The last few months have we have been pretty strange with regard to weather. We’re not sure exactly what to call it. Imitation Winter? Winter lite? Florida? To be honest it’s been a big disappointment so far – it’s almost mid February and we haven’t yet had enough snow to build our annual igloo. Sledding has turned out to be rare, at best. However, we were able to get a few runs in this morning before the snow melted in the sun. Note that due to the thin layer of snow it wasn’t possible for Chris to ride so Everett went solo.

This kind of weather has been rough for the troupe of doomsday weather reporters we have in Milwaukee. The worst that has happened so far is a couple of freezing rain storms which were a direct result of temperatures that hover around freezing. A couple months ago one of these storms literally covered everything outside with ice during the morning commute. Melissa wiped out on the driveway and hit her knee. Chris wiped out on the Bakfiets (Everett was not in it at the time), though the cargo box took the brunt of the impact. One question we get often about the Bakfiets is: do you ride in the snow? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that snow isn’t really the problem. Rather, the major problem with winter bike commuting is ice. The snow in this area is a heavy, maritime snow that easily turns to ice with as little pressure as a single footprint. Sometimes it turns to ice under its own weight. In addition, the temperatures have been hovering around freezing for months now, resulting an icy, sloppy mess. Many cyclists now have studded tires to handle the ice but still have to be vigilant about cars and trucks that don’t. Note that we don’t take E in the Bakfiets if the weather looks at all questionable.

If the winter keeps muddling along like this then we might be forced to take drastic measures like visiting New Zealand during the boreal summer.

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