No, it wasn’t 55 below zero or when I pedaled off to work this morning, only a disappointing at -11. When I went to bed last night the forecast was for morning temperatures of 17 to 18 below, so I fell asleep looking forward to a bit of an adventure on my ride to work. I even took the time to look up the coldest temperatures on record in Wisconsin, which was -55 degrees in Couderay on Feb. 4th, 1996, which got me even more charged up to ride. Any readers from the Couderay area remember that record day?
All the hype about cold weather did get me thinking those of use who ride all year should try to have a little fun with it, so I contacted Rob Gusky up at the Kimberly Clark Corporation in the Fox Cities area. Rob and KCC worked with the developers at Endomondo and the Bike Fed start the State Bike Challenge several years ago. That Challenge was so successful that it went national. When I suggested to Rob we have a winter challenge and pick Feb. 4th as winter bike to work day in honor of the coldest day, he was all over the idea. Before I knew it, Rob sent me an email with a link to the new Challenge page on Endomondo pictured below.
All your miles count for this challenge, not just commute miles. So sign up and start logging those recreational miles our on the Fatbikes or even take the stairs at work and log those trips! But we do hope that you will give biking to work a try this winter, in honor of the coldest day on record in Wisconsin.
There are already lots of bike winter activities going on in Wisconsin and other states. For instance Madison has a number of fun Bike Winter events planned on their Madison Bike Winter Facebook here. The big Brazen Dropouts Bike Swap is then end of January, which is a great place to gear up for the rest of winter on the cheap. Some of the Madison folks were interviewed and you can read their winter commute tips in this Cap Times article by Jessie Opoien. Madison further’s its reputation as our state’s most bike friendly town with an official city guide to bicycling in the winter.
The Leader Telegram did a nice report about Eau Claire winter biking in this story.
No matter where you live, with a little planning, riding your bike in the winter is a very doable and can be very fun. So, on this chilly day, I challenge you to embrace winter and sign up for our challenge. We are rounding up a few prizes to add to the fun. Stay tuned here for more details. And I still want to hear from somebody who remembers that cold day in Couderay.