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  1. #1
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    Getting VERY Restless

    How bad can the roads be and still be "safe" to ride? Since December, all the roads in our area have varied from ice sheets (due to an early ice storm) to fresh snow to packed snow and any combination. I've got a Hardrock, so it should be up to riding a less than optimal surface. I've been accumulating the necessary items for cold and dark riding. The only thing holding me back from trying my first winter ride is the condition of the roads. I REALLY want to get out and do something, but am a bit nervous about riding roads where the conditions will be changing so often. The weather is finally climbing out of the single digits, at least for the next few days.

    I am still a newbie though, as I only bought the bike in October and have only ridden in a couple of times - I didn't have the necessary cold/dark gear for late fall/early winter riding. To say that I'm a bit frustrated at the moment is an understatement. I WANNA RIDE MY BIKE!!! Since I haven't been able to try riding, I've been focusing my energy on hitting the weights and finishing the basement. But to restate my point, I WANNA RIDE MY BIKE!!!

    Okay, rant off.

  2. #2
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Well, I am in southwest Iowa and I plan on being on rollers through February, or at least a few good rains to get the sand/salt/crap off of the streets and especially in the corners where it is the easiest to crash. If you are only riding bike trails it wouldn't be so bad.

    I have been riding on my rollers since December. This is a personal decision, and I think you really need to look at the streets you will be riding to see if they are clear enough.
    2007 Jamis Ventura Comp
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    Swim, Bike, Run and sounds like fun

  3. #3
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    Just try it. Go for a few short rides around the neighborhood, maybe to the store or something, to get the feel of the bike and your gear. Make any adjustments you feel are necessary and continue building from there until you're doing what you want. Not every ride needs to be an Epic or a Century.

  4. #4
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    Buy some studded tires and away you go. I have been riding all winter without any problems. You just have to play it safe and you can do pretty well. Fresh unplowed snow is a blast to ride through. The thing I hate is the ruts that cars leave.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixpro View Post
    Just try it. Go for a few short rides around the neighborhood, maybe to the store or something, to get the feel of the bike and your gear. Make any adjustments you feel are necessary and continue building from there until you're doing what you want. Not every ride needs to be an Epic or a Century.
    yeah, just go. I'm lucky to live in an area where prolonged freezes are fairly rare (not as lucky as when I lived in Southern California, though), so really bad conditions usually don't last more than a couple of days. Single-digit temps and bad ice will keep me home, but snow is usually navigable. If you live in a place where offroad riding is possible, try that--trails and dirt roads often aren't as packed and icy as pavement. And as the other post said, studded tires will help a lot. I don't use them because our conditions don't really call for them, but I've tried them a couple of times and they work well.

  6. #6
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    Do you think that studded tires would be a marked improvement over my already fairly aggressive knobbies? Recall from my first post that I've got a Specialized Hardrock - the tires are already wide with a lot of tread. Do you think it would help to air down a bit, or should I keep the tires at max pressure (80 psi)?

    FYI, I charged up my headlight and am going to try to get a ride in either this afternoon or tomorrow evening.

  7. #7
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    My bad, I always think about rode bikes on the road with skinny tires and limited traction. If you have wide tires with some decent tread, go have fun, but be careful. There will be some slick spots, so just pay attention to where you are and slow down a little early.

    Have a great ride!!!!
    2007 Jamis Ventura Comp
    2006 Jamis Explorer 2.0
    2000 Specialized Hardrock (bought used)
    Swim, Bike, Run and sounds like fun

  8. #8
    Senior Member teamcompi's Avatar
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    Put studs on the sucker and ride till the sparks fly, then swap out for some smoothe rubbers....and see how much faster you are.

  9. #9
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    Ahhhh. . .

    I put in a short ride this afternoon - about 3 miles in 20 minutes. Unfortunately my trail was unridable due to the snow, so I just motored around town a bit. I realized about 10 minutes in that I had overdressed - rookie mistake. But it's nice to know that with my current gear I would be comfortable in colder temperatures if the roads are okay. Right now it's ~32 deg and sunny with a 5 mph breeze out of the south. Overall a good ride, other than my being so out of shape (technically oblate is a shape, but I digress. . .). And now I feel so much better :-)

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Are the roads really snowy/icy all the time? Around here, they're either plowed/salted after a storm, or the cars and the wind clear the roads off within a day or two. If there's no snow/ice on the road (the part where the cars drive), you can ride there with any kind of tires you have. I have studded tires, but the only time I really NEED them is right after a storm. The rest of the time, I have them so I can ride on side streets, trails and frozen lakes, but I don't actually need them to ride on the main roads.

    I would reccommend that you NOT ride on slippery roads if you're a new rider. New riders fall a lot, even on good pavement. (At least I did! ) Sliding out and ending up under a bus or in front of an oncoming car is not a good place to be. Ride on trails, parking lots, alleys--any place you don't have to worry about traffic--until you have a few hours of riding experience. Learn the limits of wheels on ice, and work on stopping, starting and turning.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  11. #11
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by besserheimerpha View Post
    Do you think that studded tires would be a marked improvement over my already fairly aggressive knobbies? Recall from my first post that I've got a Specialized Hardrock - the tires are already wide with a lot of tread. Do you think it would help to air down a bit, or should I keep the tires at max pressure (80 psi)?

    FYI, I charged up my headlight and am going to try to get a ride in either this afternoon or tomorrow evening.
    One thing with studs, you need to check your state/provincial laws, they may not be legal on streets, for example they are not here in Ontario, Canada. Although I doubt many cops would even know to check a bicycle for studded tires.

  12. #12
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    This year we've gotten more snow than normal, and in a town of 900 people, only a couple of main roads have enough "traffic" to wear ruts all the way through to the pavement. I've had ice/snow on my driveway since early December. And the gravel road I live on is always at least partially covered. In a normal winter, it probably wouldn't be an issue.

    I did hit a few slick spots, but was able to get through them without incident. I really like that about my Hardrock - even as a novice rider, I feel very controlled on the bike.

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by besserheimerpha View Post
    This year we've gotten more snow than normal, and in a town of 900 people, only a couple of main roads have enough "traffic" to wear ruts all the way through to the pavement. I've had ice/snow on my driveway since early December. And the gravel road I live on is always at least partially covered. In a normal winter, it probably wouldn't be an issue.

    I did hit a few slick spots, but was able to get through them without incident. I really like that about my Hardrock - even as a novice rider, I feel very controlled on the bike
    .
    My first bike was an old Hardrock and I really liked it. If you get the studs, you're going to want to head out to a frozen lake to ride. That's when the fun really starts!

    But you're doing great. To me, one of the best feelings is when I get out and ride somewhere that I was apprehensive about. You'll never forget your first winter ride!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  14. #14
    Senior Member landshark1's Avatar
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    Since you too are in Iowa, the BRR Ride is this coming Saturday. It goes from Perry to Rippey & return. See you there! Check it and other Iowa rides at: www.bikeiowa.com

  15. #15
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    If you've got ice, get studs. I ride year round in Anchorage, and many ride in rougher climates. Glaze ice is not a problem with studs. It rides like concrete. Rhyme ice is annoying, but ridable. Everything can be ridden through except deep drifts or very bad chunder.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  16. #16
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
    If you've got ice, get studs. I ride year round in Anchorage, and many ride in rougher climates. Glaze ice is not a problem with studs. It rides like concrete. Rhyme ice is annoying, but ridable. Everything can be ridden through except deep drifts or very bad chunder.
    You eskimos and your 30 words for ice! What are Rhyme ice and chunder?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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