Waterloo councillor takes the chill out of winter cycling

Diane Freeman has been cycling regularly for three seasons

CBC News

December 15, 2017

City of Waterloo's Diane Freeman, Ward 4 councillor, dresses in layers for her morning commute to work. Her attire includes windproof and waterproof jackets and pants, which she wears over her work clothes. (Joe Pavia/CBC)

A little snow, a strong wind or even a wind chill factor only means another layer of clothing for dedicated winter cyclists like Diane Freeman, city of Waterloo's Ward 4 councillor, who bikes between roads and trails on her daily commute.

Freeman told Craig Norris, host of The Morning Edition on CBC Radio, that she has been travelling on her bike for the last three years — all in the name of good health and as a means of transportation.


For those who say they don't want to bike to work because of how they'll look when they get there, Freeman says “Our impression of what we’re going to look like is not exactly what it is.” (Joe Pavia/CBC)

"I made a decision a few years ago that I wanted to take weight off and maintain it, and my number one activity to do that is cycling," said Freeman.

"Each way [the commute] is 3.3 kilometres to work. And to city hall it is about 6 K [from my home]."

For her winter ride she uses a two-wheeler known as a "fat-bike" that she settled on after testing different wheel diameters.

After testing out different wheel diameters, Diane Freeman felt the 'fat-bike' was the safest for her winter ride.

What to wear for the winter bike ride

Freeman dresses in layers for her winter bike ride, which she wears over her work wardrobe, which is usually a dress. Those warm layers include waterproof and windproof jackets, leggings, waterproof pants, a balaclava, riding gloves, winter boots and, of course, a helmet.

Diane Freeman's winter bike wardrobe includes waterproof and windproof jackets, leggings, waterproof pants, a balaclava, riding gloves, winter boots and a helmet. (Joe Pavia/CBC)

For those who would still rather keep their bike stored for the winter and not show up sweaty with bad hair, Freeman said it's not as bad as people might think.

"I left the house fully ready for the day. I'm in a dress. I have makeup on, I pulled my hair out of the helmet and gave it a little run through with my fingers," said Freeman.

"Our impression of what we're going to look like is not exactly what it is."

Click to show more
Waterloo Coun. Diane Freeman started cycling throughout the winter three years ago and hasn't looked back. She explains why.  5:56

CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices
Report Typo or Error
Start the day smarter
Get the CBC News Morning Brief, the essential news you need delivered to your inbox