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Old Man Winter Can’t Keep Cyclists Off The Streets

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CHICAGO (CBS) – No matter what the weather, some hardy Chicagoans are still out riding their bicycles.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger caught up with some of them Tuesday morning, after Chicago had been hit with up to 7 inches of snow, and temperatures had dipped as low as 20 below zero around dawn.

“It builds character,” said Jake Smith, as he stopped at Daley Plaza, where the Active Transportation Alliance was giving out free hot coffee and cheesecake for its annual Winter Bike To Work Day.

Fewer cyclists than usual showed up, but one cyclist recommended it.

“It’s less expensive than car ownership, and it’s good exercise,” he said.

He said he even rode briefly a couple weeks ago, when the infamous polar vortex caused temperatures to plunge as low as 16 below zero.

“You have to take extra precautions for that. … The cold you can deal with, it’s the slippery road that’s the most problematic,” he said. “If you have the right gear, it’s doable.”

Michael O’Leary recommended bundling up and riding fast in winter.

“It’ll warm you up,” he said.

The only weather O’Leary won’t ride in is torrential rain, or when there’s a glaze of ice on the street.