Yesterday while waiting at a stop light to ride our bike across Lake Street we were asked by a pedestrian why we would ride our bike in weather like this.
This was one of those moments that all of us have where you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind and later think up 100 different things that you could have said better. In this case “why not” was our less-than-witty retort, but during the remaining half of our trip out we came up with the following list.
Five reasons to bike instead of drive during or after a snowstorm:
1) It’s actually safer. – No we do not have statistical evidence to back this up, through observation we found that during or just after snow storms cars tend to drive slower, and give cyclists more room while passing. Also there tend to be fewer cars on the road during all times of the day each of which makes riding safer.
2) If you get stuck you can easily push or pick up your bike. – Sometimes when either driving or cycling you turn a corner and find an impassable hump of snow or unplowed street. Instead of sitting in your car performing the familiar, reverse-drive-reverse-drive routine, you can just hop off your bike and walk until you have traction. Or you can pick it up for a distance, ever try that with a car?
3) If you get really stuck you can lock up your bike to any post and hop on a bus. – On the flip side, the city tends to look down on people ditching their cars on the side of the road. In the Twin Cities, you are never more than a block or two from a bus stop.
4) You don’t have to worry about parking. – Hmmm, is today an odd side non-snow emergency, or a winter parking rules day with even side parking…. You don’t have to think about any of this when you bike to your destination, just make sure you lock up legally!
5) The off-road bikeways are often plowed earlier and better than side streets. – By 9:30 am Monday morning, the Midtown Greenway had been plowed evenly and side-to-side, which is more than we could say for 75% of the side streets we took to get there.
There you go! Let us know some other reasons so we can be better armed next time around!