Cold Weather Riding

WE Bike NYC is organizing ten women from five organizations to ride 262 miles on bicycles from New York City to Washington, DC to represent their communities at the nation’s largest annual bicycle advocacy event, the National Bike Summit on March 3, 2014. WE are so pleased to be supported by WomanTours, Bicycle Times Magazine and Transportation Alternatives. For more about the ride, check out our fundraising page HERE! Now that you have gotten to know who we are, learn more about us and our process. WE will be rolling out a series of guest posts from our riders and sponsors.  First up, Casey Ashenhurst tells us how she mentally prepares for winter riding… IMG_20131125_075013 I ride my bike to work almost every day, all year round. I’m from the northern part of the Midwest, so I’m used to going out in the cold. Having been in New York for 4 years, at this point I’m also used to the exclamations of, “WOW, you rode your bike TODAY?!?” that I get from folks when I’m still riding in to work come November and it’s 40 degrees outside. It’s actually some of my favorite weather to ride in- brisk, but still able to work up a sweat once I’m grinding it out. But the first really cold day of the year—which for me is about 25 degrees—is always a bit of a rough start. It’s hard to get out of bed, it’s hard to look at the thermostat and not be tempted by the warmth of the subway, and it’s hard to layer up in the requisite cold-weather gear. This year, the first time the morning commute called for the SERIOUS gloves, I took a dissatisfied Instagram selfie once I was ready to roll out, with the caption, “I mean, I’m gonna do it, but I don’t have to be happy about it.” But the thing is, I always forget how good it feels and am surprised when the cold is actually not so bad. I’m getting myself there by my own strength, which feels even better when I have to work a little harder for it. When it’s cold out, less folks are out on the road, which is kind of nice (even though I love seeing people out on bikes!). It means there’s nobody else on the bridge, so when I get to the top, I’m always the winner! The view going into Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge is beautiful, and pausing for a second to take in the view with no one else around offers a rare moment of solitude in this hustle-bustle city. Our ride to DC is going to be cold—but I’m hoping it’ll feel all that much better when we get there since we’re gonna have to work a little bit harder for it!