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spring training- first ride without studded tires and a caution

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spring training- first ride without studded tires and a caution

Old 03-10-13, 08:19 PM
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Bekologist
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spring training- first ride without studded tires and a caution

sunday daylight savings found the roads wet, but bare, and spring cycling season urging me to ride so I pulled down the Surly long distance rig and headed out for a training ride, the first ride without studded tires this year.

Didn't see any other bikers clicking off the miles but i did a couple hours on the bike. I did the city's lakeshore and park loop on wet, bare pavement, there were some snowbanks still . then headed to the ski hill and main roads still fine riding. As i headed back into town, i took a turn inland and gained some elevation on a nice and bare east/west main road.

the main east-west road was fine, but took a turn and headed north on a less traveled county road to find it was coated with ice! I hopped into a wheel rut and its scant slash of bare pavement, but that ran out and i found the entire road a lightly sanded 3 inch thick sheet of blue ice from snowbank to snowbank.

I quickly unclipped to get a foot down, and began to feel the rear wheel washing out underneath me.I three point skidded to a stop and gingerly pointed the bike back uphill till i found bare pavement in a tire groove, then rode the east/west road back into town.

Early season riding caution = beware lesser travelled N/S roads holding patches of ice longer than E/W roads.
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Old 03-11-13, 08:09 AM
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Well, Bek, it looks like you got just a little too eager to do without the studs there.

But it's good of you to post it. That'll make the rest of us, and yourself, a bit less likely to make the same mistake.
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Old 03-11-13, 07:01 PM
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Bekologist - thanks for the post. I was going to take off the studded tires this weekend but your story convinced me to keep them on until early morning temps rise above 40 degrees for several days. Can't afford the $ and time in an emergency room.

Where did you get that great looking orange jacket?
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Old 03-11-13, 08:16 PM
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coat's a closeout Canari windbreaker from Sierra Trading Post. I'm favoring 10 mile orange for most conditions rather than dayglo yellow.

I think i'll rig a spring training bike with studded tires and drop bars for next season's early riding.

Definetly watch the lightly travelled N/S roads after the main roads and E/W routes appear clear. Elevation gains as well.
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Old 03-11-13, 08:21 PM
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This is the worst time of year here as it thaws and freezes and what might have been good yesterday, is a skating rink today.

The side roads are rutted and icy nightmares that would challenge anyone despite running generously studded tyres.
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Old 03-12-13, 08:28 AM
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I think if i were to actually start training miles on a set of studded tires, i would be incredibly lithe on the road bike come summer.

Going to consider reallocating wheelsets/tires in the garage over the next couple of weeks, pull the 700 studs off the commuter bike, reserve the 26 inch mountain bike with studs for ice in town, and set up a cross frame as a drop bar training rig with studded tires.
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Old 03-12-13, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
This is the worst time of year here as it thaws and freezes and what might have been good yesterday, is a skating rink today.

The side roads are rutted and icy nightmares that would challenge anyone despite running generously studded tyres.
Here, too. I fell in the parking lot after work yesterday, spraining my ankle as I went down.

I'm pretty happy to leave the studs on for a couple extra weeks until there's no more chance of ice.

Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
I think if i were to actually start training miles on a set of studded tires, i would be incredibly lithe on the road bike come summer.

Going to consider reallocating wheelsets/tires in the garage over the next couple of weeks, pull the 700 studs off the commuter bike, reserve the 26 inch mountain bike with studs for ice in town, and set up a cross frame as a drop bar training rig with studded tires.
You should! I don't know if it was the heavy studded tires, or just all the miles I was able to put in on them last winter, but I was in really good shape when spring hit.
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Old 03-12-13, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
This is the worst time of year here as it thaws and freezes and what might have been good yesterday, is a skating rink today.
Very true. In March the roads are often wet from melting ice & snow. I prefer riding in the fall when it could be -10C with the roads being bone dry.

This is why I like having a dedicated winter bike with studs. In the morning I just have to look out the window and check the day's forecast and take the appropriate bike.

Yesterday & today the temps were above freezing and the roads are mostly bare (but wet) that cyclists have come out in noticeable numbers. Tomorrow: Low -4C, High +2C, 1cm of snow. Likely back to the winter bike.
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Old 03-12-13, 01:51 PM
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i've got two bikes with studs that i ride all winter, but don't have a drop bar training bike set up with studs- yet.
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Old 03-14-13, 12:09 PM
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I'm glad I now live somewhere that hardly ever gets ice.

Yer a better man than I. When it gets that bad, I want four wheels under me (although 3 would do in a pinch....I'd ride those conditions on a trike).
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Old 03-17-13, 12:11 AM
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What got me last spring were spots where rain or snow melt has carried sand and fine gravel to form pools of the stuff. I remember one particular ride which saw me leave home in a great mood, cruising along at a good clip, leaving winter riding caution behind only to slip and fall twice in turns around the city.

And I just recently fell prey to dust and a suspiciously polished slap of concrete the other day. The front tire's carbides actually left clear 4 inch long scratches in the concrete where the rubber had lost traction. Pretty ridiculous considering I went all winter riding on ice during my daily commute through the nearby park, and if I remember correctly, this was my first fall of the season.
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Old 03-17-13, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DJ Shaun View Post
Very true. In March the roads are often wet from melting ice & snow. I prefer riding in the fall when it could be -10C with the roads being bone dry.

This is why I like having a dedicated winter bike with studs. In the morning I just have to look out the window and check the day's forecast and take the appropriate bike.

Yesterday & today the temps were above freezing and the roads are mostly bare (but wet) that cyclists have come out in noticeable numbers. Tomorrow: Low -4C, High +2C, 1cm of snow. Likely back to the winter bike.
We have been getting slammed with the white stuff... and beneath that there are tons of ice.

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Old 03-17-13, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
We have been getting slammed with the white stuff... and beneath that there are tons of ice.
Same here, I've shoveled a half meter of snow out of the driveway in the last two days. The skiing and turns thru powder on the hills outside of town yesterday were fantastic though.

Only the main roads had melted out last week, side roads chockablock with thick, rutted grey ice. And it persists. This morning, i'm looking out on roads i can ski on. I keep thinking (everyone in town is thinking) spring is coming round the corner, but the snow just keeps piling up.

Hence, my interest in building up a drop bar spring trainer, or at least dedicating a spare wheelset with studded tires for quick swapouts. I don't have any extra 700c studded tires in the home garage right now, or i'd already be there.

The caution once again -Beware lightly travelled N/S roads during spring training season well after the main roads have melted out.

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Old 03-17-13, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
We have been getting slammed with the white stuff... and beneath that there are tons of ice.
One thing I painfully discovered early in the season is that snow on top of ice can cause your tires to float just enough that the studs can't bite, which is like riding on ice with no studs at all.
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Old 03-23-13, 06:42 PM
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Despite the lack of spring conditions where I live, went out for another road ride today. 35c tires, did about an hour and a half on the roads, just below freezing, light hints of snow/sleet in the air, the roads wet but mostly clear.

Cautionary side note - watch for ice in melt zones, where road melt seeps out overnight and freezes. this can hide amidst wet, grimy pavement, along the edges and in the shade.

I now find myself after dark, wishing i'd gone out for longer, as the weather forecast calls for high temps to remain below freezing and snow. Luckily, main roads look like they've getting enough thermal heat to have lost the permanent white ice for the year, finally. Ill have to ride out to the NS county roads and see how conditions are progressing tomorrow, if fresh snow doesn't start piling up.

Spring, freezing, four foot snowbanks, all gravel and off road still solidly drifted under a thick layer of snow. Skiing should be good for the next month around here.

Time for some spring bike-n-skis. Might do a fundraiser plunge into the lake easter sunday...... ski/bike/swim march 31st looks like a possibility!
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Old 03-28-13, 02:50 AM
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They've just starting cutting back the snowbanks in the neighborhoods, or else the sidewalks wouldn't be clear until May this year.



This is a pic yesterday in front of someone's yard. the city has had to haul away a huge amount of snow this year.

I'm almost ready to remove the studded tires of this city bike, but still concerned the freeze/melt will persist due to the large amounts of snow lingering.

I am confident spring training can begin on the county roads hereabouts in earnest. Road bike season for the hardy begins this year March 30th. Unless that forecasted snowstorm hits.
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Old 03-30-13, 05:42 AM
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Some photogs from yesterday's ride.



Main roads are fine now, a little more snow is scheduled to roll in Monday for a spell.
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