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Skyers 01-30-12 01:35 PM

Winter Icy Road Commute (With Video)
Last friday morning my 10km commute to work was pretty sketchy. A light snow started falling about 20 min before I started. Once I got out on the roads I could see that they were ice covered where the cars had packed down the snow.
As usuall I ride on the road or bike lane that is on the road. I was riding on the light fluffy snow and I had decent traction but as soon as I got onto any of the car tire tracks it was nothing but Ice.. After about 5km I removed myself from the road and continued the rest of the way on the sidewalk.
I do not use studded tires, but this was the first time in 5yrs that I wished I had them.
Today was more of the same type of conditions and I rode on the sidewalk all the way without incident.
It is currently snowing and the road conditions should be Crap by the time work is over. Looks like I might have to take the sidewalk home. (I hate :mad: riding on the sidewalk but its the only place that has any traction)
Not sure if I should have posted in "Winter riding" But I was on my way to work.

Thanks for reading/watching.

mechBgon 01-30-12 02:01 PM

Yeah, I think studs would've helped on some of that. What tire size are you using, and how much pressure? I find lower pressures tend to help a bit... for a 26 x 2 tire, something like 25psi front, 30psi rear works for me.

Skyers 01-30-12 02:08 PM

Tire pressure was about 50psi and the tires are 26 x 2.1. Just plain kenda MTB tires with a heavy outside lug. I will lower my pressure a bit for the ride home, see if that helps.

canyoneagle 01-30-12 02:40 PM

whooooah. That vid made me tense up. Studs would have helped tremendously, but the proximity to traffic is still a bit unnerving - studs might give YOU better traction, but as those tire tracks (that you point out) confirm, there is no telling what the cars will do.

Froghunter 01-30-12 04:28 PM

That was awesome......very well done under the situations. Look like you were going at a pretty good speed at times.

Good Luck.....Enjoy and BE SAFE!


ZManT 01-30-12 10:30 PM

I had my first ice related wipeout this morning. It was on a MUP, which worked in my favor. I ride 10 miles to work, and 9.5 of those miles were on wet conditions. Dropping off a bench to the river in town apparently took me to a lower temperature area where the moisture was in the solid phase. I didn't see it coming at all (it was dark and the MUP is black asphalt) - carrying too much speed into a turn brought me down in a hurry. No significant damage but I will say that my ride home was more cautious even though it was 46 degrees and dry.

The OP's situation gives me the heebie-jeebies considering a wipeout in that traffic - scary!

modernjess 01-30-12 10:58 PM

Hey, really nice job on the video. I have to say watching it from my studded tire riding everyday in icy conditions perspective I have to say that studs would have helped you that day. But I'm not sure where you live and if those are typical conditions. So are they worth the full time investment? I can't say. But being that close to traffic is a dicey proposition when it's that slippery, so honestly I don't blame you at all for hitting the sidewalk. No it's not ideal, but it seemed a lot safer and that has to be your priority. Thanks for sharing.

a1penguin 01-31-12 02:35 AM

Wow. You rode that like a pro. While it was icy where you were riding, was it icy for the cars? I would be afraid if a car skidding into me. You don't have a lot of room in that bike lane. While the temps aren't super cold, the road conditions look treacherous. I would have either driven in or WFH day. But then I grew up in NH and refuse to leave the land of sun and.... sun!

Skyers 01-31-12 08:36 AM

The cars were driving on 1/4" thick smooth ice.
I tried to stay in the snow to keep away from the ice.
I had to move to sidewalk when I ran out of snow to ride on.
Everything else was pure ice..
thanks for the "pro" comment... Must be the "go pro" cam im using that makes me look like "I rode that like a pro" :)

gerv 01-31-12 06:57 PM

Studded tires would have helped you stay on the ice and away from the snow. You could have taken the lane more.

Thanks for the video though... nice picture of ice biking.

Maybe you could sell your camera and get some studded tires.

DJ Shaun 01-31-12 09:34 PM

You recovered pretty well out of a few slides but the cars weren't giving you any room for error either. I agree with gerv, you should have taken the lane more but you couldn't since you had no traction on the smoother ice.

I would never had tackled roads that icy without studded tires. Even with studs I've cheated and taken a sidewalk to avoid the diciest sections.

Rangerover 02-01-12 05:31 PM

nice video, i would have taken the sidewalk also, it only takes a split second for things to get ugly in those coditions lol, have an old set of mtb tires i thinking about studding for just such conditions.

ThermionicScott 02-02-12 01:22 AM

Well done, I would have wiped out several times. :twitchy:

PaulRivers 02-07-12 12:46 PM

Originally Posted by canyoneagle (Post 13787138)
whooooah. That vid made me tense up. Studs would have helped tremendously, but the proximity to traffic is still a bit unnerving - studs might give YOU better traction, but as those tire tracks (that you point out) confirm, there is no telling what the cars will do.

Yeah, I'm almost always advocating studs, but honestly if that's the first time in 5 years you've had those conditions I wouldn't get studs - I would move to the sidewalk when that rarely happens (and ride slower, and look around more at intersections when those conditions did happen), and honestly - call a cab or something if the weather is (rarely) that bad. The thing is that while studs would give you better traction, and that would definitely be a problem, even more of a problem are the cars behind you that lose traction. :-(

Skyers 02-10-12 11:28 AM

The ride home today is shaping up to be icy and slippery.
After watching the video above the owner of my LBS "First Cycleworks" Hooked me up with a used studded tire.
The ride to work (on clear roads) wasn't much slower but there was a signifigant increase in road noise.
I am very eager to try it out on some slippery stuff.
If its Video worthy I will post another.

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