Bike riders ready to deal with wintery conditions


In a perfect world, Shelley Crane, sophomore special education major, would wake up to a calm, warm sunny day, get on her mountain bike and ride to class from the Stevenson dorms.

But with winter vastly approaching, Crane’s idea of a perfect world is coming to a sudden halt. Crane, who rides her bike everyday to class, has a line drawn as to when she will ditch her bike for the Huskie Bus.

“If it’s a really windy day, and definitely when it starts snowing, I won’t ride my bike and will take the bus,” Crane said.

But Emily Anderson, junior special education major and president of the NIU Cycling Club, said students don’t necessarily have to quit riding their bikes because of snow.

Bikes can be made safer to ride by switching to larger tires, Anderson said. Other simple tasks can be done to increase riding safety.

“Just drying off your wheels and your brake pads before you take off can be helpful because you get better traction,” Anderson said.

Freshman business major Justin Cassidy also rides his bike to class everyday. Like Crane, Cassidy plans to take the bus when it snows or if the temperatures drop well below freezing.

“I don’t mind riding in the cold because I just bundle up a little more,” Cassidy said. “But if the temperatures are like, below zero or if it’s snowing, I’m definitely taking the bus.”

“Obviously if the student doesn’t feel comfortable riding his or her bike in the snow, they shouldn’t,” Anderson said.

One student who definitely feels comfortable is senior English major Joe Prendergast.

“I don’t care if it’s minus five degrees out; I’ll still ride,” said Prendergast. “I don’t really overdress either. I just keep riding.”

For those not as brave as Prendergast, Anderson recommends dressing in layers, wearing good gloves and a hat while riding.