With winter biking sub-theme, I went in by remembering what happened to me last semester when I tried to bike. From most of what I gather from memory, I had a hard time biking in the winter because of the ice. I ended up fell once with my bike 4 feet away from me.
Then, I started to read IDEO bootcamp to have a better vision of interviewing process. After understanding all of the steps as well as mindset for the interview, I began writing down my question. The questions focus strongly on making the interviewees think deeply into what they don't pay attention everyday.
-Tell me about your experience biking in the winter?
-How do you prepare your bike before winter? Can you walk me through those steps?
-What do you think about biking in winter?
-How do you maintain your bike in the winter?
This series of question is made based on observation as well as empathize mindset. They would be added by the question "why" constantly throughout the interviews.
I started my interview on Friday, however, it was super hard to stop people from moving on their bicycles. I tried to visit Varsity bike shop, but they were too busy to answer my question and asked me to come later. After a long time of looking for biking people with an awkward situation with a Chinese man (as I approach him, he looked at me clueless and pedaled away), I found three different interviewees as I was wandering around bike racks on Washington Ave.
Tyler, computer engineering major, spent a lot of winter biking in North Dakota (his hometown)- mountain bike
- He finds winter biking is just like every other season, since he has already used to the winter.
- Ice is the main thing that makes biking harder because it is slippery.
- However, he does not prepare his bike before winter comes at all.
- It is a little bit challenging to bike when the temperature drops to 0 or negative because when pedaling really hard, you can feel the cold in your lungs. It would be very bad if one hasn't been doing much physical exercise.
- To maintain his bike, he adds W40 oil to his chain so it won't be rusty. When it is rusty, it would be hard to bike as well as bring down the quality of the bike, which effect on safety.
Jeffrey, undecided sophomore, was biking with friends to buy Chipotle.- mountain bike
- He doesn't like biking in the winter, it takes a lot of work and time to change tires or put the bike away. So he chooses to walk.
- The effort to put into biking is too much compare to walking, which is a lot easier.
- As he used to bike in the winter, he recommends to put wheel guards so the ice won't splash onto your legs as well as changing tires for better traction.
- To maintain his bike, he will put oil on it as well as avoid getting a lot of snow and water on it because it will rust.
Byron, graduate student and work at industrial front desk.- utility bike
- He loves biking in the winter since he wouldn't have to worry about crashing his car. Also, he believes that putting good tires on a bike would be easier to control than a car.
- To prepare his bike, he thinks putting on sturdy tires is the only thing that he would do because it is good gripping the ice depends on weather. He would also change his chain in the winter because they wear out really fast.
- Skinny tires have less control the big ones.
- He thinks biking in the winter is fun and everyone should do it because you can be outside.
- To maintain his bike, he sprays salted water on the bike to get snow off his bike. He thinks that it is a lot more effective than just sweeping them off, since it has salt in it.
"It is a little bit challenging to bike when the temperature drops to 0 or negative because when pedaling really hard, you can feel the cold in your lungs"
Tyler needs a new way to cover his nose and mouth when biking, or something that keep his lungs warm.
"He doesn't like biking in the winter, it takes a lot of work and time to change tires or put the bike away. It leaves nothing but a big mess. So he chooses to walk."
Jeffrey needs a new, simple way to keep his bike clean, ready for winter as well as a process to do this without leaving a big mess.
"He would also change his chain in the winter because they wear out really fast."
Byron needs a new way to keep bike chain from getting rusty too quickly.
Also, from observation, I found a lot of people have an urge to spit whenever it gets to intersection because the cold air makes their saliva sticky and hard to breathe by mouth.
By my experience from biking since last winter, I found that there are three main things that I must always keep near me. They are gloves, a beanie, and face mask( or scarf).