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Old 11-27-07, 11:10 AM   #1
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Icy Boise Commute + Nokian 106 + Giant Nail Flat = 1.5 hours

First commute on ice was very timely this morning since I was up until midnight last night coercing my fenders to fit with my nokian 106's. I stupidly left my 23mm slick on the rear and almost ate it a couple of times as a result. Then I flatted by having my tire safety pinned by an 8 penny nail. Then the sun was directly shining off the ice ahead so I new cars could not see me so I had to reclimb the bench and take an entirely different route. Overall....1.5 hours for a 13 mile commute. That flat and then retracing my route added a lot of time.

Any other ice commuters this morning?
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Old 11-27-07, 11:25 AM   #2
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I hit a little ice until I got onto the main roads- then just wet. Not bad even with my slicks still on. Pulled the rear brake for fun slide into the icy parking lot at work. I might throw on some MTB tires for the rest of the winter. I figure Boise has less than 20 days on slickness so no need for studs, but my commute is only 2 miles.
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Old 11-27-07, 12:52 PM   #3
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I hit a little ice until I got onto the main roads- then just wet. Not bad even with my slicks still on. Pulled the rear brake for fun slide into the icy parking lot at work. I might throw on some MTB tires for the rest of the winter. I figure Boise has less than 20 days on slickness so no need for studs, but my commute is only 2 miles.
Glad to hear it was not too bad for you. I can't imagine what route you took where you found no ice on the main roads. Ustick was icy as heck. Then when I got to the greebelt it was even worse.
I start at Meridian Road and take ustick to Curtis, then Chinden to the Greenbelt, then the greenbelt past BSU to the Alberstsons corporate building.

What route do you take?
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Old 11-27-07, 01:39 PM   #4
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Down Irene St.(icy) to Harrison(wet) to 16th/Americana(wet/ice). Not far but lots of traffic and a dreaded leftside bike lane. This will be my first winter on my Xtracycle. I read the longer wheelbase can help with slick handling.

Out on the bench and further is higher elevation and this may acct for more ice. Lots of wreck's out by Meridian area (Ustick,Black Cat etc.)
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Old 11-27-07, 02:05 PM   #5
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Only ice this morning was from the jacka**es at the morgage company's building near my office. They lack the foresight to turn off their water sprinklers in 20F degree weather so there is a sheet of ice about 30 meters long across the entire 4 lane road. Otherwise, we're still ice free but when it comes, I'll switch to the MTB and take the green belt (our system of urban trails)...not that it's safer but I'm less likely to be seen if I bust my arse.
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Old 11-27-07, 02:12 PM   #6
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I too have learned the hard way that Nokians have little to offer in flat protection. Mind you, not a lot will stop a determined nail.
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Old 11-27-07, 02:27 PM   #7
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I too have learned the hard way that Nokians have little to offer in flat protection. Mind you, not a lot will stop a determined nail.
True that. I think this thing might have gotten through an armadilla. It is huge.
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Old 11-27-07, 02:28 PM   #8
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Down Irene St.(icy) to Harrison(wet) to 16th/Americana(wet/ice). Not far but lots of traffic and a dreaded leftside bike lane. This will be my first winter on my Xtracycle. I read the longer wheelbase can help with slick handling.

Out on the bench and further is higher elevation and this may acct for more ice. Lots of wreck's out by Meridian area (Ustick,Black Cat etc.)
Interesting....I have only seen a couple of extracycles in the area lately. One was leaving the Broadway Baja Fresh while I and a couple of friends were going in for lunch a couple of weeks ago. That wasn't you by any chance?
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Old 11-27-07, 02:47 PM   #9
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I got up too late and skipped it this morning. It looked like it would have been fun. My studs are still in storage.

First day I rode on my Gator Ultraskins I got a nail through both the bottom and side of the tire. No flats since then.
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Old 11-27-07, 03:13 PM   #10
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Interesting....I have only seen a couple of extracycles in the area lately. One was leaving the Broadway Baja Fresh while I and a couple of friends were going in for lunch a couple of weeks ago. That wasn't you by any chance?
Nope. Mostly downtown and the Northend.
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Old 11-27-07, 03:52 PM   #11
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I leave home at about 9am for my 2-1/2 mile commute, which is mostly on Emerald and Five Mile. Both were in pretty good shape this morning. Some side streets were icy in spots, but nothing too serious.

My 1.95" Specialized Armadillos have worked well for the past few Boise winters, which I believe have been milder than normal. I am considering studded tires but am not too keen to lose the flat protection that the Armadillos provide, even if it is only for a month or so.
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Old 11-27-07, 06:27 PM   #12
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Yeah! Boise bike commuters! Woohoo! If you are ever up through New Meadows, stop by Mud Creek Outdoor Gear. I'd love to meet you guys!
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Old 11-27-07, 11:08 PM   #13
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Swapped my gator skins for Nokians tonight for Thursday's snow/ice ride. It's nice having spare wheels.
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Old 11-27-07, 11:57 PM   #14
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Daaaaam! You did NOT have a nice commute!! I'm still into the leaf "barf" commute (my poor bike and rainpants are just covered - ick) and just finally hit some decent high winds this evening that have now subsided, but I should be hitting some nice icy areas tomorrow morning, and if not then -- then the rest of the week on my commutes. I mean I'm ready for them, and personally I'd rather have snow and snow-ish stuff instead of a rainy, dark commute home ... guess it will take the first one of the season that will "break" me in I guess.

Just bought a bike that I'm turning into a commuter and one of my purchases this weekend SHOULD be studs for it - but I'm not pleased by the older cantilever brakes (1993 ish Giant Acapulco mtb) - thinking what to do - but definitely putting the bike rack on it with my trunk. I want a truly commuter bike and not use my mtn (which I have some other nicer parts to put on it) for all the day to day stuff ...
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Old 11-28-07, 12:07 PM   #15
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Glad to see more Boise commuters in here. I read "Icy Boise commute" and feared the worst. Glad it was just a time/tire change issue, Sawtooth, and not a "man down" situation.

I didn't ride in on Tuesday (got up too late), but I rode in today, and there were definitely some shiny black sections that glared back at me. My normally sub-30-minute commute turned into a 40-minute parade-pace ride. My elbows are sore from pushing myself farther back in my saddle. Next time I know there's been some precip and the thermometer reads 20, I'm riding the MTB conversion. Wider tires = better.

The weirdest part? Every road surface was frozen, except for the Mitchell hill just south of Chinden. They must've just coated it with de-icer, because that beast had a stream of water running down it. Going up that was like swimming a salmon run.
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Old 11-28-07, 12:50 PM   #16
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Yeah! Boise bike commuters! Woohoo! If you are ever up through New Meadows, stop by Mud Creek Outdoor Gear. I'd love to meet you guys!
Thanks for the invitation. I've lived in Boise for five years but have not yet made it up that way. Bike commuting is really the only outdoor activity that I engage in.

What are bike conditions like in New Meadows at this time of year? Or have the bikes been put away in favor of snowshoes and skis?
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Old 11-28-07, 12:59 PM   #17
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I bit it twice today on the way in. I should have ridden my bike with studs. Worn out cross tires fill up with slush and wham!
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Old 11-28-07, 01:57 PM   #18
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Whoohoo! I did not realize there were so many Boise commuters represented on this forum. Glad to have you guys here!
I did not ride this morning ; and I feel like crap because of it. Looking forward to the winter.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:01 PM   #19
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Glad to see more Boise commuters in here. I read "Icy Boise commute" and feared the worst. Glad it was just a time/tire change issue, Sawtooth, and not a "man down" situation.

Next time I know there's been some precip and the thermometer reads 20, I'm riding the MTB conversion. Wider tires = better.

The weirdest part? Every road surface was frozen, except for the Mitchell hill just south of Chinden. They must've just coated it with de-icer, because that beast had a stream of water running down it. Going up that was like swimming a salmon run.
Thanks!
So is your mtb conversion a single speed?
By the way, I LOVE the Mitchell hill. We have been taking that in the dark on our way home (up) lately and have seen a few commuters coming the other way (down). Wonder if one of them was you?
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Old 11-28-07, 02:12 PM   #20
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Just bought a bike that I'm turning into a commuter and one of my purchases this weekend SHOULD be studs for it - but I'm not pleased by the older cantilever brakes (1993 ish Giant Acapulco mtb) - thinking what to do - but definitely putting the bike rack on it with my trunk. I want a truly commuter bike and not use my mtn (which I have some other nicer parts to put on it) for all the day to day stuff ...
Personally, I really like canti brakes. They work just fine for me and are much, much better than the old wienmann center pulls on my dedicated commuter. If the older giant is what I am thinking of, you will probably love it. I maintain a similar Jamis mtb and commutted on it for a couple of years until I realized my deep love for drop bars.

If $ is an issue, you might consider running only one studded tire on the front; that seems to work pretty well for me as long as I am aware that I could be fishtailing if not careful.
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Old 11-28-07, 02:18 PM   #21
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I leave home at about 9am for my 2-1/2 mile commute, which is mostly on Emerald and Five Mile. Both were in pretty good shape this morning. Some side streets were icy in spots, but nothing too serious.

My 1.95" Specialized Armadillos have worked well for the past few Boise winters, which I believe have been milder than normal. I am considering studded tires but am not too keen to lose the flat protection that the Armadillos provide, even if it is only for a month or so.
I am running my Nokian up front with a Mr Tuffy liner in it. We will see how that will work. I suppose you could even double up on the tire liners. We have a real goat head problem here.
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Old 11-28-07, 03:05 PM   #22
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Here is a good blog from a Boise based cyclist. Some of you may run across it already.

http://bikenazi.blogspot.com/
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Old 11-28-07, 04:46 PM   #23
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Here is a good blog from a Boise based cyclist. Some of you may run across it already.

http://bikenazi.blogspot.com/
Nice, thanks.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:20 AM   #24
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Thanks!
So is your mtb conversion a single speed?
By the way, I LOVE the Mitchell hill. We have been taking that in the dark on our way home (up) lately and have seen a few commuters coming the other way (down). Wonder if one of them was you?
No, the MTB still has all of its gears. Much better for that Mitchell hill.

I would be heading down that hill in the evening, although I'm usually down that before 5 or 5:30, when it's still not completely dark. I haven't seen a group heading up it at the same time, so I've probably just missed you. But yeah, I do like heading UP it in the a.m. Gets my heart pumping and my head clear ... as clear as it's gonna get, anyway.

Idcruiserman, hope there were no injuries. The roads this morning were too messed up for me to ride in. I brought the car and will use it to run some errands during lunch....

+1 on the Bike Nazi's blog. He puts up some impressive miles on that bike. Cman=Clancy?
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Old 11-29-07, 09:42 AM   #25
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Thanks for the invitation. I've lived in Boise for five years but have not yet made it up that way. Bike commuting is really the only outdoor activity that I engage in.

What are bike conditions like in New Meadows at this time of year? Or have the bikes been put away in favor of snowshoes and skis?
A picture is worth a thousand words:
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