true? I had the bike shop put them on, and I don’t trust myself yet to take them off, but come to find out many people don’t take them off. What do you do? Do you leave them on? Why or why not?
As always, thank you so much for hanging out with me here.
— Becky Jo, @BeckyJoPDX
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Becky Jo lives in North Portland with her husbeast, four children, two cats, and has packed more fabric into their modest house than anyone will ever know. While she knows her way around a sewing machine, cycling is new, filling her with great wonder, confusion, and occasionally panic.