Wow. This Michigan winter has been brutal. Coldest, most snow, longest stretch of below freezing days, in over 100 years. It's kicked my ass! And I am SO glad it's over!
Last October I sold my broke down pickup and bought a Recumbent delta trike(1 wheel in front and 2 in back), knowing that it's what I'd be riding it in the snow. I'd never gone car free for full winter, on a bicycle. Let me tell you, this winter hit me hard, showing me every single mistake I made. And oh did I make plenty! I didn't realize how poor my traction would be on that front wheel. Until I'm trying to get thru 4" of snow, front tire turned 45° just to go straight because the rear was only 1 wheel drive, and every time I'd pedal, the bike would turn left! Surpringly, the road tires did admirably even without studs. If the trike had been an actual 2 wheel drive, I would have not gotten stuck at all. Sadly, that was the only positive surprise!
Derailleurs that looked perfectly dry were frozen solid, so much of the Winter, my 21 speed trike was a manual shift 2 speed!
Rear brake calipers that looked perfectly dry were dragging unmercifly, so part of the Winter was spent with front brakes only. Remember, the front wheel that had to be turned in order to go straight on slick surfaces?
But, truth be told, none of that mattered much. I learned that a bike with a 32" wide rear end was useless in the winter unless I was willing to ride in the streets all the time. Without fully functional brakes and shifting, I was NOT going to spend much time in the streets. Nope, it was almost all sidewalk for me. Or so I thought. See, people don't shovel sidewalks around here much. And if they do.... they shovel a 9" wide path, if they are being generous. Of course, there were many many many days that were simply too cold. So, I only got 50 miles of riding in for the last 14 weeks!
So, this spring and summer are going to be spent making up for lost miles, and on correcting the many many deficiencies in my winter time carfree plan!
I got my ass handed to me this winter every time I thought about going for a ride! I'm grateful for a few generous friends so I could get where I needed to.
Anyone else get their clock cleaned by not being prepared?