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How soon do you commute after it snows?

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How soon do you commute after it snows?

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Old 11-01-04, 09:35 AM
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HiYoSilver
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How soon do you commute after it snows?

We had our first snow of the season yesterday, so no commuting today. Right now my concern is not clear roads but black ice. I presume if you hit black ice, forget it you are kissing the ground quickly.

So, how long do you usually wait after it snows before you ride again? Here snow on road is gone in 1..2 days max. Would one extra day be enough for black ice or is it a constant winter commute hazard.

Thanks

Huff
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Old 11-01-04, 10:37 AM
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Wait? -- I just go when I have to go. Black ice is normally in small patches, fairly easy to avoid. If you are careful, you can ride on black ice without studs, although it feels rather like tightrope walking. Don't turn, don't brake (except for the rear brake), lower your seat so you can ride along with one (or more) feet sliding, dirt track motorcycle style when you go downhill. At night, it has a greasy shine -- fairly easy to spot.

It's much easier with studs. When you hit the black ice, the noise of the studs on pavement suddenly stops, and the ride becomes amazingly smooth. It feels rather magical. Black ice is a much better thing than, say blocky ice or deep ruts.

Black ice can be a constant commuter condition, if you live in a place where a daily freeze/thaw cycle is typical. It generally is found in small patches, and in predictable areas. There is one part of my route where there is a 10-100 foot long ice region every morning during the winter.

I'd suggest www.icebike.com to learn winter cycling, if you have never done it before.

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Old 11-01-04, 01:04 PM
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if you don't wanna deal with studs or the possibiltity of falling down i say you gotta wait till the temp goes over bacxk up over freezing during your commutes.

that said, i dealt with the possibilities of falling last winter riding a road bike with slick tires and only came close once (here in PA snow is not a major issue). but this winter i have a longer commute so i bought some studs with a spare wheelset.

you really gotta just go out and ride your commute in some real crappy conditions when your prepared for the worst to figure out how bad it gets....

finally, if you mountainbike at all you may find increased challenge of riding in crappy weather finally gives you the thrills you only thought you can get off-road!! watch for cars though, none of those in the woods.
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Old 11-01-04, 01:06 PM
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I ride my bike where I'm going on any kind of surface. If there's a chance I'll hit ice, I do more or less what paul suggests. I don't use studded tires, I'm just careful.
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Old 11-01-04, 02:16 PM
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We don't get a whole lot of black ice in Minnesota but we do get it. Most of our road ice is gray, rutty or smooth. Most of the time it's mixed with hard packed snow and it's usually there all winter. It's easier to navigate (except for the rutty stuff) then Black ice for me. Black ice is pretty easy to spot (it's black) unless you get a light snow fall. It's already been said how to handle it so I won't repeat it here.
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Old 11-01-04, 02:49 PM
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Michel Gagnon
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How long to wait? Until I have to go to work...

Basically, it means that 4 months a year (3-5 to be precise), I pedal with a light touch, turn slowly, etc. But then, I need to do the same by car.
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Old 11-01-04, 03:13 PM
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If you are communting on a MTB, try MAXXIS High Roller tires, they will stick to anything. They don't last long, however, so save them for snow and ice.
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Old 11-01-04, 04:50 PM
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Stop for snow? Huh? I like to ride when it's still falling. Snowflakes are pretty.
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Old 11-01-04, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HereNT
Stop for snow? Huh? I like to ride when it's still falling. Snowflakes are pretty.
I'm looking forward to the winter's first ride home with falling snowflakes in the headlight beam, along with the quiet swoodh of tires making first tracks.

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Old 11-02-04, 04:53 AM
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Don't wait. Just whip off the mudguard,s slap on a set of fat slush tyres, and pack my 'proofs. Mind you, we don't get proper snow in the UK.
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Old 11-02-04, 07:25 AM
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... live in texas? I know we just got a good bit of snow last night in Amarillo

I don't plan on trying to ride until my fenders come in
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Old 11-02-04, 10:07 AM
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digs,

No CO. The other cowboy state, ;-)
My fenders are on, and yes did not consider until they were on.

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Old 11-02-04, 01:39 PM
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I think it would be difficult to predict icing conditions based upon the weather from day to day. The trails that I ride on freeze and thaw all winter long. Because they are black asphalt, they often thaw during the day then refreeze after dark, just when I'm going home. I crashed hard on black ice a couple times my first winter commuting--the second winter I bought studded tires. They make a fantastic difference.
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Old 11-03-04, 08:43 AM
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I commute all winter long. You just have to stay over the wheels and be very careful - no leaning at all. The worst conditions are recent snow uncleared but rutted with tracks. That can be unride-able. Sometimes the best conditions are fresh virgin snow. You slice silently through it like skiing powder. BUt there are so many different conditions it's hard to predict. Really heavy snows usually send me to the metra bus.
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Old 11-03-04, 08:47 AM
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Wait?!?!?! I want to be the first out. My favorite rides have been quiet night rides across freshly fallen snow. Heaven.

Now, to answer your question, you can ride on snow with knobbies (oe some other decent tread), just be really, really careful, especially around traffic. Better yet, buy studded tires.
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