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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 12-09-07, 06:44 PM   #1
Melalvai
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Rode in an ice storm

Not the brightest thing I've ever done. I'm not real experienced in all kinds of weather, and I don't have the gear for it. Just a good old commuter bike with hybrid tires.

But I got a good story out of it, and I love telling a good story.

I spent the morning chopping 6 pages out of a 16-pg grant. It got bloody. Then I checked the weather to see when the best time to get groceries would be. The best time would have been that morning. An ice storm was scheduled to start any minute and wouldn't abate for a couple days. We were completely out of food so unless we were going to eat the cats, I was going to get groceries.

Take the car? It's clutch is going bad. Would I rather be left pushing a bike & trailer home, or stuck at a stoplight with a trunk of groceries, unable to get it into gear? Of course I biked. My husband just rolled his eyes.

My goggles iced up on one side pretty quick. But otherwise, getting to the store was no problem.

Coming home, it had gotten dark, and the roads were getting slick. Still, I didn't encounter too many problems until I noticed my rear wheel slipping more and more often, until I was no longer getting any forward motion, and finally had to stop before I went down. Getting off the bike without falling, and pushing it up the rest of the hill without sliding down, were no easy challenges.

Funny, I had a steeper hill later on, but no problems getting up it. I guess because of the wind direction & houses or something.
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Old 12-09-07, 09:33 PM   #2
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Sounds a bit like my Thursday. Overcast, cold, but dry in the morning. Mid-morning, snow. Afternoon was all ice. I got to the bus stop, then had to ride 3 miles to the dentist for a root canal and cap, about half of it in an ice storm (thankfully, I had goggles with me), then I had to ride another 9 miles home after that on unpredictable ice, snow, slush, and frozen snowplow debris. I had to hike it up one hill where there were no sidewalks, too much traffic, and snow too deep to get a good grip on.
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Old 12-10-07, 05:37 AM   #3
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I haven't ridden in one lately, but I have a story.

I think it was about 3 years ago. It was December, but it had been dry, so the roads were perfectly dry, and we had very little snow on the ground. The temps were in the upper 30s, and I rolled out my Trek 520 road bike. I was about 15 miles into it and it started to drizzle. I was about 7 or 8 miles away from home so I figured I'd be ok, and I was dressed pretty well for it.

As I was standing to climb up a small rise, I felt the rear end getting squirrely on me, but again, I was on my way home and didn't pay it much mind. As I was coming into a small town I had to ride down a small hill, I hit the brakes a little and just toppled over. I was OK, but the bike slid down the road for 40 feet or so. The road was covered with a solid sheet of ice at that point. A 4 wheel drive truck was trying to get out of his driveway down the road, and couldn't move an inch. Everything was dead stopped. All you could hear were sirens all over the place.

I couldn't even walk on the road. I had to push my bike the last 6 miles home by the side of the road, and even the footing there was difficult. A cop came by when I was a mile or so from my house and asked if I was Ok. I said sure, and he looked at me kind of funny. I didn't realize till I got home that my hair was a solid block of ice. He said something about how they had over 100 calls in 5 minutes when the storm started, and to be sure and watch out for any traffic that might come up behind me.

Actually, If I remember correctly, I got to ride the last 1 mile or so home. By then the plows had come out and were just dumping tons of sand on the roads. So the worst of the storm only lasted a half hour or so. But it was something to see.
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Old 12-10-07, 07:58 AM   #4
Melalvai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
Sounds a bit like my Thursday.
We got that storm too, probably a couple hours after you (Columbia). I thought the Slushy Mush was a bit of an adventure, but that was before riding in Saturday's ice storm.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:16 AM   #5
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Saturday night is the only ice we got, and it was pretty much weaksauce by the time public works got done dropping the 20-megaton salt bomb on us. The pavement was basically dry here in KC this morning. You ready for what's next? Things are supposed to really get going around 6pm here, so if it holds together, you guys are probably in for some ice this evening into the AM hours.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:45 AM   #6
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We got this crap in STL today. I only fell once! This indeed verified that bridges freeze before roadways. Luckily the pannier with my clothes took the fall pretty well.

Anyone know places where the Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires are actually in stock?
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Old 12-12-07, 10:40 AM   #7
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Studded tires in ice will be superior to travelling by cars without chains. The only problem is some car will probably slide right over you.
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