Skip to content

What It’s Like to Bike at 20 Below

All it takes is the right equipment to stay warm and safe on a bike, even in the middle of a polar vortex, these brave St. Paul cyclists say. Here’s what you should wear.
No, this is actually fun.
No, this is actually fun.Jim Mone/AP

They know you think they’re crazy. But riding a bike during a polar vortex isn’t lunacy, winter cyclists say—it’s fun.

“It’s pleasant,” said Melissa Wenzel, who commutes to her job at Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency in St. Paul about 7 miles each way on her bike. “I’m actually more cold in a car that hasn’t been heated up than I am on a bike, because you’re moving.”