Bitter cold and die-hard bicyclists; is it ever too cold to ride?

Business is likely to be brisk at the Capital Bikeshare station on M Street SE near Nationals Park. (Robert Thomson / The Washington Post)
The Capital Bikeshare station on M Street SE near Nationals Park. (Robert Thomson / The Washington Post)

If you’ve been stopped in traffic in downtown D.C. or Arlington, or crossed the street in those places, you’ve probably noticed that people are still riding bicycles during this absurdly frigid month. A lot of those bike riders are on the bright red bicycles of the Capital Bikeshare program.

“Obviously, the weather has been a factor, but there are a lot of people that depend on CaBi for their daily transportation, so there are still lots of trips even on the worst weather days,” said Chris Eatough of BikeArlington, the Bikeshare’s division south of the Potomac. “Also, a three-minute bike ride is preferred by many to a 15 minute walk, or a 10 minute wait for a bus, on a cold day.”

He said some people who ride bikes regularly turn to Bikeshare when the weather gets nasty.

“Many people like to save their own bikes from exposure to the salty roads and instead choose to ride Bikeshare bikes,” he said.

Do the number trips taken with Bikeshare bikes dip as the temperature drops? We wondered, so we matched the numbers, using the daily low temperature. (Weekends are noted with *.)

Jan 1: 3,046 trips, low of 30 degrees

Jan. 2: 3,368 trips, low of 33 degrees

Jan. 3: 1,636 trips, low of 18 degrees

*Jan. 4: 2,275 trips, low of 17 degrees

*Jan. 5: 2,083 trips, low of 31 degrees

Jan. 6: 3,565 trips, low of 11 degrees

Jan.  7: 2,339 trips, low of 6 degrees

Jan. 8: 3,973 trips, low of 13 degrees

Jan. 9: 4,999 trips, low of 29 degrees

Jan. 10: 1,863 trips, low of 28 degrees

*Jan. 11: 1,974 trips, low of 37 degrees

*Jan. 12: 5,483 trips, low of 36 degrees

Jan. 13: 6,912 trips, low of 32 degrees

Jan. 14: 5,133 trips, low of 41 degrees

Jan. 15: 6,515 trips, low of 39 degrees

Jan. 16: 6,075 trips, low of 34 degrees

Jan. 17: 6,181 trips, low of 31 degrees

*Jan. 18: 3,361 trips, low of 25 degrees

*Jan. 19: 4,143 trips, low of 25 degrees

Jan. 20: 5,376 trips, low of 38 degrees

Jan. 21: 1,778 trips, low of 17 degrees

Jan. 22: 1,466 trips, low of 9 degrees

Jan. 23: 2,458 trips, low of 12 degrees

Jan. 24: 2,656 trips, low of 11 degrees

*Jan. 25: 2,280 trips, low of 22 degrees

*Jan. 26: 2,598 trips, low of 19 degrees

 

 

 

 

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.
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