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  1. #26
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    cyccommute, this may sound crazy, but I've seen Coloradoans drive in snow, and I was very impressed with how well they do. It made sense to me, especially when the weather man in Denver said they were due for a little snow, not much, only about 12 or 13 inches.
    To be a tad nativist, it's not the people who were born here who are the biggest problems but the people who came here from elsewhere I grew up here driving stick shift rear wheel drive vehicles. Many people come here, get a 4 wheel drive and then think that physics doesn't apply to them.
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  2. #27
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    No doubt. I've seen that here, too. Too many people don't look at driving as a kinesthetic activity, thinking about g-forces and traction. I learned to drive a low-slung sporty car with RWD and stick shift. I didn't have any problem on snow, and that was a terrible car in snow. Some people think 4WD vehicles brake better than a 2WD car. Duh, all cars have 4 wheel brakes, so what advantage do you think you have?!
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  3. #28
    Senior Member scoatw's Avatar
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    Depends on when you hit the storm. If you ride in the middle of it. Then count on snowfall accumulation to not be too bad. If you hit afterwards, then it depends on what you end up with. Either way, if you get the 6-10 inches that they call for then plan on an adventure. I rode last week after getting 7 inches. I counted on the city to plow the main thoroughfares, which they did. The side sts were like riding in the Iditarod. Deep loose snow. I just put it into my granny gear and try to maintain a steady line down a tire track wrestling with the handlebars. My normal commute takes me 35 mins @ 7 miles. I gave myself an extra 20 mins which got me to work on time. A few years back we had a 12 inch snow and I left an extra 45 mins, and used up every bit of it. So you need to figure out how much extra time to give yourself. I wouldn't worry about flat tires in snow. If your worried about riding in traffic then don't do it. I have a hairy spot on my commute where I have to ride close to traffic for about a mile and a half. When the roads are bad I just go out into it. Watching the traffic in my mirror. If a car comes up I bail out into the side of the road, which usually has a snowbank, I steer right into it and stop. Letting the cars go around me. I give them all the right of way they want. Once it clears then I jump back out and ride some more. Like I said this is only when I leave work and the first 1 1/2 miles. The rest of the way home is side sts. and a main thoroughfare with 10' shoulders. I don't see any reason to take a stove and sleeping bag unless you plan on staying at work. I might take some food, because 11 miles might take a while. But if you did it I think things would be all right. Just do it safely, give cars all the room they want, and take your time. It'll be a good workout thats for sure. Good luck

    PS; others might ride without studs, but in those conditions I wouldn't consider doing it without them.
    Last edited by scoatw; 02-12-14 at 02:05 PM.

  4. #29
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Studs aren't absolutely necessary. Skills are but not studs.
    For snow,yes. But for ice you really want studs.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  5. #30
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    buzzman, you've broken chains? What do you weigh? The only chain I broke was when I was stoking on a tandem, and I understand it's not that unusual. Also, 9-speed and higher chains are more delicate, not only because of their slender dimensions but also because installing the pin is easy to do wrong.

    I'm 6'3" and 190lb. Both times the chain broke it was well under 10 degrees with heavy snow that had gotten about 8- 10"s deep with a compressed layer of snow and ice under it. I wouldn't rule out a poorly installed link the second time it broke because the first time it broke I did a side of the road repair in challenging conditions.


    Quote Originally Posted by cyccomute
    Studs aren't absolutely necessary. Skills are but not studs. I've ridden for 30+ winters without studded tires. That includes this little slice of "heaven"
    Regarding studs: I rode through 30+ years of New England winters and never rode studded tires. But I have to admit every winter I'd have at least one good fall that kept me off the bike for a week or two while my bruised hip/knee/wrist/whatever healed up.

    It was bike forums and my mountain biking brother in law that talked me into studs about 8 years ago. I love them now and can't imagine getting through this winter without them.

    Tonight on my ride home there were two strong, fit, accomplished looking riders on bikes with no studs riding the bike path ahead of me. I struggled to keep pace with them as they moved along the paved part of the path but was curious to see how they would fare once it got to the gnarly ice packed sections. They shot through a couple of flat icy spots but then hit the dimpled icy packed snow and down went the foot of both riders and they came to a full stop, moved aside and waved me through.

    I easily negotiated these sections and looked back later and saw one of them almost fall as they were crawling through stuff I flew through. I have okay MTB skills and above average road bike skills that have served me well but nothing beats studs on ice or packed snow.

  6. #31
    Let's Ride! RidingMatthew's Avatar
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    well.. folks i appreciate all of your input. (seriously)

    I drove home today. I left at 2:45 and made it to my house at 4:25 or so. One of the worse drives of my life. It normally takes 25 minutes. I don't think that I will even attempt to drive to work tomorrow by bike or car. I think I will burn a PTO day stoking the fire in the fireplace and hanging out with my family. I appreciate my job but not enough to drive in 10 inches (currently 4+ but more is to fall tonight) with ice. Work put a bunch of people in a hotel and I figure they will have to cover the work that comes in.

    I will get my bikes out and do some playing in the snow.
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  7. #32
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    If it weren't for the people who think they can drive in the snow, a bike would actually be a good choice for transportation in those conditions. We had 7 inches of snow this past weekend, and I wasn't about to drive anywhere, but I did take the mountain bike out Saturday to get groceries. I took side streets to avoid the traffic and the bike handled great, but I still had a couple of encounters with cars. I had no collisions, but I didn't like it because you could see them sliding.

  8. #33
    Not quite there yet Matariki's Avatar
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    Rode home with about 2" of fresh snow. Main roads were a bit slushy because of the treatment and traffic but the other roads were nice to ride on. I seemed to have plenty of traction on the virgin snow, even climbing out of saddle. Drivers were a bit weird; kept wanting to yield to me when I really wanted them to just go and get out of the way. From their behavior, I wondered if they really were having more difficulty than me. Power and a large tire to road contact can certainly cause problems. In any case, I was glad to get home. My face felt like it had been sandblasted.

    We had about 3 more inches and they're predicting ice overnight. I reckon I'll be walking to work tomorrow.
    Any information, no matter how good, will always under-represent reality.
    -paraphrasing J a r o n L a n i e r

  9. #34
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    I took a Citibike last week after a snow and it was squirrel-ly on the slushy snow. It was the first time I've been in snow since I had a bike just flip out from under me back in college in Buffalo NY, after the great blizzard of 77 (a blizzard like no other, read about it on wikipedia). There was no other way to get around, but bike was probably not a good idea either. Imagine 2 story high snow drifts.

  10. #35
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    For snow,yes. But for ice you really want studs.
    I've never found it to be an either/or situation. If there is one, there is usually the other. That said, it's possible with some care to ride across ice without crashing. You just want to avoid doing anything like trying to corner or stop suddenly.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Regarding studs: I rode through 30+ years of New England winters and never rode studded tires. But I have to admit every winter I'd have at least one good fall that kept me off the bike for a week or two while my bruised hip/knee/wrist/whatever healed up.
    How hard do you hit the ground? I'm no stranger to crashes in all seasons but, with the exception of getting hit by a car, the longest I've ever been off the bike is a day or two. I'm no spring chicken either.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    It was bike forums and my mountain biking brother in law that talked me into studs about 8 years ago. I love them now and can't imagine getting through this winter without them.

    Tonight on my ride home there were two strong, fit, accomplished looking riders on bikes with no studs riding the bike path ahead of me. I struggled to keep pace with them as they moved along the paved part of the path but was curious to see how they would fare once it got to the gnarly ice packed sections. They shot through a couple of flat icy spots but then hit the dimpled icy packed snow and down went the foot of both riders and they came to a full stop, moved aside and waved me through.

    I easily negotiated these sections and looked back later and saw one of them almost fall as they were crawling through stuff I flew through. I have okay MTB skills and above average road bike skills that have served me well but nothing beats studs on ice or packed snow.
    I homemade a studded tire about 25 years ago and never used it. I did buy a studded tire about 4 years ago and I've used it 3 times...twice this year. That tire will probably rot before I wear it out. I just don't find them all that useful nor absolutely necessary. A good aggressive mountain bike tire does a very good job on most of the conditions I've encountered around here.
    Stuart Black
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  11. #36
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Our entire metro area (Triangle, NC) was paralyzed by the snow/ice storm yesterday with many drivers stranded on highways for hours and/or abandoning their vehicles, similar to the situation in Atlanta two weeks ago. I was at a conference on the other side of town and had to drive. Fortunately I headed out at the first hint of snow and made it home in about 1 hour of driving (compared to 20 minutes in the morning), but I was one of the lucky ones. I won't be going anywhere today unless it's on foot.

  12. #37
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Our entire metro area (Triangle, NC) was paralyzed by the snow/ice storm yesterday with many drivers stranded on highways for hours and/or abandoning their vehicles, similar to the situation in Atlanta two weeks ago. I was at a conference on the other side of town and had to drive. Fortunately I headed out at the first hint of snow and made it home in about 1 hour of driving (compared to 20 minutes in the morning), but I was one of the lucky ones. I won't be going anywhere today unless it's on foot.
    As someone who rides all winter long I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge that feet work pretty well on all sorts of terrain and in all kinds of conditions. The wheel wasn't invented with the idea of traveling on snow.

    If the snow is deep enough then even feet alone won't cut it. Then it's time for snowshoes or skis.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  13. #38
    back in the saddle bent-not-broken's Avatar
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    Anything over 3 or 4 inches is tough to ride through. I can say from personal experience that our snow plows either don't see bicycles or don't care, as I have had to bale on to the sidewalk or I would have been 'plowed'. I pick my battles when it is snowing.
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  14. #39
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    I took a Citibike last week after a snow and it was squirrel-ly on the slushy snow.
    You did better than this guy.

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  15. #40
    vol
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    The weather seems to be playing a wicked joke at us: just when the snow has started to melt and the streets are about to be ridable, another snow comes. Thursday's snow has begun to melt much today, and just as I thought I may be able to ride tomorrow, forecast says tomorrow we'll have another 1-3 inch snow.

  16. #41
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Our entire metro area (Triangle, NC) was paralyzed by the snow/ice storm yesterday with many drivers stranded on highways for hours and/or abandoning their vehicles, similar to the situation in Atlanta two weeks ago. I was at a conference on the other side of town and had to drive. Fortunately I headed out at the first hint of snow and made it home in about 1 hour of driving (compared to 20 minutes in the morning), but I was one of the lucky ones. I won't be going anywhere today unless it's on foot.
    Yeah, we had some guys take a few hours to get out of Chapel Hill. I had a half-hour ride through Carrboro. I counted 7 abandoned cars between our house and the Durham Home Depot yesterday, including one Jeep Grand Cherokee that didn't seem to belong. Somebody best pick those up.
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