To Pete Saunders, it makes perfect sense – despite what his wife thinks. Saunders, a 36-year-old project manager at Ameriprise Financial, bikes 28 miles a day between his home in suburban Eagan and his office in downtown Minneapolis. A few days of subzero windchills in early December didn’t slow him down at all.
“Once the winter starts up again, she starts in with, ‘Why are you doing this? When are you going to stop? Don’t you think it’s time?’” Saunders said of his wife. “It always surprises her – she thinks this is the year I’ll get some sense.”
Saunders isn’t alone. Cyclists are an amazingly common, if still startling, sight on Twin Cities streets even on the most frigid days. “You start to notice that you’re part of this small, fun, elite community,” said Sascha Bates, who began biking the 7-mile round trip to her job at Target Corp.’s downtown Minneapolis headquarters last winter.
To fully understand the phenomenon, I decided to try it for myself. I’ve lived in Minnesota the majority of my life, but never had I steered a bicycle across ice-covered streets. I viewed those who did as at least a little insane.