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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 10-28-04, 10:03 AM   #1
westman2003
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Winter Wipe Outs

Anyone had any spectacular ones?
If so what were the conditions when it happened (e.g. riding on ice)?
Anyone notice a reduction in wipeouts or improved handling with studded vs non studded tires?
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Old 10-28-04, 11:07 AM   #2
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Glassy black ice at the bottom of a hill, where i had to turn off.
As soon as I moved the bars I wiped out and slid along the road.
Fortunately the oncoming car stopped before reaching the ice.
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Old 10-28-04, 11:09 AM   #3
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My worst winter wipe-out was when riding across the bridge sidewalk/bike path. 5F snowing like crazy. I'm riding on 26" knobbies. There is 6" of fresh powder. Great conditions, headed to some virgin single track. Then, out of the BLUE comes a pair of snow plows out of the fog and snow hauling a$$, blades down! I was almost knocked off the bridge! It took me 10 minutes to dig the bike out after they buried us!
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Old 10-28-04, 02:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westman2003
Anyone had any spectacular ones?
If so what were the conditions when it happened (e.g. riding on ice)?
Anyone notice a reduction in wipeouts or improved handling with studded vs non studded tires?
I think the worst conditions are spotty ice. When it is icey everywhere you are constantly prepared for it. One of my worst wrecks last year was on a day where there were just little frozen puddles every once in awhile. I was riding along about an hour into the ride and turned into a parking lot. I forgot all about the ice and WHAM!!! thankfully it was a rear tire that slid and i nailed the landing.

Subsequently, i have had more wrecks on wet pavement than on ice!
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Old 10-28-04, 04:07 PM   #5
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I was out riding on christmas eve one year in about one inch of fresh powder, and on my way to some trails I hopped the curb out of the local golf course parking lot only to have my front wheel dive deep into a hole that had been filled with blowing snow. I launched over the bars and tumbled a long ways down a grassy hill. I wasn't hurt, and sure was laughing, but now I'm always suspicious of blowing powder.
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Old 10-28-04, 09:14 PM   #6
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I slipped on ice after getting off my bike...
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Old 10-28-04, 10:44 PM   #7
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Going up a curb during icey weather in November, my front wheel went west before I had a chance to correct direction. I bounced three times before coming to a stop against a tree. I was stuck in my toe clips; if not for that, I would have been better off, I think. I did split my helmet during that ride, and had a few bruises that would not leave for months.

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Old 10-29-04, 12:19 AM   #8
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Was on a sidewalk designated as part of the multi-use bike path. Freezing rain. Hit the front brakes (first winter). Went down so fast I didn't even know what happened until I was sliding into the middle of the road. My head hit pretty hard - but I was wearing a helmet. And thankfully, there were no cars coming or...

That was with knobbies. There's a big difference for me with studded tires, although I'd never ride in freezing rain again. Last week I nearly lost the bike a couple of times in loose snow over ice, but you can feel the studs bite and keep you upright.

Studded tires are the real deal for me. Nokians or faith, either way you're gonna have to serve somebody (sorry, listening to Dylan while I'm writing this).

R
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Old 10-29-04, 07:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
I think the worst conditions are spotty ice!
In a sense, yes; and in another sense, no. A couple winters ago, after waiting until mid-January, the ice on Lake Hariet appeared to be snow covered enough, for me to get traction. After starting off cautiously, I picked up speed, and quite enjoyed the ride, until I hit a clear patch of frozen lake in the middle. BAMM! I kissed that lake in a shameful way. After laying on the ice for a minute, I picked myself up and continued my ride much more carefully. First, to a coffee house, to get cleaned up, then to work, where my coworkers almost called security, because they didn't recognize me.
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Old 10-29-04, 07:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronocerous
That was with knobbies. There's a big difference for me with studded tires, although I'd never ride in freezing rain again.
R
I've tried the knobbies, but not studded. I've found the best defense against frozen rain is a fixed gear - no need for brakes at all. The worst problem I have in it is keeping my feet on the pedals if I left the bike out in it before I ride - nothing like trying to pedal on platfrms w/out toe clips that are coated in an 1/8" of ice.
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Old 10-29-04, 08:03 AM   #11
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I was transiting a parking lot. The snowplows sometimes plow the concrete wheel stops for the parking spots right into the piles of snow by mistake. I had the great idea of going over this large pile of plowed snow instead of around it. Unfortunately there was six foot long hunk of concrete hidden under the snow an I ran right into it. The bike stopped, inertia being what it is, I continued on over the handlebars. I tucked and rolled so I was pretty much ok. The only casualty was the plastic water bottle in the mesh pocket of my backpack. It sort of exploded when I landed on it, so I was a bit wet. The bike was fine.

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Old 10-29-04, 09:16 AM   #12
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Glassy black ice from surface flow - either overflowing drains or across the road between fields. Nothing much you can do about it except ride straight and steady, so if the ice has been roughed up or it's on a heavy camber, forget it, you're off.

No nasty injuries, though. Just pride and bruises, even on the classy 20m slides.
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Old 10-29-04, 11:15 AM   #13
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The road was dry it hasn't snowed in 3 days, I got a 30+ tail wind and I'm rocketing down the road. When I come to a bump in the road. The kind that knocks snow turds/ice chunks off vehicles. I see it at the last second and say just keep it straight. The next thing you know I was fishtailing and down I went skidding for about 20'. I'm glad it was 4am with no traffic. I lucked out on this one no injury's, Just tore up a pair of gortex pants.
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Old 10-29-04, 03:55 PM   #14
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Riding on a powder coated road touch the rider ahead of me's back tire. Landed on the road felt the snap took a peak collar bone stickin out. Called home to see if some one would pick me up but nobody home. raped my arm with my riding partiners spare tube put the chain back on and road 8 miles to my mother inlaws borrowed the van drove myself to the hospital becuse the motherinlaw gets faint at the site of blood. About a week later one of my kids came home with a pair of training wheels from the father inlaw. funny guy.
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Old 10-30-04, 06:44 AM   #15
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2 ice falls from 2 winters ago (last winter was a no fall winter for me - studded tires make a huge difference!!) The first one was a beautiful day with a half inch of new snow on the road. I rode down my driveway, and as I turned left to go down the street, vertical instantly turned to horizontal and I whacked my head on the asphalt. No injuries, bike ok, a small puddle of ice was hidden under the new snow.
The other was a parking lot shortcut on a freezing rain day. Traffic on the road kept the rain from freezing, I took a shortcut thruogh a parking lot, dumped as I was crossing an icey sidewalk.
Another low speed, no injury drop.
Last winter I put the studded tires on anytime it was icey or snowey on the roads and had no problems.
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Old 10-30-04, 08:08 AM   #16
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All from last winter:

1. First big snowy/slushy commute. I took the cheap bike thinking that was a good idea. I was a little more than halfway to work and things were going well enough I started to zone out which is never a good thing. I was going down one of the small descents on the way which has a right hand turn at the bottom. Slush everywhere and I had too much speed to do much other than slide. I went down at about 18 mph and slid halfway through the intersection, stopping about 3 feet from the stopped traffic approaching the intersection from the right. I had a nasty bump on the head and a mild headache after that. Tires: hybrid road tires which were very ill-suited to the conditions.

2. An icy day on my way home from work. There's fine watery mist coming down and it's about 31 degrees so ice is forming everywhere. I stop at the store on the way to buy milk and then head over to the bike shop (probably to buy more clothes). I foolishly decide to take residential back streets rather than major throughfares. I'm being very cautious and approach an intersection to make a left hand turn at about 6 mph. Halfway through the intersection, woosh, I'm laying on my right side in the middle of the intersection and the bike is in the snowbank on the far side. I get up and nearly slip and fall on the ice I'm standing on. Reaching down to touch it, it was extremely smooth ice with a fine layer of water on it. Fortunately, the milk in my backpack stayed shut. Tires: Michelin cyclocross Mud II's.

3. Commuting to work on the Greenway in March. We'd been having freeze/thraw cycles for about a week and one of the factories in St. Louis Park has a rain gutter drain onto the bike path, resulting in this nasty frozen slush with rutted tire tracks through it. I'm feeling fiesty so I'm going about 19 mph on the slight uphill. I see it coming (I probably already new it was there) and decide to attack! Ouch. My front wheel caught in a rut and was diverted to the right sending me flying to the left face-first into a nasty ice-covered snowbank, splitting my lip and putting a nasty bruise on my hip. I picked myself up, inspecting myself and found I'd torn a hole in my left bootie while I was sliding and then walked the 30 or so feet up the trail to get my bike. Everything was okay but I had broken off one of the little plastic caps on the shifter that say "Ultegra". After months of feeling my hip hurt everytime I looked at that shifter, I finally payed the insane $7.50 for a replacement cap. (Are the dura-ace caps more expensive? Lighter? Hee hee.) Tires: Michelin Mud II's.

4. Commuting home on the Greenway, crossing the railroad tracks at the border between Minneapolis and SLP, glare ice was everywhere. Despite approaching the S-curve at about 8 miles an hour, same deal, down on the left hip and shoulder. My bike slid 30 feet or so up the trail even at that low speed. This was only a week or two after #3. After that, I started riding on Excelsior Blvd. until SLP got around to properly clearing the snow and ice from the trail, I believe a feat which required the arrival of... summer. Same cyclocross tires.

So, this winter... studded... probably, but probably not until Spring. I'd like to not be trapped on the studded tires so a second wheelset is in order. I really really like cyclocross tires in any variety of snow including hardpack but it seems nothing works on ice but studs.
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Old 10-30-04, 09:47 PM   #17
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nothing bad so far

worst was leaving the apartment 2 weeks ago..cycling down a ramp, turn left and pass over glassy ice. bike departs under me and i keep going forward but managed to land on my feet. wasnt going very fast..

deflated my (cyclocross) tyres to near flat right way...helped with all the frozen ice the following days
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Old 11-01-04, 04:01 PM   #18
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Back in January of 1989 I was riding to work, light snow, and doing fine until I thought I'd take this trail along the river (usually plowed but there was light snow). Boom, I hit a patch of black ice that I couldn't see because of the fresh snow and down I went head first. I believe my helmet saved my brain but I broke two front teeth and banged up my nose. I got back on my bike and rode the rest of the way to work, I don't remember how I got there but I did. I'm still riding year around, nothing like that has happened since. It wouldn't have happened if I'd have stayed on the road. Oh, my dentist gave me two brand new front teeth.
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Old 11-02-04, 10:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westman2003
Anyone had any spectacular ones?
If so what were the conditions when it happened (e.g. riding on ice)?
Anyone notice a reduction in wipeouts or improved handling with studded vs non studded tires?
Well I have been lucky to have riden 4 winters with no wipe outs close calls naa naaa but I did forget my glass's at home one time and had to ride into a blizzard to get homefrom work the snow pellets were comming straight into my eye's it was the longest most painful ride I ever did I would rest one eye then switch .. I seem to do all my crash's in warm weather... STEEKER
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Old 11-02-04, 02:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtessmer
Oh, my dentist gave me two brand new front teeth.
My dentist is giving me those this Friday. At least rebuilding them.
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Old 11-02-04, 02:22 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N7CZinMT

My worst winter wipe-out was when riding across the bridge sidewalk/bike path. 5F snowing like crazy. I'm riding on 26" knobbies. There is 6" of fresh powder. Great conditions, headed to some virgin single track. Then, out of the BLUE comes a pair of snow plows out of the fog and snow hauling a$$, blades down! I was almost knocked off the bridge! It took me 10 minutes to dig the bike out after they buried us!
Wooden bridges can be nasty when wet... worse when cold, icy, snow-covered and wet. I had a winter accident on a slick bridge too during the winter about five years ago. I was at the bikeshop picking up my brand new MTB. I was taking it out on a fast shakedown cruise and was hammering my way on a local bike trail. Part of the trail was a wooden walkway/bridge that stretched over some sensitive wetlands. I was hammering pretty hard and testing the bike's abilities. A corner came up too fast, I was too unfamiliar with the bike, grabbed a handful of brake during a turn and washed out the front end. Bike went one way, bounced off the side of the bridge and I went skidding the other way while ripping up my new cold-weather tights.
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