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robtown 02-19-07 05:43 PM

I had to know
 
How it'd be to ride my MTB on frozen sleet and snow. Seven miles of my commute are unplowed MUP. Last week we had 2 -3 inches of mostly sleet that froze solid. With the melt and refreeze there is some hard crust on most of it.
Tonight I rode to the nearby state park and tried it out. I was never so happy to have seat post suspension then when bouncing over the crunchy foot prints. When I got some smooth sections it was smooth sailing. Halfway in I rode past the barriers and across the golf course shortcut. It was fast smooth sailing until I slowed down too much and the tires cut in - instant brakes!
Cutting back to the road I passed the boat ramp to the iced over Potomac river then headed home. I passed two groups of deer, 7 and 5 each. The closest watched me carefully from one side of the road as I swung wide and passed on the other.
Bottom line - I might get to work late after a 12 mile commute but I wouldn't be worth much.

Jet Travis 02-19-07 05:46 PM

I hear ya Robtown. I'm down here in C-ville, and my driveway is still a skating rink. Should warm up and get nice and muddy in the next few days.

Floyd 02-19-07 09:52 PM

I finally got out a while yesterday...had to carry my bike across the ice in front of my north facing garage. I too had fun, but on dry streets. keep on riding.

europa 02-19-07 10:08 PM

You do realise you're nuts :D

Mind you, here in Adelaide, we get excited if we get snow that melts before it hits the ground. Cripes, a decent rain makes it to the news reports and you have to strap an airconditioner to the bike to ride in 'cold' conditions :D

Richard

robtown 02-19-07 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floyd
I finally got out a while yesterday...had to carry my bike across the ice in front of my north facing garage. I too had fun, but on dry streets. keep on riding.

My front door is facing north also. The snow/sleet had poured off of the roof 2 feet high and froze into a solid mass - blockading the door. To get my bike out I had to spend an hour chopping blocks of ice out with a mattock.

Quote:

Originally Posted by europa
You do realise you're nuts :D
Richard

Nope, that's my wife's job.

Terrierman 02-20-07 02:41 AM

So was it a little smoother on the ride over the Potomac?:eek:

East Hill 02-20-07 03:43 AM

Snow isn't too bad if it's not badly crusted. That crust has got some sharp edges, don't fall off! Ice on the other hand, is very, very tricky.

My knee has finally recovered from the hard landing of what, six weeks ago?

East Hill

rbrsddn 02-20-07 06:12 AM

I went out Sunday on sheer ice trails and had a blast with Nokian 294 studded tires on my MTB. I was amazed at the amount of traction available! I hope it freezes solid this weekend! :)

BlazingPedals 02-20-07 06:39 AM

The last year I commuted by bike, I had a helluva problem with icy roads, so I broke down and got some stuffed tires. They were great! Went from going down nearly every day to 'nonce' a week! (That is a word, right?) The other thing they were good for, though, was making all the ice go away. Kind of like when you pack an umbrella to make sure it doesn't rain. I used them for 2 weeks and then it all melted, and I haven't seen icy roads like that in the 5 years since.

tsl 02-20-07 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
so I broke down and got some stuffed tires.

I'm hoping you mean studded tires. I love mine too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
The other thing they were good for, though, was making all the ice go away. Kind of like when you pack an umbrella to make sure it doesn't rain.

I'm still working on my weather influencing powers. I bought my Nokians in October and kept them handy and ready-to-mount in the living room of my apartment until mid-January. This seemed to hold off Old Man Winter for a while. I just didn't have the strength in my weather powers to hold it off any longer.

Last weekend I took my summer tires to the basement storage. By 9:00 this morning, we're already in the mid-40s on a forecast high of only 35.

I'm keeping the fenders on my commuter this year since last year, every time I took them off, it rained.

Tom Bombadil 02-20-07 12:10 PM

I was pondering what one might use to stuff a tire.

rbrsddn 02-20-07 01:01 PM

I use Cannoli stuffing, in case I get hungry on a ride.:p

stapfam 02-20-07 03:32 PM

Cannot talk from RECENT experience as snow and ice and weekend riding have not occurred this year. Riding in freshly fallen snow is not a problem- even if it is frozen, unless it is over the ankles when pedalling. Ice is not too much of a problem providing you ride sensibly and have a low pressure wide tyre on it. Frozen packed ice with Footprints, Car tracks or other shapes frozen into it is tiring. It is ridable but the effort it takes to keep the bike on line and moving forward is tremendous.

Must have been about 1995 and I went up on the hills on New years day. 1" of ice on the road getting to the hills so it was ride as much as possible on the grass verge or on trails to get to them. When we started offroad, it was no different to our normal rides except there was no give in the trail. If you came off- it was a hard landing. Then we came across the Water filled ruts on the trail- covered in a couple of inches of ice. "Surprising how much weight 2" of ice can take"-said one of the riders jumping up and down on the ice. That was about 2 seconds before the ice broke and he was up to his knees in Water. Ever ridden with the Hair on your legs frozen together- He did for about 10 miles on the way home. We literrally had to lift him off the bike as his shorts had frozen too with the splashes. We now regard him as a fair weather rider as we don't see him in the winter now.


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