International Winter Bike To Work Day, COVID 19 Edition, will be Friday, February 12. That’s a month away, so it’s time to gear up for it. I’ve talked a lot about winter bike gear, but I’ll review that a little more in the coming weeks. Sign up at Winterbiketoworkday.org or on Facebook. With so many working from home, and gatherings discouraged, the challenge has been adapted. This from their website, “Winter Bike to Work Day has always been about connecting, while being far apart. This year, every neighbourhood counts. Most importantly, take this chance to share your love for riding a bicycle with as many people as you can. Share your love for winter. Be kind and encouraging to others. If your city makes things hard, use this as an excuse to talk about solutions. Make it one more reason to fix things for good.” An aside: Lincoln generally does a good job, though I’d like to talk to the one in charge of clearing sidewalk ramps and crossings. Not everyone is capable of scaling the small, hard mountains to get to the other side after the snowplows pass. Parks and Rec is much better about clearing theirs on the trails than LTU is on non-trail crossings, though I suspect that it’s often the business owners who are at fault. It’s hit and miss at 56th and “O”, 70th and “O”, 84th and “O”, sigh.
Also from the challenge website: “Just remember, more people on bicycles is good for everyone and people need bicycles more than ever.” Even in winter. The idea this year is for some volunteers to create loops 3-5 km long around the city on Feb. 6, then go live Feb 12. The city with the most loops and riders, “wins”. The loops can’t overlap, but I don’t know why they couldn’t touch, 3-5km is really short! Maybe that distance is the average commute, worldwide.
You’re encouraged to create loops that explore the less known nooks and crannies of Lincoln. Also, make loops where you want to go. What out of the way gems have you discovered on your rambles? There are quite a few gravel city blocks and car-free cut-throughs if you know where to look, so lets see them. Who can make the hilliest loop? The most scenic? How about loops in Wilderness and Pioneers Parks? The most historic? The most interesting neighborhood? How about spelling out something short with the loop? Hopefully, you’ll cross paths with others riding the same loop. I would love to hear why you created the loops, if they have special significance. It could become part of a larger tour and a destination. So let’s start getting ready for this challenge. We can wave even if we can’t gather.