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Riding road bikes in the snow...

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Riding road bikes in the snow...

Old 02-18-06, 01:59 PM
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Sucks. Got caught out in it today on a 65 mile ride. Started snow squalling like hell about 30-40 mins. from the end of a 4 hour ride (hilly, group ride in the middle, 20-25). It wasn't supposed to do this, but once you're in it - and it starts to stick to the road - you either call a cab or perservere. I figured Andy Hampsten could do it in Europe 15 years ago (I recall some epic race stage with him riding through a few inches of snow over some Alpine pass) so I could manage it for 30 mins. in NY.

It was a near whiteout in this snowsquall for about 20 mins. 1/2" snow on most road surfaces, cars going slow (thankfully). It really was nasty. My mustache/beard were encrusted with precip. The dicey part is going DOWNHILL. I took it MUCH slower than usual, and made certain I didn't lean the bike on the slick road. That's the key, along with avoiding ice and ridges in the pavement under the snow, which with a little frozen precip get very slippery. Rode for the better part of ten miles in this crap up a big climb and down a big descent (each 1-1.5 miles) without incident. My road bike needed a thorough de-slurpification at home of course. What a mess.

But overall it turned what would have been a nice cold weather ride into an EPIC ride. It was a bit spooky at first - but then actually got to be fun. I think my love for this sport is a bit around the bend when I'm having that much fun riding in a 24 whiteout on a road bike in February : ).

I'll bet EURO doesn't have to deal with that, do you you UK wet roadie? Don't ever give me crap about how I'll 'melt' if I ride in the rain you big wimpass Britweenie. I'll bet the closest you ever come to a ride like the one I did today is standing in front of your refrigerator shaking a snow globe.

Oh yes, the group ride I participated in the midst of this sojurn was virtually Fredless today (far too cold for Fred today, all racing dudes + one dudette) and I'm happy to report that my racing mojo is starting to come back (maybe it's all the 60+ mile rides in 20 weather, eh?). I spent last season chasing many of these particular boys around. Today I put the hurt on THEM. Which was fun. I don't care HOW mid-winter it is. Spring will be here soon - they start racing in Central Park in 2 weeks. And that's as close to a Euro style racing-exploit thread you'll get out of me.
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Old 02-18-06, 02:02 PM
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2004 Giro

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Old 02-18-06, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by feltdude
2004 Giro


Those conditions look fairly ideal compared to what I was in today. Trust me : ). Somebody find that picture of Andy in the Alps in the blizzard from the early 90's. That's what I'm talkin about.
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Old 02-18-06, 02:08 PM
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roadbikes worst nightmare = RR tracks and snow or snow covered RR tracks
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Old 02-18-06, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by daytonian
roadbikes worst nightmare = RR tracks and snow or snow covered RR tracks
Or black ice. I'm still not 100% recovered from a 22mph slam-dunk on black ice on an innocent looking patch of 38 pavement 5 weeks ago. I'm MUCH more careful when temps are below 40 now....
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Old 02-18-06, 04:16 PM
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That squall was pretty nasty. I guess I was "lucky" enough to have to do the dump and hardware store run this morning, so I missed riding in it. When I did get out, I was still catching the tailend of those strong gusts. I think I'm just going to mountain bike on days like this from now on
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Old 02-18-06, 04:24 PM
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Guess it went just south of New Paltz, since it was sunny when I was riding.
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Old 02-18-06, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mirona
That squall was pretty nasty. I guess I was "lucky" enough to have to do the dump and hardware store run this morning, so I missed riding in it. When I did get out, I was still catching the tailend of those strong gusts. I think I'm just going to mountain bike on days like this from now on

That's because you have common sense and are not in the deathgrip of roadnazi syndrome. At one point I had a 20mph headwind driving the snow horizontally into my face. It was fairly amazing. Like I said you had to be there. Not something I would have volunteered for. These are things that happen to you on a bicycle because you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But afterwards they do make excellent bike weenie war stories....
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Old 02-18-06, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Those conditions look fairly ideal compared to what I was in today. Trust me : ). Somebody find that picture of Andy in the Alps in the blizzard from the early 90's. That's what I'm talkin about.
Your wish is my command.



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Old 02-18-06, 04:52 PM
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I bet his legs were cold.
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Old 02-18-06, 05:44 PM
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^^^^^ Thats my commute in Vermont on
almost any given day. Whats the big deal with
roadbikes in the snow
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Old 02-18-06, 11:28 PM
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I commuted 2 winters ago on a road bike. Worked just fine with 700x25 tires.
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Old 02-18-06, 11:34 PM
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The decline on the hills are a little tricky as the breaking power seems to be not that great. Snow skating on bike.
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Old 02-19-06, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by feltdude
Your wish is my command.



THANK YOU!! That's IT!! I think that's the 1988 Giro if memory serves. And that shot of Andy on the snow covered road was sort of what it was like. Actually Andy's road surface doesn't look quite as wintry as the one I was one for 20 mins. yesterday.

My Cannondale Six13 has been fully defrosted, cleaned, waxed, armourall-d and detailed. Ready for drier weather.

Today it's dry. But it's 6F here. We're going SKIING!!!!
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Old 02-19-06, 06:49 AM
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While I'm not Euro, and I never rode 'down south', I can tell you that whta you just explained doesn't sound out of the norm if you've ever spent a winter (or two) training in Scotland. I've had my fair share of 6-8 hour group rides where we went through fall, winter, and spring on the ride (rain, sleet, snow, and the evere constant wind).

the worst was probably a a race i did up near Inverness, where there was a small blizzard in the middle of the race. The catch - it was May 1st.

Originally Posted by patentcad
I'll bet EURO doesn't have to deal with that, do you you UK wet roadie? I'll bet the closest you ever come to a ride like the one I did today is standing in front of your refrigerator shaking a snow globe.
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Old 02-19-06, 07:13 AM
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I'm riding today, and it's -15 outside. I'm not liking it but, the roads are dry at least.
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Old 02-19-06, 07:24 AM
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I was also caught in that. My group of 6 were riding in Northern Westchester, and we just slowed it down a bit and had a good laugh.

Will you be out THIS morning, I will at 9:30, but expect to be a group of 1, we'll see.
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Old 02-19-06, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
At one point I had a 20mph headwind driving the snow horizontally into my face. It was fairly amazing. Like I said you had to be there.
But afterwards they do make excellent bike weenie war stories....
LOVED it

* we told the same stories in reference to Andy Hampsten, I have that poster hanging in my gararge, next to my bikes, very apropo
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Old 02-19-06, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Or black ice. I'm still not 100% recovered from a 22mph slam-dunk on black ice on an innocent looking patch of 38 pavement 5 weeks ago. I'm MUCH more careful when temps are below 40 now....
Blame it on your cheaply made Cannondale.
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Old 02-19-06, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Sucks. Got caught out in it today on a 65 mile ride. Started snow squalling like hell about 30-40 mins. from the end of a 4 hour ride (hilly, group ride in the middle, 20-25). It wasn't supposed to do this, but once you're in it - and it starts to stick to the road - you either call a cab or perservere. I figured Andy Hampsten could do it in Europe 15 years ago (I recall some epic race stage with him riding through a few inches of snow over some Alpine pass) so I could manage it for 30 mins. in NY.

It was a near whiteout in this snowsquall for about 20 mins. 1/2" snow on most road surfaces, cars going slow (thankfully). It really was nasty. My mustache/beard were encrusted with precip. The dicey part is going DOWNHILL.
That mustache/beard goes well with your tin can nondale.
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Old 02-20-06, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by onkey
That mustache/beard goes well with your tin can nondale.

Is this a remedial website for juvenile delinqent *******? It is astonishing.
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Old 02-20-06, 07:26 AM
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i commute in the winter, but i cant ride my nice bianchi outside. the salt is just too awful. even with my commuter, i buy a $20 chain and throw it out at the end of winter bc it's too disgusting.
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Old 02-20-06, 09:36 AM
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I was out driving in that, going to look at the travel trailer we bought a few weeks ago (will come in realy handy for long-distance cycling events)....left my house, it was nice and sunny......going towards Hartford, it gets dark like it's gonna rain. Then it just starts dumping snow.....was pretty chilly out as well.
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Old 02-21-06, 03:43 AM
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No need for the brit-bashing!!

I have ridden in snow a few times, and have fallen to the perils (taking some care, clearly not enough!!)

All good fun (til you fall or clean the bike!)
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Old 02-21-06, 05:06 AM
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As another snow-riding Brit, I'd just like to stand up and defend the robustness of your average british cyclist. He/she will go out in more or less any weather. So there!

Cut to scene: It is 5 years ago, an English cyclist is eager for his first ride on a new machine, the snow was crisp, the roads were white, the road rash inevitable. His first thought as he slid along the icy road on his arse.... "NOOooooo.. my beautiful new bike"

Cheers,

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