Surviving this winter

How is one to survive this winter, one of the coldest, greyest and snowiest in history?


As you can see, I chose to lighten my hair, buy a new red overcoat and bicycle on – except honestly I have not been bicycling a lot, certainly not everyday, as with previous winters.  All I ask for is a morning with temps at least 10 F and no falling snow, but such mornings are rare.  (As I type this, it’s 9 F and snowing.)  When I manage to ride my bike, I feel so much better, physically and mentally.

My plan for combatting winter also includes appreciating the (indoor) culture that Chicago offers: going to ballets, plays, symphonies and art exhibits.  If it were not for the Joffrey Ballet, the Goodman and Steppenwolf and Shakespeare Theatres, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Art Institute (and, of course, my wonderful friends!), I would question daily why I choose to live in this crowded, frozen tundra.


This time last year, I was already enjoying the sights and sounds of spring with Betty Foy.

How are you dealing with this winter?  How much have you been bicycling?

{P.S. Our friend Elizabeth will be reporting on the National Bike Summit / Women’s Bike Forum here on LGRAB and our Twitter feed this week, so stay tuned!}

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18 thoughts on “Surviving this winter

  1. Dottie says:

    I need to comment to say that LGRAB does not endorse the ridiculous “Around the web” links showing up below. That is some new feature of Disqus, which I hope we can disable. Ugh.

  2. Lauren Taylor says:

    Oh wow, Dottie, I LOVE the new hair on you! You look great!!

    I’ve been complaining about the cold here, but considering we don’t have snow or frequent below 10* days, I’m gonna just shut up and count my comparatively warm weather blessings :)

    • Dottie says:

      Thank you. :) I’m a firm believer that everyone should feel free to complain about winter, because cold is relative and there’s been a lot of crazy weather everywhere.

      • Gerry says:

        Hi Dottie. I’m sorry but I don’t believe you about the cold in Chicago. Those pictures of you with the new hair and the red coat look real HOT!

  3. aem2 says:

    Love the hair!

    I am very tired of winter. I don’t mind biking in the cold so much (that’s not true, I totally do, but it’s warmer than walking or waiting for the streetcar), but the compacted snow is a pain and the bike lanes are filled (with cars, snow, ice, you name it). I can bike as long as the roads are relatively clear, but it keeps snowing! The wind is also not helping. As you can see, I’m a little grumpy.

    Granted, I’m far less grumpy than I would be if I weren’t biking. But still.

    • Dottie says:

      Grumpiness is allowed. I’m right there with you!

      Good point about all the snow blocking the bike lanes, or causing drives to park in the bike lanes because they cannot get close to the curb. Just when some of the compacted snow starts to melt (Friday), more piles of snow arrive (Saturday + right now).

  4. Trisha says:

    Two thumbs up to the hair and coat! You’re a trouper for biking at all there this winter.

  5. my hyggelig says:

    miserly loves company ~ thanks for making me feel not so alone. I spent half of February in AZ and NorCal ~ thanks to that, and spin class 3-4 times a week, I have maintained my sanity (barely). i desperately want to move, this is not normal, or fair! boo hoo.

    • Dottie says:

      Not normal or fair – too true. This morning Chicago is 4 degrees and it’s snowing heavily. :( So much for March.

      I should have looked into spin class this winter, because my legs have lost muscle over the past three months.

  6. Myra Hill says:

    I love the new hair color. I have been biking a lot this past winter unless it’s snowing. I like the solitude when biking in the winter.

    • Dottie says:

      Go you! How’s the pretty blue Linus working as a winter bike? Solitude + lonelines is an apt description of the feeling of biking in winter. Hopefully we will see pretty flowers one day soon!

      • Myra Hill says:

        The Linus mixte is working great for me. I rode all over the Bronx, Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. I added the Linus Market Bag to make shopping and carrying my stuff easy. I get a lot of compliments in the bike. My co worker compares the bike to the Elvis Presley era.

        I live in NYC (in the Bronx). There is hardly any commuter cycling in the Bronx especially women. I use the bike to get around rather waiting for buses and subways. I pass by several bus stop while en route and see so many people standing the I waiting for the buses. I get to my destinations and not one bus pass by.

        I am trying to set myself as an example of getting people to ride bikes in general, but particularly riding bikes as transportation rather than driving cars.

  7. Thom Wilson says:

    So……i’m guessing you didn’t participate in Polar Plunge?

  8. Velouria says:

    Ha. I took the easy way out this year by moving to Ireland. It snowed very little, though the winds November-February were horrendous. Congratulations on getting through this particularly bad winter and here is wishing for a beautiful spring!

  9. Brandi Copher says:

    I have barely ridden my Oma this year. It’s been icy in NYC, roads more narrow, bike lanes hidden and drivers who don’t care for my safety. So I’ve been torturing myself on the subway. I rode my bike this weekend and felt better than i have in weeks. It was so hard riding up hills, that I’ll def have to work to build my leg muscles again but I’ll soon return to daily rides.

  10. David P. says:

    I’ve been in the midwest for fifteen years now and this is the first winter where I sort of asked myself why the hell I live in this part of the country instead of, say, Colorado or California. It’s not been enough to keep me from riding (well, excpet for -15F and such) but it’s enough to make me miss Venezuela’s weather from my childhood, though certainly not anything else about that place. Your red coat looks great against the black of everything else on your and your bike. How does Oma handle in compacted snow as in your alley, etc.?

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