First, the Basics
101 - comfort & function
Do me a favor? Google "winter biking in _________" and fill in the blank with Finland, Copenhagen, Sweden, Norway and see what images come up. You might notice that all the people have a similar upright posture. That's because they are professionals at biking 365 days a year and when they ride with a perpendicular back to the ground, they have better balance and the tires behave better.
As far as biking with kids, we have done it all: bakfiets (Dutch box bike), trailer and child seat. For reasons such as rust & salt, comfort and safety, we like the trailer the best. No matter if you slip a little, your kiddo will stay upright and warm in the trailer. But if we had an older bakfiets where we weren't worried about salt & rust, we'd definitely choose to use it most often.
Share Bikes are Perfect for Winter Biking
And there are 30 bike shares open through winter! Seriously, these things are tanks with wide tires, fenders, a chain guard and who cares about salt when you don't own the bike.
Plowing is Everything
Choose your route based on plowing. There's a great chance that all the streets are plowed but sadly, unless you live in Minneapolis, Montreal or Madison, the paths and sidewalks are most likely not done as meticulously. And if not, tell somebody about it.
Kids are Resilient
Seriously, we grownups are wimps. Kids are always game as long as they are warm and comfortable.
Now, the fun stuff!
All you need is a back rack and a bungee and you're in business to cross country ski by bike.
Sledding by Bike is convenient
Walking to the hills is even better, but nothing says "hero" to your anxious kids that you can pull right up to the hill without waiting for a parking spot.
Riding in snow is Romantic
A good snow cover deadens noise and changes the city canvas, two conditions that make for a quiet, scenic bike ride with your sweetheart.
Fires and adult beverages
Life is too short not to gaze at fires and be social outdoors.
Your bike is your freedom
Not only are these riders all women, what I love about this picture is that if you remove the bike, these ladies look like they're dressed to walk, get on a bus, train or in a car. Business as usual.