Bike Swapper: Shifting into Snow Gear

By Dawn DeGroot

(Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a year-long column by Seattle’s Dawn DeGroot who swapped her car for a bike last fall for one year. Read the next installment.)

The line between recreation and transportation has been blurred. When I think about going out on a bike ride for fun my next thought is, ‘what can I get done when I am out?’ And when I ride to my office I think, ‘what do I need?’ This is how I have been approaching the last six months since I started riding by bike everywhere, after trading my car for a bike last summer at New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat.

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There has been a bit of a learning curve with the winter weather. How cold is too cold? How much snow is too much snow before I can get on my bike and go? With this newfound adventure of bike riding, there are more questions than answers for me at this point.

I find myself re-evaluating all my options. What things must be done and when do I need to do them? Can I work from home today? Do I really need that chocolate that I am craving?

In many ways the car-for-bike trade has made my life less complicated. I now calculate all my activities and how I will get things done. Is it of real value to go to a certain store or movie theater and is it in my best interest to walk or get on my bike? The answer is clearer to me with some activities and not so clear on others but I am coping with my new challenge and enjoy what the new experience has to offer.

I am feeling stronger and happier every day with my decision to trade my car for my Black Sheep bike, thanks to New Belgium’s car-for-bike trade program.

The Christmas holidays brought me many gifts that are bike-related: arm warmers, cute skull caps for under my helmet, lights for all occasions and a food source called Gu.

I don’t think I am there yet but one of these days you might find me on a really long bike ride. However, the weather will have to improve a bit to motivate me to ride more than five hours on a one-day adventure.

The New Year is holding a whole lot of hope for me. I can make it through the winter but I am looking forward to the spring light and some summer heat, planning some exciting rides and using all the resources Seattle has to offer for city bike riding.

Good Wishes for the New Year! Ride your bike for recreation and transportation and when they meet, rejoice.

(Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a year-long column by Seattle’s Dawn DeGroot who swapped her car for a bike last fall for one year. Read the next installment.)