Active Transportation Alliance Hosts 18th Annual Winter Bike To Work Day Despite Low Temperatures

Cover Image
Photo credit WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Wind chills have dipped below zero on Friday, but the hardiest among us were getting to work on their bicycles. Friday is the Active Transportation Alliance’s 18th Annual Winter Bike to Work Day.

Clare McDermott, director of events and marketing for the Active Transportation Alliance, said that, for some, there's no such thing as "too cold."

'There are people (that do not) really matter the temperature, doesn’t matter the conditions," McDermott said. "They’re out there. We certainly applaud those people."

Al Laser rides 21 miles round trip each day from his home around Kimball and Bryn Mawr to Cook County Jail. He stopped by the Daley Center on Friday to offer support for what the Active Transportation Alliance was doing. 

Asked if people think he's nuts biking in frigid weather, Laser laughs and said, "You have the gear for it, you can do it."  Laser had gigantic mittens meant for arctic conditions and boots rated for below-zero temperatures.

Laser said he's going to turn 65-years old next month and said biking has been positive on his lifestle.

"I think it’s a way to stay healthy, keep my heart healthy," he said. 

John Gilbert, of Wheel and Sprocket Bikes, biked Friday morning 1.5 miles from his home to the train, took his bike on the train and then biked from the train to Daley Plaza. He happily sang, "Multi-mobile transportation."

Gilbert said of biking all the time, even in the winter, that, "it makes me feel better. It oxygenates my blood and I know that I don’t have to worry about parking wherever I’m going."

Anna Henschel, 27, biked to the Daley Center from the Logan Square neighborhood. She said riding Friday was not so bad. She said she promised her dad last week she would not bike during the Polar Vortex.

"Usually, if it’s above zero, it’s pretty doable," she said.

Henschel added that you warm up quickly when biking, no matter the temperature outside.

"The actual temperature, I think, was eight when I left my house this morning," she said. "Honestly, on the bike it’s a lot more comfortable than standing around here."