Cyclists prepare for upcoming winter season
December 10, 2021
With winter soon approaching, cyclists on campus are beginning to prepare for the harsher weather conditions that the season will bring.
This past September during bike to work day and bike month, students and faculty saw how large the cycling community was on campus with cyclists all around the campus. Many students in this community often stop cycling during winter times due to the colder temperatures, wind and snow.
Illini 4000, a nonprofit cycling organization on campus that raises money for cancer research, is severely affected by this change in weather.
“With such a big campus, I can get anywhere in 10 minutes,” said Marie Hubbard, president of Illini 4000. “It’s really nice to have the infrastructure that allows you to get from place to place, class to class. In the winter, it can be harder to get around but it’s not impossible.”
The campus area has many bike paths like near CRCE, the quad and Green Street, which all provide ways for cyclists to easily commute to wherever they’re going. During the winter, the University clears snow from most sidewalks and pathways by 8 a.m. to make it more accessible.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear,” said Jacob Benjamin, coordinator of the Campus Bike Center part of Campus Recreation. “Proper clothing and accessories make riding in a rainstorm tolerable and 40 degree weather more enjoyable than a scorching summer day.”
Besides snow and ice, which the University typically paves and de-ice on a regular basis, Benjamin described how rain, wind and temperature will be around no matter the season.
“The two things that change season-to-season is how many layers of clothing you wear and how fast you can safely ride,” Benjamin said. “Wind is a constant across all seasons here.”
There are many resources on campus that allow students to learn more about cycling in the winter and to even pick up some winter gear. The Campus Bike Center holds classes, tools and resources where interested cyclists can learn more about winter riding. They even have a Build-A-Bike program where students can purchase or fix older bikes that will be perfect for winter riding.
Current cyclists interested in optimizing their own bike for winter riding can visit the Campus Bike Center to learn about different gears and accessories along with winter apparel that can enhance their riding experience during inclement weather.