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Biking in the Winter

Hello to all our bicycle commuters, enthusiasts, recreationalists, and those interested in sustainable transportation! January may not be the time most of us are thinking about bicycling, but members of our community are proving that bicycling in the snow is as fun as building a snowman. Speaking of bicycling in the snow, Winter Bike Day is scheduled for February—follow us on social media for more details!

Why Bike?

If you’ve looked out your window recently, you may have noticed a layer of air pollution filling the valley. Vehicle emissions are a major contributor to poor air quality, so less driving means cleaner air. Bicycling is also a great way to improve your health; it provides exercise, time outside, and is a great de-stressor. It is important to note, however, that bicycling outdoors should be avoided when air quality is determined to be unhealthy. You can find current air-quality conditions here. On bad air days, consider taking public transportation instead of bicycling. Your U Card provides free access to UTA bus and TRAX services and you can bring your bike on board!

Winter bicycling is not just for the hardcore go-getters (you know who you are)! Anyone can enjoy winter biking if you prepare appropriately.

How do I bike in the winter?

First off, here a couple great resources for bicycling:

Outdoor Adventures at the Student Life Center has mountain bikes, bike helmets, and bikepacking gear for rent.

Campus Bike Shop provides bicycle maintenance at affordable prices.

Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective sells refurbished bicycles at affordable prices, bike parts, and teaches hands-on classes for bike repair and maintenance.

For riding in the winter, remember these tips:

  • Wear multiple layers, and pay attention to your hands and feet as they get cold faster
  • Avoid ice or add studded tires to reduce your chance of slipping
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Use reflective gear and lights (front and back)

Bicycle Utilization on Campus

Twice a year the Sustainability Office counts all devices parked at bicycle racks and secure indoor rooms on campus. This study includes the Main Campus, Research Park, and Health Sciences areas, and utilizes volunteers in order to document details about every bike parking space on our large campus.  Thank you to our volunteers!

The study provides the University with data to determine low and high demand parking areas, route utilization, and trends in sustainable commuting over time. A link to an infographic with the most recent study results is here. Some findings of interest include:

  • Electric bike and electric scooter use increased 93% from 2019 to 2021
  • Kahlert Village is a new hot spot for bicycle parking on campus
  • Bike Parking capacity increased 9%, with 371 new parking spots

If you have questions regarding bicycling on campus, need help planning a route, or want to talk about your experience walking or biking on campus, please reach out to Ginger Cannon, active transportation manager, at