Get to Know the Winter Cyclists and Ice Bikers

In the winter of 98/99 conducted a survey of winter cycling using an automated web page which tallied answers to the twenty questions printed below.

The survey was first posted only on the Icebike mailing list. After the membership of that list responded, the survey was made available to the internet as a whole via postings in bicycling groups on Usenet.

The survey attracted 406 entries over the course of the winter, and the results stayed (percentage wise) largely as they appear here over the course of the survey period. There was no significant change in the percentages after posting to usenet than prior. There were no obvious attempts to induce a bias, and analysis of the resulting raw data did not show any indication of duplicate voting.

There was one error in the engine which caused the question Average Days Per Week that you Ride in Winter? to be under reported by about 6 in the 2 to 4 day category. This was detected early on, before the survey was widely advertised in Usenet, and Icebike list members were asked to privately email the webmaster if their selection of this category did not show.

The following definition was stated. We asked all respondents to adhere to this definition to help keep our survey meaningful:

Winter Cycling: By this, we mean riding bicycles in snow and winter rains and on ice in temperatures below 40F (5C).

Several questions were designed so that data cross-checking could be achieved. For example the answers to the distance and time questions stand the test of reasonableness, as well as what we know about winter speeds.

Remarkable results include the number of new icebikers, those with less than two years experience. This tends to suggest what several winter cyclists have noticed – a growing popularity of icebiking. Either that, or no one can stand it for very long.

Also notable is the tremendous gender gap. Wider than the (already substantial) perceived gap in cycling populations in summer, the imbalance drew much comment on the Icebike mailing list.

The high incidence of helmet use went almost unnoticed.

Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding





Why do you Ride in Winter (most relevant reason)


Years of Routine Winter Cycling (discounting once-a-year rides etc.)


Average Days Per Week that you Ride in Winter


Average (out and back) Distance of your Winter Rides(miles)


Average (out and back) Time per Ride


Your Normal Cold-temp Cut-off point for winter rides


Your Coldest Ride ever


What winter condition will cause you to cancel rides (most frequent)


What Was Your Worst Winter Cycling Accident?


How many Bikes do you own


How many Bikes do you use for Winter cycling


Do you wear a helmet for Winter Cycling


Do you ride after dark in winter


What pedal system do you most often use in Winter


In snow and ice, which tires do you use most often


Where is Most of your Winter Riding done


How would you classify your Winter Bike(s)


How did you hear about this Questionnaire


Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author John Andersen by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

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