This year marks Fort Collins’ 13th annual Winter Bike to Work Day, the day when bikers everywhere look Mother Nature straight in the face and don’t even think of flinching.

And given that this is Colorado, we reward this behavior with free bike lights and breakfast. This year is no exception, as there will be over 40 stations for brave cyclists to grab breakfast from 7:00-9:30 a.m. on their way to work or school.

In the past, businesses such as Snooze; Peace, Love and Little Donuts; Ripley Design Inc. and the Otter Shop have participated in fortifying riders during their chilly commute, but the City of Fort Collins has not yet released their list of breakfast stations for this year. When they do, you’ll be able to view your map to free food here.

In the meantime, you can still get free bike lights from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Northside Aztlan Community Center, which is located at 112 E. Willow St. The same day, they also offer classes for how to handle riding in the winter from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

However, if you’re a bit on the south side of broke, here’s a couple tips for winter biking that the city offers for free:

  • Wear moisture-wicking clothes that pull water away from you (so, not cotton, which doesn’t do as much to keep you warm).
  • Wear waterproof pants to insulate you and provide an extra layer of protection.
  • Buy some decent wool socks and glove liners to wear under thicker gloves. Is this more money to spend? Yes. Is it worth it to be able to feel your fingers and toes once you get where you’re going? Also yes.
  • Speaking of layers, LAYER IT UP. Since we all live in Colorado, I figure this one’s a given, but still worth mentioning. Maybe even considering bringing an extra change of clothes to switch into once you arrive, I’m sure you’ll appreciate being able to shrug into clothes that aren’t damp and chilly. As an added benefit, your coworkers will thank you, too.
  • Finally, and I can’t stress this enough: Get fenders for your bike. Trust me, I learned this lesson the dumb way during my freshman year of college on the first day I biked to class in the snow. I had a dingy stripe allllll the way up my back, as did my backpack. And, being a college student, I’m sure you can guess how long I put off washing that.

So, bike on, my winter cyclists! I hope you’re not out and about today, but we’ll see you on Dec. 11.