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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 02-10-06, 01:44 PM   #1
Artkansas 
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I chickened out

It's been a nice winter so far. I even rode in the snow after it had snowed.

But this morning it was freezing rain, that later turned to falling snow and I finally walked to work rather than rode.

My justification was that I would get less wet walking in a raincoat than pedaling on a bike. And I did see something that looked like a small ice patch at the bottom of the steepest hill on my route. It was exactly 32 degrees according to the sign on the bank.

So all in all it was probably a wise decision. But I'm wondering what to do so that next time I see weather like this, I can be ready for it.
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Old 02-10-06, 04:27 PM   #2
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Yeah, I would rather ride at 15F than at 33F and rain ... that's the worst.

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Old 02-10-06, 04:46 PM   #3
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If it's a combination of freezing rain and snow.
You can let a little air out ....this will allow more 'footprint' to contact the road surface.
Go waaaaay easy on the brakes, very light on the fronts if at all. Give yourself loads of stopping room and an escape vector whenever possible. (even if it's a crash route)...I'd rather go into the ditch than pile into the back of a car.

Now when the ice is down you NEVER EVER want to come off the seat causing your back wheel to spin and you to plant. Unless you can ride out a back spin then it can be kinda fun. With some snow over top that gives you a surface your tire treads can grab onto if even a bit. Down that steep hill, you might want to try and control the speed on the way down, I've gone down hills dragging my back tire in a full lock up and staying up by having a foot on the ground, depends on the amount of ice. If you are riding up to an ice patch, relax, don't go all stiff or your back muscles will hate you from the stress. Go straight across it, if you are totally worried about it coast across with one foot down ready for planting. Every weather can be ridden through, if your prepared and calm.

When it's been really snowy I will sometime follow in the tire tread of the car that has gone before me.
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Old 02-11-06, 12:07 AM   #4
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I don't know traffic-jammer.
"Every weather can be ridden through, if your prepared and calm."
I can't handle those real heavy snows. The subdivision is impossible, because the roads aren't plowed. I've circumvented that problem by walking the 3-4 blocks. Usually the main roads are plowed, and I can make it. But there's usually 1-2 days a year, when I just don't want to risk it. However, I almost always make the decision on the side of biking.
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Old 02-11-06, 04:25 PM   #5
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Maybe try it on your day off so you don't have to worry about getting to work on time? Bikes really do handle a lot of conditions. You have to go to the extremes in order to find the limits.
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Old 02-12-06, 05:41 PM   #6
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Pedaled too far.
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Originally Posted by Roody
Maybe try it on your day off so you don't have to worry about getting to work on time? Bikes really do handle a lot of conditions. You have to go to the extremes in order to find the limits.

I understand. It's not likely I will have much chance to try till December though. Of anything, I was mostly concerned with getting too cold and wet. Maybe I need to watch for some rain pants to go with the rain coat.

Ice at the bottom of a steep hill did have me worried though. I suppose I could walk that part.
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Old 02-13-06, 08:27 AM   #7
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True, the city shutting snows can be a bit much, but if you give yourself extra time, you can be the only one in the office to have made it in...lol (if you so desire) I've ridden in a foot of snow...it's totally possible....not easy but possible. First time you should do this is when it's storming outside, on the week-end of after hours just tool around the block to get the feel for it. Hey if they can race 350 miles in Alaska, we can get to work in the winter. There are days that people think I'm nuts for riding ni but if you yourself are bundled up properly, it can be an amazing adventure. LOL.

AS A BONUS..... on days like that there are no cars on the road and I've been alone to slip and slide home, just me and the plows....so no music. Following the plows are a blast and crashing into a pile of snow is a hoot. Have fun with it first though before you try commuting in it.

Wind and water proof clothing is the rule. Booties are your friend..... try to get breathable wicking type clothes of you will be a sweatbox inside half a block.
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Old 03-20-06, 11:39 PM   #8
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Ice at the bottom of a steep hill did have me worried though. I suppose I could walk that part.[/QUOTE]

a place to chicken out, definitely. i once saw a guy going downhill towards traffic lights, one of the busier crossings here, then the lights changed red, the guy hit the brakes, flipped and slided across the crossing road, luckily the cars had trouble accelerating too, so the guy was saved by about a foot, the bike wasn't.
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