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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 01-21-05, 09:01 AM   #1
aiguy
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Ped Footprints in the Snow -- I hate 'em!

This was my first week riding in the snow, and I was using with Nokian H106s. The tires were great, no problem at all with traction on any reasonable surface.

What's unreasonable, you wonder? I enountered something I never expected despite cruising the winter biking forum here and icebikes. I must have overlooked it somewhere.

Snow fell heavily during the day on Weds, and by the time I started home, pedestrians had clomped all over the MUPs I take for much of my journey home. That includes some *very* hilly parts that I normally work moderately hard to climb. I figured that my knobby/studded Nokians would allow me to make short work of them. Not so!

What I had not anticipated was that the ped footprints had created uncountable little hills and valleys which had frozen in place by the time I got to them. On the flats, this produced a very bumpy ride. On the hills, well, it was horrible -- nothing flat enough to get any real traction. Lots of sliding back, difficulty with balance, had to mash to make even very minor forward progress.

By the time I got home, I had really hurt my knees - I don't think I'll be riding while they recover. Anybody have any ideas how long tendonitis (self-diagnosed) takes to recover from?

Anyway, I learned my lesson -- I'll take the streets and avoid the footprints next time.
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Old 01-21-05, 09:06 AM   #2
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My overuse injury from to mutch mashing took 3/4 weeks to go rideing w/o hurting myself again.
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Old 01-21-05, 10:30 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your injury. Hmm....Overuse? how many miles was the ride?
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Old 01-21-05, 11:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by XzEn54321
My overuse injury from to mutch mashing took 3/4 weeks to go rideing w/o hurting myself again.
Yikes -- sorry to hear it! Hope it doesn't take that long in this case.
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Old 01-21-05, 11:43 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your injury. Hmm....Overuse? how many miles was the ride?
Not many at all - little less than 9 (each way, but going to work was no problem at all) - my usual fall/winter commute. I think I killed the knees on one particular 1/2 mile stretch where I just had to stand and mash to keep the bike moving forward with the slipping on the tiny footprint hills. Looking back, I should have dismounted and walked it up. But having never walked it before, I was sure I could just power on through it. Mistake.
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Old 01-21-05, 12:03 PM   #6
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You might be trying to hard. Do like I do, think like a slow moving tank and just roll over them. Applying to much power can cause problems. I know its slow, but thats what works for me.
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Old 01-21-05, 01:18 PM   #7
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I know exactly what you mean. I ride on this stuff all the time. I finally ended up with Nokian 296 Extreme's, a bike with front suspension. And to go any distance. I had to get a really good seat post shock absorber. I run my tires at 22 psi front and 25 psi back. It still is a hard workout. But I do it by choice for a workout when I want to. I don't have to ride on it. I have ridden as far as about 15 miles over 3" bumps, but it took me all day and I was exhausted. whew!
This is winter riding!
The slower the better, yes. Patience is important. Iím talking first and second gear most of the time. I hope your knees feel better fast.
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Old 01-21-05, 01:29 PM   #8
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Do cars drive over this stuff too? I would think cars would smash and melt most of the footprints away. Just ride in one of the car lane tire tracks. If there are any.
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Old 01-21-05, 01:29 PM   #9
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I know exactly what you mean. I ride on this stuff all the time. I finally ended up with Nokian 296 Extreme's, a bike with front suspension. And to go any distance. I had to get a really good seat post shock absorber. I run my tires at 22 psi front and 25 psi back. It still is a hard workout. But I do it by choice for a workout when I want to. I don't have to ride on it. I have ridden as far as about 15 miles over 3" bumps, but it took me all day and I was exhausted. whew!
This is winter riding!
The slower the better, yes. Patience is important. Iím talking first and second gear most of the time. I hope your knees feel better fast.
Thanks - this is great info and advice (and from GoJohnnyGo too). I never even thought about the suspension (since I have none) and following my usual practice, I had the tires to max PSI (65).

And you are right -- though I forgot it til I read your email, I *was* exhausted. More than any other ride since I started commuting in July. Thanks much - I'll have to learn to slow down once I hit the snowy roads again.
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Old 01-21-05, 01:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by recursive
Do cars drive over this stuff too? I would think cars would smash and melt most of the footprints away. Just ride in one of the car lane tire tracks. If there are any.
He's talking about encountering these on a MUP, which I assume stands for "multi-use path," which do not allow motor vehicles. So, no other option, unfortunately.
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Old 01-21-05, 01:34 PM   #11
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Do cars drive over this stuff too? I would think cars would smash and melt most of the footprints away. Just ride in one of the car lane tire tracks. If there are any.
No, I was in the Multi-Use Pathways per my usual commuting pattern. So basically me and the ped tracks.

The road will beckon next time, though the road that parallels my usual pathways is one lane each direction, hilly, and twisty, so has its own risks -- especially on snowy days with panicky DC-area drivers... ("Oh no, gotta get home before this white stuff gets all over my car!")
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Old 01-21-05, 01:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by grolby
He's talking about encountering these on a MUP, which I assume stands for "multi-use path," which do not allow motor vehicles. So, no other option, unfortunately.
Oh sorry, never heard that acronymn before, assumed it was the name of a road or something. Carry on.
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Old 01-21-05, 05:23 PM   #13
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Yep. I know exactly of what you speak and they do suck. But if it's a rural path (say a rail trail), sometimes it's the best way to just get out there and really be alone with the snow and that's pretty priceless.
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Old 01-21-05, 07:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiguy
-- Anybody have any ideas how long tendonitis (self-diagnosed) takes to recover from?
Mine took about a week to go away for the most part and 2 weeks before the last little pang was gone. But maybe it took longer to heal because I was back on the bike in 3 days. I just took it easy for the next 2 weeks.
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Old 01-23-05, 05:46 PM   #15
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Mine took about a week to go away for the most part and 2 weeks before the last little pang was gone. But maybe it took longer to heal because I was back on the bike in 3 days. I just took it easy for the next 2 weeks.
OK, I like this number better! ;-)
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Old 01-24-05, 01:06 PM   #16
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i feel your pain i noly had about 4 miles of runner stomped footprint path this morning. it was on a nice flat path but even that convinced me i need to take the streets home as much as possible to avoid this section going home tonight.

a singlespeed did not help matters; unless you got a lower gear for the situation which i did not. what a workout!
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