Thursday, November 13, 2008


The middle of November is usually well past the end of the typical bike commuting season. During the summer the bike racks at my office are full, 40-50 bikes per day. In November we are usually down to 3-4 riders. This year though something strange has happened, at least so far, and that is a significant number of bikes are still on the racks everyday.

My theory on this is that there are two primary factors; first is the increased cost of gas we’ve seen over the past year. Though prices have recently retracted $2.00 a gallon gas is still pricey and once people are use to riding (after $3.00+ gas) continuing isn’t a big stretch. The second factor, which is probably a bigger issue, is the near tropical weather we’ve been having in Denver. November 13th and the high temperature is expected to be in the mid 60’s, we haven’t had any snow or any cold stretches. Sooner or later we’ll get snow and then I’ll be able to tell if the new riders are going to be year round commuters or just seasonal commuters.

Usually by this time of the year I am relishing my commutes home in the dark with the first flakes of a winter storm hitting. My ride home takes my through City Park, right next to the Denver Zoo. Riding in a wide open space next to the zoo animals as the weather shifts, the cold starts to settle in, the snow starts to fly is an experience I cherish every time it happens. I look forward to the commute in the snow, mostly because of the solitude, the chance to be alone in miles of a park, only wild animals to share the changes with me. I hope it snows soon. I hope more people learn to appreciate and love the bike commute in the winter.

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