Marcus Gee is a Winter Cyclist and Darn Proud of it!

Marcus GeeThe guy to the right swears he’s not nuts. He’s one of the 10% of Toronto cyclists who ride all year round. Sure, that number may be larger this year since it hasn’t been much of a winter… but that doesn’t make him (and us) any less proud.

Marcus Gee, we salute you!

From the Globe and Mail:

Folks, a rusty steed is a friend indeed – even in winter

It’s liberating at any time of year to avoid the restrictions of driving or public transit and set out on your own, a free agent of the street. In winter, with the sharp, fresh air on your face, it’s exhilarating. You begin and end your day with a little adventure. As the winter cycling website icebike.com puts it, with perhaps a trace of irony, “You arrive feeling very alive, refreshed and with the aura of a cycling god.”

The cold is no big deal. Your body heats up fast when you’re pedalling. I get by nicely with a waterproof Gore-Tex windbreaker with office clothes (and, okay, long underwear) beneath. I wear a thin wool tuque under my helmet. When it’s really cold – say, minus 10 or worse – I add a polyester balaclava that covers everything but my eyes.

For the hands, I have a pair of those lobster-claw gloves with two fingers instead of four and a fleece strip on the thumb for nose wiping, a bonus in the eye-watering cold. On my feet, I wear thick wool socks under pull-on Blundstone boots.

If it’s slushy or rainy, I complete the ensemble with a pair of canary-yellow rain pants. With front and rear helmet lights flashing after dark, I look like a safety-conscious ninja assassin, but most of the time I’m perfectly warm. If you ski or skate in the cold, why not bike?

Read the full article here

Photo via Globe and Mail

About duncan

Duncan rides bicycles in the city of Toronto and contributes to the main blog of BikingToronto as well as writing and taking photos for his blog Duncan's City Ride.

Comments

  1. misslynx says:

    Nice to see winter cycling getting more attention – there do seem to be a lot more bikes on the road this winter than usual, though it may be partly because this winter’s been fairly mild for the most part.

    This is the first winter I’ve kept riding through myself, and for the most part I’ve been enjoying it, though I don’t think I’ve quite worked out all the kinks yet. My hands still get cold even with heavy-duty mittens over gloves, and sometimes my feet too even with wool socks inside winter boots — the rest of me is usually fine, though, if not a little overheated!

    Oh, and I’ve found out the hard way one other essential accessory for at least the female winter bike: waterproof mascara! Unless you want to end up looking like the lovechild of Tammy Faye Baker and a raccoon.

  2. The MEC lobster gloves are essential. They look dorky, but they work. I’m having trouble imagining how cold it would have to get before you had uncomfortable hands.

    I also used a spiked front tire, but that has seemed like overkill this winter. I’ve never had a moment of uncertain traction in two winters with that baby.

    Oh, and a bright jacket and lights… .seriously, it’s dark out there. I just pull my XL yellow cycling shell over whatever other winter clothes I happen to be wearing, and I’m fine.

    Oh, and fenders.

  3. Darren, why did you choose a spiked front tire over a rear one? Thinking back I can remember times when my front wheel did get a bit squirrely on ice because I have less weight on it.

    Fenders are essential. A lot of the 2010 bikes are finally coming equipped with fenders, at least the city/commuter/comfort models. I got caught in the rain last summer before I found fenders for my 29er and the water spray up my back was like a jet ski… now I get just a little splash on my shoes.

  4. Interesting. After Marcus’ article of July 2009 where he criticized cyclists for always taking the moral high ground, I called him on being a fair weather rider. Looks like he got the message.

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