Friday, December 09, 2005

Attempt number 1

I tried. And failed.

I left the house pretty excited about riding in the 5 cm of snow we got last night. With my new Snow Stud tires, featuring 100 hardened steel spikes, I carried my bike over the snow bank, mounted it and started rolling. I was smiling at everyone I went past. Shoveling the driveway obviously didn't fill people with the same joy, judging by the looks that were being returned.

It was tons of fun and unpredictable. I felt like I was learning to waterski for the first time. I rode a few blocks, then after nearly falling over 3 times (it was sort of a continuous falling over), and having very little choice which direction my bike would head, I decided it wouldn't be safe for me to ride on the busier minor unplowed streets. There was no glorious wipe-out, just a decision from higher levels. My brain does this sometimes.

I wish I didn't have to give you this report, but don't despair! I will return to snow covered roads. I think I need to spend some time practicing on the weekend. Maybe I was choosing the wrong part of the road to ride down, or maybe I just need to get a better feel for it so I can balance better.

Part of the problem was that I was riding on the hard packed tire tracks left by the cars. It felt steady until the packed snow started to break away under my tire. Then my tire would slip down to the asphalt level, in a way that I didn't expect. I'd loose my balance and weave to the left or right.

After I decided not to ride, I turned down a less busy street and went for a quick spin through some powder. What a great feeling. It felt like too much fun to be part of my morning commute. I'll have to wait until next time to prove that idea wrong.

Darren J 12/09/2005 01:13:00 p.m.


That's too bad it didn't go better with the snow stud tires. I've been hibernating indoors today so haven't gotten to try slipping sliding around today.
Yah, stay away from wheel ruts. I used to think that was the way to go until, as if by magic, both wheels went out from underneath me on a busy road grinding traffic to a halt. The fresh snow is where its at, as long as its not to deep. There's lots of argument whether thicker or thinner tires work better. Myself, I run an 700x30c knobby and I cut right through the snow, some people prefer a wider one to float more. There's only really one truism to winter riding: Its not if you fall down, its when.

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