24 November 2010

Cycle Chic Guide #10 - Cycling in Winter

So, winter is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere. We here at Cycle Chic think it's high time for a little repost of our film we made last year. A little peek into cycling in winter in Copenhagen - or any city with mainstream bicycle culture. The film spells out our Cycling in Winter Guide for us.

Every winter we find ourselves dispelling misconceptions about bicycles and winter. As though it's something quite bizarre. You know how we ride in winter? The same way people have been riding in winter for 125 years. In this country and in every country with snow.
Copenhagen February Traffic 3
Clothing? Easy. We wear the same clothes cycling around our city that we wear whilst walking around our city. Why would we need anything different? We have winter clothes and they're great on foot or on two wheels. Anyone who tells you otherwise probably wants to sell you something.

Winter is unavoidable and only avoided by purchasing plane tickets to warmer climes. So let's just suck it up, buttercup and get on with it. Summer is, as always, just around the corner.
Copenhagen Winter Cycle Chic
There are a couple of bikey things to mention, however. Firstly, most bicycles in Copenhagen don't have the razor thin wheels associated with sporty types. Our tires are thicker, which makes it easier to ride in the snow.

Going straight is rarely a problem but when approaching a corner, we tend to slow down more than we would on a dry surface.

Sure, it helps that the City clears the bike lanes here long before they clear the roads so you can almost always rely on the bike lanes being clear. In case of snowstorms you may find yourself riding on snow or ice, so just take it easy.

Whether rain, snow or shine, Cycle Chic is all about Style Over Speed. This is a little more applicable in the winter. :-)
Snowstorm Style
Although you might want to leave it up to the Copenhageners to ride in a snowstorm, on snow, in killer heels whilst holding an umbrella. :-)

This is one of our favourite bicycle + snow adverts. Ever. Crappy beer. Great advert.


Txell said...

nice to know all those useful tips before my trip to CPH! I look forward to ride along the city on heels, on the snow... (hope I could manage as Copenhageners do)

looby said...

Respect to the Copenhageners

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm ready to fall for a Copenhagen lady (i'd fallen for bikes long ago!)

I love this page, everyday.

CDawg said...

Do they salt the roads and bike paths in Copenhagen like here in the U.S.? If so, do you need to take any special precautions to protect the bike from corrosion?

I love this site. Keep up the great work!

Jan S said...


Yes they salt the roads and bike paths. I guess you are supposed to wash off the salt, but most people don't.

Since we are biking every day, it will eventually get washed off in the rain :-)

Anonymous said...

Clean bike lanes...it's only a dream here in Budapest (even bike lanes - there's very few of them). Also, there are lots of cars and when they pass you they splatter you. I'm planning to ride my bike all through winter but I do need some special clothing because there will be a lot of slush and snow. Still planning to be as chic as possible:)

Anonymous said...

I don't undestand how possible wear the same clothes cycling like for ordinary life. If I'm not wearing breathable, windproof and thermal underwear - after 10 minutes through the hills I was all wet and I was flushed all the winds. And sits on the cold seat is very dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I envy your culture priorities. Some cities in the US probably plow the bike lanes and paths but most do not. Either there is no budget for it or it simply is not on the radar of the powers that be (usually both). The Miller ad just illustrates the spirit of "hope and change" of two years ago that seems to have sadly disappeared.

Oldfool said...

No such thing as crappy beer. It's all good. Some is better.

Beck said...

I just love the "chink chink" soundtrack to that ad, it sounds like my husband arriving home!

Anonymous said...

What? No - I dont use the same outfit for biking as I would walking. You are forgetting the womens pespective.The new high heel wedge boots and shoes dont go well with biking. In the summer you can walk with almost any skirt you want, but biking with some skirts can show a bit too much.
And this winter I had too take the bus a lot too, couse I just couldnt ride the bike.

Colville-Andersen said...

Most of what we feature on this blog is from the woman's perspective. I would wager that 40% of all the heels we see on the bike lanes at the moment are the wedge variety. In the winter. In the snow. and sleet and rain.

Like any footwear, including flip flops which are the chosen footwear in summer here, they're perfect for cycling.

And heels have been worn on bicyles since the bicycle was invented 125 years ago.

A few million Dutch and Danish women can't be wrong.

Anonymous said...

I pedaled in very stylist high-heeled boots just this week, over black, textured wool tights and a knee length black dress. Very easy and my legs stayed warm in the cold wind - and I looked really good.