Enjoy your bike commute in all weather conditions!
It’s Week 4 of Bike to Work Month and we’ve got plenty of BikeMobile stops, workplace Lunch and Learns, and workplace team visits scheduled. While the weather forecast isn’t looking as warm and sunny as in previous weeks, cooler, rainy weather can be great for cycling – you won`t sweat as much and a bit of rain can be quite refreshing.
Image from Alliance for Biking and Walking
A good rain jacket with a hood and dropped skirt in the back, rain pants, waterproof gloves, and waterproof booties to wear over your shoes will do wonders for keeping you dry. Bringing a change of clothes is also a good idea when it’s raining heavily.
In terms of keeping your gear dry, you can find waterproof bags and panniers at stores like Mountain Equipment Co-op. If you’re more of a DIY-kind of cyclist, apparently you can turn buckets into panniers – ensuring that your gear is fully protected!
Fenders are your friends:
Fenders with mud flaps over your front and rear wheels will make a huge difference in avoiding that pesky mud stripe up the back of your jacket. Many bike shops sell fenders that clip on to the seat post and down tube for easy installation.
Opt for clear or yellow lenses instead of your regular sunglasses for better visibility. Another option is to wear a cycling cap under your helmet, which helps to shield your eyes from rain and road spray.
Stand out on the road! Ensure you are easily seen by always riding with front (white) and rear (red) LED lights in low light conditions.
Dry seat = happy cyclist:
Finally, if you’re storing your bicycle outside, keep your saddle dry with a seat cover. You can purchase them from Mountain Equipment Co-op and other bike shops. Citizens for Safe Cycling has also produced seat covers; you can buy them at RightBike (1A McCormick St.) and our very own EnviroBoutique (366 Rideau St.).
For more information, visit these websites:
- I Bike Toronto: http://www.ibiketo.ca/guide/how-tos/how-become-rain-resistant
- Momentum Magazine: http://momentummag.com/articles/rain-wear/
- Grist: http://grist.org/biking/2011-10-14-the-fashionable-bicyclist-why-let-a-little-rain-get-you-down/
- Active.com: http://www.active.com/cycling/Articles/10_Tips_for_Riding_in_the_Rain
- Kent`s Bike Blog: http://kentsbike.blogspot.ca/2012/07/bike-talk-whats-best-way-to-deal-with.html
- League of American Bicyclists: http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/commuters.php
Our first workplace profile: CSV Architects
CSV Architects, located on Somerset St. in Hintonburg, is an architectural practice that specializes in sustainable design in institutional, commercial, and residential projects. Several staff members are experienced commuter cyclists, biking to work regularly from March through November. This is the second year that Team Civium Strenuus Valens is participating in Bike to Work Month, demonstrating their all-round commitment to sustainability. CSV Architects also recently received the Bike-Friendly Business Designation, a new EnviroCentre initiative, which recognizes businesses and workplaces making positive contributions to cycling in Ottawa.
CSV staff choose to use pedal power for several reasons: exercise, fresh air, reducing their carbon footprint, curbing traffic congestion, and saving on transportation costs. Workplace facilities, including an indoor storage room for bikes as well as showers and a change room, make the transition from bike to office a breeze.
The team’s bike style varies from work attire to spandex. For those living closer to work, commuting via city roads is the way to go; for those who live a little further, Ottawa’s beautiful parkways including the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway are the name of the game. They would love to see the Ottawa River bike path raised to address the flooding between Island Park Drive and Parkdale Avenue that occurs every spring.
In addition to cycling, the CSV team firmly believes in following a sustainable lifestyle through internal events that promote spending time outdoors, exercising, and healthy eating. Fun fact: CSV Architects designed the NCC Skateway Chalets, and the team enjoys skiing and skating excursions in the winter.
If CSV Architects were a type of two-wheeled vehicle, they would be a tandem bike – working together for balance and efficiency.
Thanks CSV team for showing your commitment to cycling!
BikeMobile Jaunts, Lunch & Learns, and a Bike-Style Photobooth!
It’s Week Three of Bike to Work Month and we couldn’t be happier with the way things are going. As you can see on the right, over 1,000 people have pledged to cycle at least once during May, and we’re hoping you’ll continue to help us encourage both new and seasoned cyclists to sign up to show their support for cycling and gain the chance to win amazing prizes, donated by our generous sponsors.
Last week, the BikeMobile logged some good mileage, making stops at the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and KPMG.
We spoke to lots of passersby. Many were already cycling to work!
On Saturday, we stopped by the Glebe Community Centre for a special bike-style photo booth with Ottawa Velo Vogue. Thanks to Zara for the photo!
We had a bit of route planning trouble on the way to MEC but luckily the trailer fit onto those narrow bridges over the Rideau Canal locks.
On Wednesday, we had a very well attended Lunch and Learn at the Canadian Red Cross, where we spotted some nice covered bike parking outside.
The EnviroCentre team was also busy participating in Cleaning the Capital, where we went out in teams to pick up litter in Lowertown to help beautify the streets.
Coming up this week, we have BikeMobile stops scheduled for:
- Devonshire PS – Wednesday, May 15, 8:00-8:45AM – our first ever school stop for their weekly Bike to School Day!
- William St. Mall in the Byward Market – Thursday, May 16, 11:00-1:30PM
- Mountain Equipment Co-op – Saturday, May 18, 12:00-4:00PM
- Brewer Park Farmers’ Market – Sunday, May 19: 8:00AM-4:00PM
Lastly, Jamie did a radio appearance on CHUO FM 89.1 last week to talk about cycling to work and how you can get involved. It’s up on their website so have a listen!
2012 Participants – Simply log into your existing account to participate again this year!
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