Photo by Yvonne Bambrick
Photographer Lisa Logan suited up for winter riding at Trinity Bellwoods park.
Sometimes even the most dedicated winter cyclists need some incentive to brave the chill and icy streets, and there's nothing that warms you more than a favourite meal. This is part of a dandyhorse winter series where we track the winter riding habits of cyclists and follow them along to their favourite restaurant, where they tell us about their favourite dish on the menu.
dandyEATS: Blizzards and bagels with Lisa Logan
Why and how do you ride in winter?
As a year-round urban cyclist, the same ol' rules apply to winter as with summer; it’s faster, more predictable and more fun, than say walking, using public transpiration or driving. Most of my winter rides tend to be within a 30-minute time frame. On slushy, messy days, once again I much prefer to traverse the pavement on a set of wheels than by foot. I opt for the automobile during heavy snow or when I am really feeling the bitter cold and dark days. But those days tend to lurk only during a few weeks in Jan. or Feb.
I continue to take my 6-year-old daughter on this Yuba “Boda Boda” cargo bike throughout the winter. With her snow pants, ski goggles and the fur on the seat, she's good to go. She also rides her own bike when appropriate. She has a merino wool balaclava that fits nicely under the bike helmet.
What makes it more challenging than summer riding?
Well the obvious stuff like windy, cold weather blowing in your face and slowing you down, the darkness falling a lot earlier. It’s physically more challenging and that can take its toll on your energy levels. Arranging your layers so that you are properly covered, but not constricted takes time and thought.
These are the challenges, but for me they aren't reasons to stop riding.
It can be a challenge, so when you do it and feel good [which is more often than you’d think], its kinda great.
What are your tips for new winter cyclists?
Pay attention to the road conditions and ride a bit slower. Layer up but don't over dress to the point of discomfort. Extremities and face need the most consideration.
Panniers on the bike are extra handy, as you can stash layers while inside or during the warmer part of the day.
Always have your lights with you, as you get caught in the dark a lot more frequently in the winter. Reflector tape and reflective accessories can help with safety too. It’s good to have clean hankies, cloths or tissues on hand for watery eyes and noses and slush-splashed footwear. When I am out for the day and riding to and from destinations, I sometimes throw a thermos of tea or hot lemon-water in my pannier. It can really warm you up and help you feel good for the ride.
Photo by Lisa Logan
What do you wear while winter riding?
In order to avoid over-heating and sweating uncomfortably when riding I prefer natural fibres. Layers of wool and fur feel really good. Vintage furs are a great idea too to cut wind, stay warm, and be stylish! The one I’m wearing is from Life of Manek on Dundas West. Some may question the ethical use of fur, but I think at least recycling the old furs is more environmental than [purchasing] newly over-seas manufactured, plastic clothing. I also wear thick sheepskin gloves to protect vulnerable fingertips from frostnip. And I lay out a sheepskin over my seat.
Topsy Farms in Ontario is a great source for sheepskins, gloves and woolens. For longer rides a set of hot shot hand or toe warmers go a long way for comfort. I always wear wool socks and boots that are weather-proofed throughout the winter. These No.6 brand of hand-made shearling lined boots (from Jonathan + Olivia on Ossington) are the ultimate for winter as long as it’s dry out. I don't even have to wear socks! Wool pants are comfortable inside and out. I tend to not layer with long johns as it can be uncomfortable once you get inside (unless you are heading somewhere where you can change.) Instead, I opt for a pair of cover pants (from MEC) with built in reflectors that I remove once I arrive somewhere. I often leave them in my panniers if I'm out. I usually wear a thick, soft, wool scarf wrapped around my head or some kind of a headband I have made, wool or sheepskin. This Pendleton scarf is a winter shield. Goggles to keep the eyes warm are a bonus. I got these motor bike ones at Town Moto on Ossington. For cool, stylish winter riding wear, I think its fun to look to motorbike or horse riding gear. They tend to get it right for extreme weather conditions.
What modifications do you make to your bike?
You have to clean the bike more often. I stick to this heavier, cargo ride, rather than my road bike. You may need to pay more attention to the brakes, chain and gears as cold, ice, salt and general road grime can do damage. It is also wise to keep tires a tad on the soft side for extra grip.
What do you do (or do you want to do) for a living?
I am a photographer. I generally photograph buildings for architects and designers. My web site is www.lisalogan.ca
Photo by Lisa Logan
What's your fave (winter) food and restaurant? Tell us about your favourite dish there.
One of my favourite lunchtime joints is Schmaltz Appetizing at Dupont and Howland, behind Fat Pasha. It's mostly take-out. It can get a little greasy/fatty and schmaltzy, so I feel good getting the exercise riding there and back. I go for a schmaltz bagel when I'm there, either the chub chub or the chazzer. The quality of the smoked fish is outa this world.
Photo by Lisa Logan
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