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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 10-20-04, 08:51 AM   #1
clevernamehere
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Newbie Winter Cyclist - First Ice Ride!

Got my studded tires on the weekend & was looking forward to my first ride in the snow (we got LOTS of snow over the weekend). Unfortunately I had a horrible cold for a couple of days but...

I rode my bike to work this morning, my first ice/snow ride of my life. It was -4C (25F), no wind to speak of. The roads were covered with slush that had frozen solid over night. I was definately over-dressed. I forgot to take into account that I'd be working harder & riding slower (less wind chill).

It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. It helps that I left at 5:30am when most people are still sleeping - I had maybe 5 cars pass me (I definately want to get a mirror - it's not easy sholder checking when you're trying to stay up-right in frozen ruts). My commute typically takes 25 to 30 minutes on dry roads. It took me 45 minutes this time with a slightly longer route to avoid the non-cleared paths I would normally take.

It looks like I can postpone licensing my 2nd vehicle a little longer. Come to think of it... maybe I should just get rid of the 2nd car... we'll see... still not sure about riding when it's -40C.

Thanks to all the ice bikers on this list for the inspiration you have provided! Without reading about others' success stories I probably never would have tried it.
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Old 10-20-04, 09:00 AM   #2
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Welcome clevernamehere! (I like your screen name. Its original.)

Saskatoon is hard core! We are getting a nice contingent of our Canadian brothers on BF. Very nice to see. Have fun and stay safe! Oh, and post some pics over on the First 04 Winter Snow Ride Pic contest thread

So, what are you riding for winter?
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Old 10-20-04, 09:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by N7CZinMT
Welcome clevernamehere! (I like your screen name. Its original.)

Saskatoon is hard core! We are getting a nice contingent of our Canadian brothers on BF. Very nice to see. Have fun and stay safe! Oh, and post some pics over on the First 04 Winter Snow Ride Pic contest thread

So, what are you riding for winter?
I'm riding a Marin Larkspur I just bought this past June. I have to admit I cringe (sp?) a little putting it through these conditions, especially the road salt, but the main reason I bought the bike if for commuting. I figure I save enough by bike commuting to more than pay for additional maintenance on the bike.

I don't have a digital camera, but I'll try to get some pics. Maybe I can borrow my Father-in-law's new camera - I'm sure he'll gladly lend it to me when I tell him I want to take it with me on my bike on the icy streets
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Old 10-20-04, 09:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by clevernamehere
<snip>
I don't have a digital camera, but I'll try to get some pics. Maybe I can borrow my Father-in-law's new camera - I'm sure he'll gladly lend it to me when I tell him I want to take it with me on my bike on the icy streets
Ah yes. Great way to impress the in-laws!
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Old 10-20-04, 10:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevernamehere
I'm riding a Marin Larkspur I just bought this past June. I have to admit I cringe (sp?) a little putting it through these conditions, especially the road salt, but the main reason I bought the bike if for commuting. I figure I save enough by bike commuting to more than pay for additional maintenance on the bike.
I'm a strong opponent of the "winter beater bike." You need a good bike in the winter even more than in nice weather. You just need to maintain it. After every messy ride, wipe down the bike. Concentrate on the drive train. Drip (don't spray) chain lube on the links.

Also, get a good bike repair manual. I recommend Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. I use his road bike book. But you should look at a few other books at the libarary or your local book store before deciding what will work best.

And instead of paying the LBS to do a repair, consider buying the supplies and tools, and then doing it yourself. You will save even more $$$ in the long run, and you will learn self-sufficiency. I am a complete klutz, but I have learned how to do almost every repair I would need to do.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 10-21-04 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 10-20-04, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevernamehere
I have to admit I cringe (sp?) a little putting it through these conditions, especially the road salt, but the main reason I bought the bike if for commuting. I figure I save enough by bike commuting to more than pay for additional maintenance on the bike.
I worked it out by not buying a 2nd car I saved about $6500 a year. I have to earn over $10,000 before tax (Mr Martin and Mr Klein need their share!) to have that money left over to spend $6500 a year on a car. At that rate I can have a lot of bikes rust out from under me before I start to worry.

Nice having you here. Glad to see the Riders doing well.
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Old 10-20-04, 10:57 AM   #7
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Good to see you here clevernamehere. I just dropped my bike off this am for some for Nokian Tires. So tommorow morning should be my first ice bike. We are supposed to get rain today so that should be interesting. Probably worse off being in the tin can than on a bike. I have to admit this board is a real inspiration to "just do it."
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Old 10-20-04, 11:02 AM   #8
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I'm a strong opponent of the "winter beater bike." ...
...I recommend Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance... instead of paying the LBS to do a repair, consider buying the supplies and tools, and then doing it yourself. You will save even more $$$ in the long run, and you will learn self-sufficiency. I am a complete klutz, but I have learned how to do almost every repair I would need to do.
Beater bikes don't seem to make much sense to be either (what's the point of having a good bike if I use a beater for 90% of my riding?)

Thanks for the tip about the bike maintenance book - sounds like a good idea. I don't hesitate to tackle some pretty major repairs on my car, but somehow I'm a little intimidated by bike parts - they seem kinda fragile. A good book should help, and I'll take any excuse I can find to buy new tools!

What's your take on storing the bike inside vs outside? I think I could get away with storing my bike in a heated underground parkade at work during the day. I left it outside today because I was concerned that if I brought it inside it would "thaw" but not have enough time for the moisture to dry completely before I head home, thus freezing things up.
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Old 10-20-04, 11:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SaskCyclist
Good to see you here clevernamehere. I just dropped my bike off this am for some for Nokian Tires. So tommorow morning should be my first ice bike. We are supposed to get rain today so that should be interesting. Probably worse off being in the tin can than on a bike. I have to admit this board is a real inspiration to "just do it."
Thanks for the welcome SaskCyclist! Rain hey? Should make things nice & slick in the morning. Sounds like you'll be putting those new Nokians to good use right away!
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Old 10-20-04, 12:03 PM   #10
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Welcome to the dark side. May your winters be sub-zero and snowy. Rock on!

I agree with what Daily Commute says he speaks the truth.
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Old 10-20-04, 09:26 PM   #11
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Unless the bike can dry completely, leave it outside all the time. I brought mine inside maybe two or three times last winter (in Regina) to give it a good clean, but only when I knew it would be long enough to thaw out. R
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Old 10-21-04, 07:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SaskCyclist
Good to see you here clevernamehere. I just dropped my bike off this am for some for Nokian Tires. So tommorow morning should be my first ice bike. We are supposed to get rain today so that should be interesting. Probably worse off being in the tin can than on a bike. I have to admit this board is a real inspiration to "just do it."
I hope you'll give us a report on the trip!
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Old 10-21-04, 08:11 AM   #13
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Although I did get my share of "what a fruitcake" looks from coworkers and bystanders alike, the ride was actually very uneventful. It rained a good portion of the night but the temp stayed around 0. The roads were a little wet but that is it. Ya gotta love the rumble studded tires make going down pavement. I am sure I will be putting the tires to use in the future.

Have a great day.
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Old 10-21-04, 09:59 AM   #14
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I say bring the bike inside. I left mine in a sheltered place outside for the first part of the winter, but sometimes parts froze, so I brought it inside. My commute is only 20-40 minutes (depending on route and conditions), so I rarely have trouble with frozen parts when I store the bike inside. If your commute is longer than that, I'm probably the wrong one to ask.

If it's wet when you bring it in, wipe it down, paying special attention to the chain, gears and deraileurs. I put plastic floor matting where I store my bike to catch grease and water drips. For work, either steal some paper towels from the bathroom, bring your own, or bring a grease rag for the job.

And I'm glad I gave you an excuse to buy tools.
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Old 10-21-04, 11:01 AM   #15
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Thanks for the tips Daily Commute.
Yesterday I left my bike outside. It was cold enough on the ride in that it didn't realy get very wet. It also warmed up enough during the day to melt any snow on the bike. On they ride home though, the streets were covered with slush which collected on my bike (especially around the front derailuer) & froze.
I was still able to use the rear deraileur (sp?). Fenders have now moved up to priority 1 for my next bike-related purchase!

I'll be glad when it's cold enough to keep the streets frozen - this slush is a real pain. We normally get a couple of light snowfalls that melt around this time of year. The first snow that stays typically happens when it's colder & doesn't make as much of a mess. This is more like early spring weather.
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