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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 01-17-09, 03:45 PM   #1
wolfchild
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I broke through the ice today, brrrrr....

So I went for a ride today it was -14C, I came across this large flood plain, normally this area is dry but the river has overflowed and everything was ice. For the last few days we've had temps of around -25C.
So I went on riding and everything was going fine until all of the sudden my front wheel went through the ice , I went in almost waist deep into the water. I got out and my pants were just soaked and my boots were filled with water my gloves got soaked also. I had some spare clothing but it was just too cold to strip and change. I was 5 km from my home the temp was -14C. So I just got on my bike and peddalled as hard and as fast as I could , I knew that the only way to avoid getting hyporthemic and getting frost bite was to move very fast. I got home without any problem. Wheww... thank god I was very lucky.
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Old 01-17-09, 03:49 PM   #2
Ryan McEachern
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Crazy Canuck.
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Old 01-17-09, 04:33 PM   #3
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Doesn't that suck?

I had something like that happen to me a few years ago. I was out on some ice over a large bay and just happened to ride over a soft spot and sploosh. I had to jog home and come back later and get the bike. I remember the sound of the ice cracking still.....
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Old 01-17-09, 04:35 PM   #4
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thats a travesty. i feel for you
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Old 01-25-09, 06:50 AM   #5
Teemu Kalvas
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When you do that, it's often warmer to run to safety, not ride, because you won't get so much windchill.

On January 5th this year I had no choice, as it was about 4 metres deep where I went through the ice, and sadly my bike sank during the time it took me to get back on the ice. Oh, and of course it was the coldest day this winter too, at somewhere near -15 C.

The bike did float for a while because it had an Ortlieb handlebar bag, but sadly the handlebar bags are not really watertight the same way as their pannier bags are, so eventually it filled with water.

Recovering the bike will be an interesting exercise. The hard part will be finding it, as summer visibility in the Gulf of Finland is typically so poor that you can't see your feet when diving.
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Old 01-25-09, 07:59 AM   #6
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I feel for you guys who've been subjected to this. I thought I had it tough a month ago when I cycled through a 50+cm deep puddle of 7C/45F water. I held my pannier clear out the water, rolled my trousers up and took off socks and shoes. I had to let my feet dry first (in the wind) before being able to put my shoes/ socks back on again in order to avoid continuing to have wet footwear.
Personally, I would just choose not to cycle across a frozen lake.
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Old 01-25-09, 08:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerous Dave View Post
Personally, I would just choose not to cycle across a frozen lake.
Well, neither would I, would I happen to be riding somewhere in England. Furthermore, this wasn't a lake, this was the ocean.

Back in the war either us or the Russians drove a battallion of armored tanks across a bit of the ocean in a surprise move. The metre of ice did not mind.
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Old 01-25-09, 08:47 AM   #8
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Somewhat unrelated, but my brother and I, as teenagers, used to ride our bikes in circles on a frozen lake, until we wore the snow away to the bare ice. We fell often, but never broke through the ice.

I also rode my bike out to my step-dad's ice-fishing shanty, because it was too far to walk.

This was in Michigan.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:31 AM   #9
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Since you had other clothes with you, you would have been much better off to strip down and replace the wet stuff. I would have been cold for a very short time, and the dry clothes could possibly save your life.
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Old 01-25-09, 08:08 PM   #10
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I once broke through the frozen surface of a deep puddle. My front tire dropped maybe six inches, the bike stopped short, and I was thrown face forward over the bars. I was lucky to land on my chest rather than my face. It was quite painful. Funny how something seemingly so benign can be one's undoing.

Wolfchild, I'm glad you made it home ok. At least now you have a good story to tell the kids.
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