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Photo: #BikeWinter Is Back On

By Stephen Gossett in News on Mar 14, 2017 6:48PM

Bob Matter / Twitter
For those of us who look forward to a challenging but invigorating winter bike ride, the snow gods at long last delivered the goods on Monday and Tuesday.

Following the first snowfall to actually register some accumulation in nearly three months, winter road warriors hit the streets on Tuesday morning to brave less-than-ideal conditions. We came across several of those hearty souls on the roads and in the #bikechi timeline, but none made our hearts sing like the photo of Bob Matter, paralegal at Freeman Kevenides Law Firm, a prominent bicycle crash and injury firm in Chicago.

As the evening commute is shaping up to be another snow-packed one, Matter, a veteran winter cyclist, was kind enough to offer share some of his most trusted tips on how to stop worrying and love the slop.

"One of the things I discovered years ago that makes a quantum-leap difference are ski goggles," Matter said. "It's like sitting in the front seat of a car with the heat on." Despite some accumulation noticeable in the photo, the goggles are huge helper in terms of increasing visibility, Matter said. The yellow lens goes a long way toward cutting down glare—which can be a major pain with sun bouncing off the bright white snow. Throw a balaclava underneath, a scarf below and you're more or less airtight, he said.

As for apparel basics, follow the layered winter-outfit trio: a wicking layer, an insulation layer, and wind barrier. An insulated jacket, long underwear and wind- and waterproof gloves are highly recommended, he said.

As for the actual riding, Matter is a studded-tire evangelist. "They really help more in ice, but when you have a really big snow like this, there can be a lot of slipping and sliding," Matter said. Lower the pressure your tires a bit and ride slowly, without making sudden darts, and you'll notice a world of difference, he said.