Riding the Fox Cities – December

Nearly one year ago, in January, I started a blog series about riding the Fox Cities. I had just finished a winter ride and felt great, and I wanted to share that experience with others, so I wrote a blog about it. Now it’s nearing the end of 2016 and another year of riding is coming to a close. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of riding ahead, and it’s a great time to ride in the Fox Cities!

Year end tends to be a time of reflection. I often find myself thinking about the theme of the past year. In terms of biking, my rides this year could probably be categorized in order of frequency as:
1) Commuting
2) Recreational (casual/fun)
3) Exercise
4) Competitive (racing)

There have been many years where the order was the exact opposite for me. There is no right order. The order will vary for each person, and as in my case, possibly from year to year. Often riding must adapt to other aspects of your life, such as “free time,” social networks, health, etc. Sometimes you discover a new (to you) bike culture and it draws you in. Or maybe you were encouraged by improved infrastructure, new pathways, or growing support at workplaces (e.g. shower facilities). Whatever the reason, and whatever form your riding took, I hope this past year brought you joy and happiness both on two wheels and off.

I know for many people, riding in December and happiness seem opposite. However, much like my January ride that started this blog, getting outside and biking is key to my happiness over winter. This past week when we had a fresh snowfall, I still felt like a kid when I grabbed my bike and made a riding track all around my yard. It was a challenge to blaze a new path at first, even for a fat bike, but after removing almost all the air from my tires and lowering my seat I was able to churn through the snow. It was 33 and sunny and I was riding around in a t-shirt. Eventually I had tracks looping every which way around the house and was having a blast. My neighbor yelled over “Bet you can’t wait until spring?”, but honestly, I was pretty happy right at that moment. Riding on grass just wouldn’t be the same.

If you haven’t given winter riding a try, I highly recommend pulling out your bike the next sunny winter day when you feel like you just need to get outside. It may be just what you need too. Looking for tips on winter biking? If you missed our FCCA Winter Biking Seminar this month, you can now check out the winter biking slide presentation here. For better or worse, you will still have a few more months to put these tips to use. In fact, why not start tomorrow? Join us for our annual Resolution Ride on New Years Day in Appleton, or check out one of our other winter events on our events page, such as Bike Across Bago on February 4th.

Overall, 2016 has been a good year, and I look forward to making 2017 even better. As president of FCCA, I want to make the Fox Cities an even greater place to ride. But I will need your ideas and your voice to help accomplish this. As we move into 2017, I will communicate via this blog and our FCCA Facebook page with more specific ways you can get involved. In the meantime, feel free to email me anytime with your ideas, questions, or concerns at [email protected].

Happy New Year!
Scott Hietpas
President of FCCA

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