Sure, it’s cold — but now is still a great time to jump on a Link bike

The Link Winter Warrior competition in its third year offers plenty of incentives to pedal through the winter. CONTRIBUTED

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The Link Winter Warrior competition in its third year offers plenty of incentives to pedal through the winter. CONTRIBUTED

Frigid temperatures and an occasional flurry may send some cyclists inside until the spring thaw — but not the Winter Warriors.

The Link Winter Warrior competition — in its third year — offers plenty of incentives to pedal through the winter.

“We’re trying to encourage people to ride all year long,” said Chris Buck, business development manager for Bike Miami Valley.

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Link Bike Share is Dayton’s public bike sharing system designed for short trips. Riders can pick up a bike at any station and return it to the same or any other station when they’re done. Membership can be purchased online or at any kiosk. The cost for unlimited 30-minute rides, over a 24-hour period, rings up at just $5. It’s a fun and healthy way to get from point-to-point quickly and economically.

Since Link began in 2015, more than 85,000 trips have been logged – more than 30,000 last year alone – but weather does cause a significant dip in the trip numbers. Prizes, raffles and bragging rights, however, have served as motivation for riders to pedal their way into the Winter Warrior competition that got underway in December and runs through Feb. 23.

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WORTH A RIDE

While all Winter Warriors log their trips on the standard green Link bikes, the grand prize for the competition – awarded to the person who takes the most trips – is a new cruiser bike from New Belgium Brewing Company. Haven't signed up yet? Not a problem as all Link members' trips taken during the three-month period will be applied to their count retroactively once they join the challenge online at www.linkdayton.org/.

Weekly prizes from local businesses are also awarded and participants are eligible for a variety of raffle prizes throughout the challenge. Five Link trips net riders one raffle entry.

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MALIK PERKINS/STAFF FILE PHOTO

MALIK PERKINS/STAFF FILE PHOTO

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MALIK PERKINS/STAFF FILE PHOTO

Prizes include an annual Link membership, a year’s worth of tomfoolery with Tomfoolery Outdoors and gift cards from local businesses like the Trolley Stop, Ghostlight Coffee and the Second Street Market.

“We like to partner with local businesses to highlight all the places riders can explore,” Buck said. “And show how very bikeable Dayton is.”

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SAFETY FIRST

Winter cycling has a few additional challenges as both road conditions and the temperature need to be taken into consideration.

‘The biggest thing is to watch for ice and be aware of your surroundings,” Buck said. “Take your time, if you’re aware and cautious, you’ll probably be fine.”

Preparation is key and layering is the best way to combat the cold and avoid getting overheated. A windproof outer layer, gloves and sunglasses are advisable. Buck – who has logged several winter rides himself – also suggests keeping your face covered for comfort.

“We want people to know, it might be cold, but you’ll be OK out there,” he said.

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LISA POWELL/STAFF FILE PHOTO

LISA POWELL/STAFF FILE PHOTO

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LISA POWELL/STAFF FILE PHOTO

LINK MEMBERSHIP RATES

Costs include unlimited 30-minute trips.

  • 24-hour: $5
  • Monthly: $10
  • Annual: $65

More info: www.linkdayton.org/


WINTER BIKE TO WORK DAY 2018

What: Ride a Link Bike or a personal bike for Winter Bike to Work Day. The Link Shop will be open with coffee, breakfast pastries and fruit for riders to enjoy. There will be space to park riders' personal bikes.

When: Feb. 7, 7-9 a.m.

Where: Link Shop, 4 S. Main St., Dayton

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