No Medals for Blizzard Commuters

Bike commuting as a sport does not possess the grace of many of the other winter events that you’re probably watching on the olympics but it does require strength, strategy and exceptional balance.

When a proper blizzard rolls into NYC I follow these rules of survival:

Make sure your gear is weather-appropriate

If you’re not already running your knobby tires you’ll want to make sure you have them on. Save the slicks for spring.

Use major streets

They are the ones that get plowed. Side streets, unlike the suburbs, quickly turn into 3″ deep blocks of rutted ice due to the mild days and cold nights.

Exercise EXTREME caution!

I use the opposite-light rule: Wait at the intersection for the light to turn red for the traffic that is going the same direction you are. Enjoy a couple of blocks of having the road to yourself, then pull over and repeat.

Join the Pack

Plows travel in packs in New York. If you find one FOLLOW IT AS FAR AS YOU CAN

Know when you’re in over your head

If things are getting really sketchy remember there are (usually) subways

Snow plows travel in packs in New York. Photo credit: Serge Permyakoff

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