Friday, December 11, 2009

Plan B for Cold Weather

..and when I say, "Plan B", I'm not talking about not riding! Today it's about 20 degrees (F.) out, but clear. A good day for cycling, if you dress right. However, flatting a tire in really cold weather can be a royal pain. In order to fix that tire, you have to pull of those nice warm gloves, and I can guarantee that adhesives just don't work the same in extremely cold weather. (Hm, this seems to be a self-referential kind of post.)

If you flat, it won't be a problem to fix it once you get to your destination; you'll have your patch kit, tools, and access to soap and water for a clean up. But on a cold, blustery day, it sucks to do this outside. I think the best solution is to have a Plan B. The only two Plan Bs that I can come to reasonably are:
  • Calling a (good) friend on your cell; and
  • Public Transit
The first one being self-explanatory (let's hope your friend doesn't drive a Mini), let's concentrate on the second. It's not necessary for a cycle-commuter to cycle along bus routes in cold weather, but it's good to know where they are relative to your ride. (The graphic is an overlay done in Vectorworks of a GoogleMap screencapture of my route over the PDF of the Howard County transit routes. The HCT routes are abstracted enough that this exercise is of but limited value, but you get the idea.)

So in very cold weather, try not to flat. But if you do, have that Plan B in the back of your head. Know where the transit routes are relative to your route, and head to a bus-stop if you flat. (Have the correct change for that fare ready!)

1 comment:

VectorJess said...

Hi Robert. Yessireee! It is cold outside. I'm amazed you continue to bike to work. More power to you.