Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

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Icy/Snowy/Cold Biking Conditions

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Bikes in the snow

Coming Soon?

After the campus opened late last Friday due to freezing fog, weather concerns have been on my mind, and probably yours too. Given that the parking situation is tight here at CA, I expect more people to be using public transport and biking than they might usually do. Here are some tips to make a cold weather commute safer and more bearable.

Check to see if  PCC is open
1.) Check the PCC.edu website, or local news channels for closure information.

Riding in snowy/icy conditions
1.) stay at home or use public transport! Riding in snowy and icy conditions can be very dangerous. You may want to check to see if Trimet is running on schedule.
2.) If you must ride, deflate your tires for increased traction. If you roadbike, this  is especially important.
3.) Put your inner foot down (like a motorcycle racer) when going around tight corners to prevent slipping.
4.) Switch to nobbier tires for better traction
5.)Brake, steer and accelerate carefully. Keep your steering even and controlled.
6.) Watch the traffic around you. Others (cars, trucks, buses) may lose control and crash into you.
7.) Consider using platform pedals (no cleats or toe cages) and lowering your saddle for a faster dismount
8.) Chose your route carefully. Check bikeportland.org and PBOT for information on weather conditions, salt/gravel etc. Higher traffic roads often have less ice and snow – but more traffic!

Staying Warm
1.) Layering / keeping your core and legs warm
A good rule of thumb to beat the cold is to layer up. Wear moisture wicking layers close to your skin, covered by something absorbent, such as cotton, then something warming, then something windproof. Wear thin gloves in pairs. Go for longjohns or tights underneath your long pants, or even rainpants over them.

2.) Keeping your head warm
A well ventilated helmet is essential in  hot summer weather, but can make things pretty cold in the wintertime. Consider wearing a thin cycling cap or close fitting woolen hat underneath your helmet.

3.) Keeping your hands and feet warm
Consider wearing two pairs of thin gloves if you can – make sure you can still safely operate your gloves though! Extra socks are great, but for really intense weather a pair of booties over your shoes will keep your toes toasty.

More tips?| Please comment!

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