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Friday, February 28, 2014

Why I biked through the polar vortex (no, I’m not crazy)

If you live in a city with a strong bike culture, you're undeterred by the elements -- even the cold and the snow


On a recent morning in New York City (like so many recent mornings in New York City), as temperatures hovered in the low teens and a fresh layer of snow coated the streets, I set off for work the same way I do almost every day: on my bike.
Yeah, I’m one of those crazy bikers who choose to pedal no matter what the weather. I grew up in a car-averse household in Toronto, and on mornings when most kids were being driven to school, my parents told me to bundle up and get on my bike. I didn’t like it at the time, but thanks to them, I’ve never seen cold weather as a reason not to ride.
And here’s the thing—though many commuters can’t imagine making the trip to work without climate control, I’m not alone in my determination to keep riding, no matter the road conditions. Across the United States, many of the cities that boast the highest percentage of bike commuters are also known for nasty winters—places like Minneapolis and Madison, Wisconsin. Warm-weather cities like Austin and San Diego, where the sun always seems to shine, have far fewer regular riders.
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