You wouldn't know it by looking outside, but bicycling season is officially here.
Yeah, there's still a foot of snow on the ground. Sure, none of the bike paths have been plowed and the road shoulders are all littered with debris churned up by the snowplows. Potholes are emerging like Florida sinkholes. Skies are still gray. Only the hardiest of bike commuters and fanatic enthusiasts would even think about getting back on a bike before the mercury settles above 60.
But spring is inevitable.
Any weekend now, the sun will break through, the temperature will rise, and we'll want to take our bikes out for a spin. But will we be prepared when spring suddenly appears?
Now is the time to make sure your bike is as ready as you are when that first gorgeous day finally arrives. Take it in to your favorite local shop for a thorough once-over and take advantage of the uninterrupted attention you will receive from the staff (before the warm weather brings everyone else out of the woodwork). Check out all the new products available for 2013. Peruse the deals on leftovers from last season.
Two great events are happening this weekend to get you thinking about bicycling again.
Locally, there's the Chicago Bike Swap at UIC's PE building. It runs Saturday, March 9th, from 10am to 5pm. Over 75 exhibitors will be on hand with bikes, bike gear, clothing, parts, and ride information. It's a great place to get ideas for planning your perfect cycling season. Support our friends at the Active Transportation Alliance, Bike Winter, and The Chainlink.
If you're willing to take the drive, there's also Bike-O-Rama in Madison Wisconsin. It starts Friday at noon and continues through Saturday and Sunday at the Alliant Energy Center. Like the Chicago Swap, it features local advocacy groups and event organizers - most specializing in rides throughout bike-friendly Wisconsin. Bike-O-Rama also features one of the largest selections of new, prior model-year bikes at significant savings. As an added bonus, you might even get to buy a bike from me...
As I sit here watching the snow sparkling in the sunlight, patiently waiting for it all to melt away and warm the air to a tolerable temperature, I keep thinking about all the adventures I have planned for this season. I'll be ready when that first beautiful day beckons me outside. Will you?
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Keep riding and be safe!