Winter Cycling - Has any of you nice people ever bike commute to work in a blizzard?
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11-30-02, 10:51 AM
I was just wondering if any of you fine people ever bike commute in a blizzard? How can you best prepare for this type of adventure?:confused:
I have, but the winds were almost too much to handle. Luckily, the snow hadn't got too deep for my studded tyres, so I was able to stay upright. Once snow gets really deep, though, you're better off with wide, bladed tyres (similar to mud tyres), to stay on top of the snow.
I went riding on wednesday in near-blizzard conditions, in my fixed-gear beater. It now has the studded tyres (Nokian, 700x35), flasher in the rear, battery powered cat-eye headlight in front, and running a 42x16 gearing. I was wearing my reflective orange vest on the outside, a hard-hat liner, and a dicky to stay warm.
I sure have. Riding in blizzards is a blast!
As D*Alex points out, though, after the snow gets too deep, you can't ride any more and it is less fun.
What's to prepare? Dress like you are going skiing. Use a mountain bike with the fattest tires you can find. Lower the seat a little. Under-inflate the tires. Have a ball!
11-30-02, 03:15 PM
yeah right !! you gota be joking :D
11-30-02, 03:39 PM
Wow.I have to commend you all. We think more than a little drizzle, even fog to be discouraging.. Can't even imagine peddling through snow, let alone a blizzard..
11-30-02, 05:55 PM
:eek: Have fun an watch out for the highway dept. snow plow if one gets you they won't find you til spring.Get way off the road the wing on the side of the plow is huge and yes I do ride in this type of storm on my way to work but I get a ride home to many people on the road.
11-30-02, 06:19 PM
No. Closest I've come is a time that I rode to work, and it started snowing in the afternoon. By the time I left there was a couple inches on the pavement. My bike had 700x35s, and I had assumed the typically wet snow would just smoosh out from under the tires, but no such luck. The ride home was a pretty tricky affair.
11-30-02, 08:42 PM
I ride fairly often in snow and snow storms, and I once rode in a real blizzard. I was visiting a client 20 km away.
Atcually, the hardest part is not the snow -- safety glasses are a must -- but the wind. I had a head wind both ways, and on my way back, I litterally crawled in first gear on flat ground. And when the wind turned 3/4 in my face, the bike had a tendency to slide during wind gusts.
11-30-02, 10:27 PM
I always ride nekkid.......so I don't do blizzards!
12-01-02, 12:02 AM
I rode home in a blizzard.When it first started I wasn't going to ride in it I threw my bike in the back of a co workers truck. But when it took us almost 2 hours to drive a mile I opted to jump out and ride it took me an hour and a half (about 1/2 hour longer than normal) to get home it took my co worker over 8 hours. Mike is right you need fat tires and lower the pressure and have fun! It is an adventure and A.Troll try it neked sometime it is an adventure you know
12-01-02, 03:04 AM
WTF is a "blizzard" ?
12-01-02, 05:02 AM
I bike to work here in Canada 12 months of the year. Snow is on the ground for about 5 of those months. I start work at 6:30 am so the traffic is minimal at that time of the day.
I have a winter bike and a summer bike. My winter bike is a 20 year old Norco Bigfoot with studded tires(the more studs the safer the ride) and a few reflection tapes on the frame .
Dress in thin layers as you would for any winter activity (cross country skiing etc)- but don't overdress. You will get hot quickly.
Goggles or glasses are a must - cold temps= squinting. Plus if the sun comes out you will be temporarily blinded. Also goggles protect you from sand or salt from passing cars.
Best advice I have is stay off the busy streets during a blizzard - stick to sidewalks - generally people in cars have enough on their minds durung a blizzrd without the added hazard of us crazy bikers.
Biking in any snow conditions is really a blast and a very good workout and it is catching on. I see more people each year doing it up here. Enjoy. Ron in Fredericton NB, Canada
12-01-02, 05:37 AM
Yes. One of the most dangerous times was when the wind was from my left side at about 35 MPH and then it stopped. I almost fell into the middle of the road. If a snow plow is coming in the same direction, try to get to the other side of the road before it reaches you. They put reflectors in the pavement here so when the snow plow blade hits them they make a loud thump. This gives you time to try to get to the other side of the road. Many times there are a string of cars behind the plow. This is another good reason to go to the other side and just wait it out.
bikingchef sounds like a real bicycle commuter. Welcome to the forums!
12-01-02, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by Chris L
WTF is a "blizzard" ? A blizzard high winds very heavy snow fall,cold temps. and snow plows.
Leo C. Driscoll
12-01-02, 05:28 PM
Michel Gagnon is right on! Wind with horizontal driving snow is the real challenge. I commute in snow storms with a Boeri ski helmet and high-end ski googles (they have a built-in micro fan that keeps them from fogging).
Only once did I attempt to commute in a Nor'easter (a particularly vicious type storm that can paralyse Boston). I was "motorcycling" west along the Charles River on a Raleigh touring bike (romantically called "Portage") with the wind reportedly gusting to 50 mph from my rear and left side. The bike path was swept clean of snow drifts. I was not peddling. Cars to my left were plowing along Storrow Drive (a dangerous artery like the "Surekill" expressway in Philadelphia). This slow moving traffic was just a blur. I tried braking yet my speed was extreme. A thrilling ride in retrospect- but I could not exult in it since I was too busy steering around black ice and rutted snow. Think of your first downhill on an MTB!
If I were to try that again I would want to be riding a Fisher Mt. Tam with 29-inch wheels with under-inflated WTB tires, disk brakes, and the pads and minimal brains I once used in college hockey. And of course I would get some vision from ski goggles and some courage from the Boeri ski helmet ;-)
BTW, I realize that the Boeri does not comply with U.S. CPSC safety standards, but intuitively if I had to go into a snowbank or a tree. I would rather be wearing the Boeri than a summertime, air-scooped teardrop creation from Giro.
I wonder what it would be like to be running with your back to a Nor'easter on a fixed gear bike?
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