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Michelin StarGrip Winter Tire

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Michelin StarGrip Winter Tire

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Old 02-04-14, 02:31 PM
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rumatt
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Michelin StarGrip Winter Tire

http://bike.michelinman.com/tires/MICHELIN-StarGrip

I'm not finding a single mention of this on bike forums. I'm not finding a single review on the internet anywhere!

No one's used one?

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Old 02-04-14, 03:18 PM
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Similar thread pattern to Continental TopContact Winter, but cheaper. Good to have choices but I wonder about puncture resistance. The Continentals are pretty bomb-proof.
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Old 02-04-14, 03:24 PM
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No studs? Thanks but no thanks. Ice is my primary concern.
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Old 02-04-14, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
No studs? Thanks but no thanks. Ice is my primary concern.
TopContact Winters work reasonably well under light winter conditions and have the advantage of lacking studs when riding over bare pavement. They made me quit in practice using Hakkapeliittas W106's. Incidentally, when visiting Finland in midwinter I went around bike racks and noticed that only about every 10th bike was equipped with studded tires.
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Old 02-04-14, 07:23 PM
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It's a very cool pattern (been meaning to start a thread on tread patterns). Not sure tread does much of anything on asphalt though, even if there is snow. Certainly nothing if there's ice!

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Old 02-04-14, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
Certainly nothing if there's ice!
Surprisingly a similar pattern on TopContact Winter slows down slipping on ice, enough so that you may correct your position and prevent the potential fall. This is not as effective as studs - you need to be generally more careful and they will not help in surviving an extended stretch of ice. However, you definitely get more room for maneuver than with regular tires.
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Old 02-04-14, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
TopContact Winters work reasonably well under light winter conditions and have the advantage of lacking studs when riding over bare pavement. They made me quit in practice using Hakkapeliittas W106's. Incidentally, when visiting Finland in midwinter I went around bike racks and noticed that only about every 10th bike was equipped with studded tires.
All true. Also, depending on rack location, there's a good chance every fifth bike you see there in midwinter is abandoned. That said, I know cyclists who bike all year round with same tyres and say it works better for them than switching back and forth. Personal preference / risk evaluation, I guess.

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Old 02-04-14, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
Similar thread pattern to Continental TopContact Winter, but cheaper. Good to have choices but I wonder about puncture resistance. The Continentals are pretty bomb-proof.
I just received my Nokian W240's for bad winter weather, and I was thinking of putting Top Contact Winters on a second set of wheels for the Winter days I expect the trails to be clear and dry. Any thoughts on their appropriateness for that purpose?

Variations would include reducing aggressiveness of the rear tire, such as a non-winter tire on dry days (non-winter top contact?). Or on mild snow days using a TCW rear in place of the Nokian.

The TCW 37 is also more like 30mm. Do you find it effective or do you think the 42mm (likely 37mm actual) would do better?

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Old 02-04-14, 11:48 PM
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The Nokian Rollspeed W is another soft rubber, non-studded winter option.

The Michelin Stargrip looks like it could be a bit squishy on dry pavement.
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Old 02-04-14, 11:52 PM
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Regarding width, I prefer narrow winter tyres, as they cut through the occasional loose snow layer. I'm a commuter / utility cyclist, so I ride on roads and MUPs . Excess loose snow will be plowed sooner or later, but hard packed snow / ice layer remains throughout our winter. In deep snow a really fat tyre would fare better. It would clear icy ruts better too.

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Old 02-04-14, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rumatt View Post
I just received my Nokian W240's for bad winter weather, and I was thinking of putting Top Contact Winters on a second set of wheels for the Winter days I expect the trails to be clear and dry. Any thoughts on their appropriateness for that purpose?

The TCW 37 is also more like 30mm. Do you find it effective or do you think the 42mm (likely 37mm actual) would do better?
This is what I alternate between, W240 and TCW. My TCW are 37mm wide and work fine for me. I ride TCW around winter even if when the average temperature is above freezing, since it might waver and transient ice patches could develop. I get a peace of mind this way. Indeed, on occasions I put W240 only on the front. I switch tires rather than wheels as my wheels are somewhat complicated and expensive and I cannot quite afford duplicates.
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Old 02-05-14, 01:05 AM
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The conti`s have the sharp grit in the tyre compound,michelins don`t.
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Old 02-05-14, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
All true. Also, depending on rack location, there's a good chance every fifth bike you see there in midwinter is abandoned. That said, I know cyclists who bike all year round with same tyres and say it works better for them than switching back and forth. Personal preference / risk evaluation, I guess.
In Michigan you might have a problem finding a single bike with studded tires, even when given hours of search time. I am not sure that my year-round commuting partner is even aware that such tires exist, but then he has his flats fixed by an LBS and he does not own metric wrenches .
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Old 02-05-14, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Grishnak View Post
The conti`s have the sharp grit in the tyre compound,michelins don`t.
This was the case for Winter 1 but I do not see any of that in Winter 2.
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Old 02-05-14, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
This was the case for Winter 1 but I do not see any of that in Winter 2.
So,we are down to rubber studs now?
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Old 02-05-14, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Grishnak View Post
So,we are down to rubber studs now?
Why not? You can get them for cars. Some states in the US...most notably Alaska...allow only rubber studs on automobiles.

Originally Posted by Juha View Post
Regarding width, I prefer narrow winter tyres, as they cut through the occasional loose snow layer. I'm a commuter / utility cyclist, so I ride on roads and MUPs . Excess loose snow will be plowed sooner or later, but hard packed snow / ice layer remains throughout our winter. In deep snow a really fat tyre would fare better. It would clear icy ruts better too.

--J
I see this "use narrow tires so they punch through the snow" all the time and fail to see the logic. I'm not new to winter cycling and have had plenty of experience riding on snow and ice. I use a mountain bike with 2" knobby tires (mostly unstudded) which occasionally punches through soft spots on packed snow and I haven't noticed any kind of advantage to that happening. It throws me off line and I end up having to correct steering constantly until I'm through the soft spot. I've found that an active front suspension helps the tire find the solid spots and/or ride up over the soft stuff.
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Old 02-05-14, 01:32 PM
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The logic is, in loose snow they cut through and provide more stable ride, compared to floating fatter tyres. I agree that when there's a mix of loose and solid patches front suspension would be good. That's about the only time I miss suspension in city riding.
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Old 02-05-14, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
The logic is, in loose snow they cut through and provide more stable ride, compared to floating fatter tyres. I agree that when there's a mix of loose and solid patches front suspension would be good. That's about the only time I miss suspension in city riding.
I have never found a situation where punching through anything provides a more stable ride. If a bike punches through sand (similar to punching through snow), the bike bogs down and is harder to ride. It's harder to steer and harder to keep power to the rear wheel. There are lots of instances where we design ways of getting on top of the snow...snow shoes, skis, snowmobiles, fat bikes, etc...to make the going easier. A narrow tire that punches through the snow is analogous to post holing across a snow field with your feet.
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Old 02-05-14, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I have never found a situation where punching through anything provides a more stable ride. If a bike punches through sand (similar to punching through snow), the bike bogs down and is harder to ride. It's harder to steer and harder to keep power to the rear wheel. There are lots of instances where we design ways of getting on top of the snow...snow shoes, skis, snowmobiles, fat bikes, etc...to make the going easier. A narrow tire that punches through the snow is analogous to post holing across a snow field with your feet.
Sand=snow is silly. There is no road beneath the sand so of course a skinny tire will harder to steer, and have poor traction. The tire has nothing solid underneath to provide stability. And skis, snowmobiles et.al have a huge contact patch that prevents the user from sinking into the snow, as does a fat bike at 8 psi. I have yet to see anyone ride in snow that is 15 inches high either, your post holing analogy seems pretty silly too.

Skinny tires cut through the snow so the tire is in contact with road. Same reason mud tires for mtb are skinnier. To get through the soft stuff and to get some purchase at the bottom. I never understood the rational of using wide tires that allow the rider to 'float' over the snow. Floating IMO is a nice way of saying the tires slip all over the place and provide no traction or stability. I ride 23's at 115psi in the winter. Tires are on the road, not slipping, provide great traction as they are gripping the road, not loose, soft shifting snow. I have studded mtb tires for another bike and hate them for anything other than a thin layer of snow that might be hiding ice. As soon as the snow if more than 1 inch the bike gets all squirrelly, the treads fill with snow, and the studs cant even come in contact with any ice. I've used wide2.25 tires at26 psi, same issue. The bike shifts and slides.

Where I live almost all the winter riders have skinny tires, granted the roads are routinely plowed and salted so the majority of the days are snow free. Alot of the commuters I know only have one bike and switching tires/wheels for different conditions might not be an option so they stick with the skinny tires.
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Old 02-06-14, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by pyze-guy View Post
Sand=snow is silly. There is no road beneath the sand so of course a skinny tire will harder to steer, and have poor traction. The tire has nothing solid underneath to provide stability. And skis, snowmobiles et.al have a huge contact patch that prevents the user from sinking into the snow, as does a fat bike at 8 psi. I have yet to see anyone ride in snow that is 15 inches high either, your post holing analogy seems pretty silly too.
I didn't say that sand and snow are equivalent but they share similar characteristics. Anytime you "punch" through either, the power requirements to keep moving forward are greatly increased. Vehicles with internal combustion engines usually have enough spare power to keep moving but bicycles have a very limited power plant (i.e. the rider) which limits them.

Bicycles also have the added problem of needing to steer and balance. When the front wheel digs into the material, it usually throws the bike off the line it is taking which requires correction to keep it moving in a (reasonably) straight line. This requires even more power and both sand and snow work against those corrections if you "punch" through them. Snow does have one property that sand doesn't (usually) have. Snow compacts and builds mounds when driven on by vehicles. A narrow tire is more difficult to keep on top of the mounds so it slides off to the side and brings up that steering issue again. Wider tires will do the same but to a less extent.

Sand is not infinitely deep either. I've ridden on sand that covers solid rock and on snow that is deep enough that you could never punch through it to pavement. In neither case would I want to ride a narrow tire because I would have to move more of both materials to keep moving forward.

Your point about the huge contact patch is exactly the point I was making. Snowmobiles, skies, snowshoes, fat bikes, etc. all have large contact patches to keep them from falling through the snow and make them ride on top of the snow. Dune buggies also have wider tires to stay on top of the sand. The whole point is to stay on top of the snow (or sand) rather than dig down into it. Even nature has numerous examples of animals that travel across the snow rather than trying to plow through it.

Originally Posted by pyze-guy View Post
Skinny tires cut through the snow so the tire is in contact with road. Same reason mud tires for mtb are skinnier. To get through the soft stuff and to get some purchase at the bottom. I never understood the rational of using wide tires that allow the rider to 'float' over the snow. Floating IMO is a nice way of saying the tires slip all over the place and provide no traction or stability. I ride 23's at 115psi in the winter. Tires are on the road, not slipping, provide great traction as they are gripping the road, not loose, soft shifting snow. I have studded mtb tires for another bike and hate them for anything other than a thin layer of snow that might be hiding ice. As soon as the snow if more than 1 inch the bike gets all squirrelly, the treads fill with snow, and the studs cant even come in contact with any ice. I've used wide2.25 tires at26 psi, same issue. The bike shifts and slides.
I understand the idea that thin tires are supposed to cut through the snow to make contact with the road. I just question the idea. Once you cut through the snow, you have to constantly push that snow out of the way which requires much more effort. Again, go back to the post holing vs snow shoes. Which is easier? The rational for "floating" a wide tire over snow is the same as why you use skis or snowshoes or a snowmobile to travel across snow. It's not that the tires "slip all of the place"...skinny tires do that...it's that a wider contact patch offers more traction and control. To use your idea, you should run skinny tires off-road because they would punch through the terrain and offer better traction and control. They don't for rather obvious reasons.

Mud tires for mountain bikes, by the way, come in all kinds of widths. Again, you don't necessarily want to use a narrow tire to get through the "soft stuff" because then you have to constantly push the soft stuff out of the way. That requires more power. If anything, a narrow mud tire would be used to keep from clogging the fork or chain stay, not for added traction.

I don't know what you are doing wrong with the mountain bike but I've found the opposite to be true. Anytime the snow gets over a dusting, the mountain bike goes where my road bikes can't. Because of the larger contact patch, there is a larger margin of error if the tires do happen to slip.
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Old 02-06-14, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by pyze-guy View Post
Sand=snow is silly. There is no road beneath the sand so of course a skinny tire will harder to steer, and have poor traction. The tire has nothing solid underneath to provide stability. And skis, snowmobiles et.al have a huge contact patch that prevents the user from sinking into the snow, as does a fat bike at 8 psi. I have yet to see anyone ride in snow that is 15 inches high either, your post holing analogy seems pretty silly too.

Skinny tires cut through the snow so the tire is in contact with road. Same reason mud tires for mtb are skinnier. To get through the soft stuff and to get some purchase at the bottom. I never understood the rational of using wide tires that allow the rider to 'float' over the snow. Floating IMO is a nice way of saying the tires slip all over the place and provide no traction or stability. I ride 23's at 115psi in the winter. Tires are on the road, not slipping, provide great traction as they are gripping the road, not loose, soft shifting snow. I have studded mtb tires for another bike and hate them for anything other than a thin layer of snow that might be hiding ice. As soon as the snow if more than 1 inch the bike gets all squirrelly, the treads fill with snow, and the studs cant even come in contact with any ice. I've used wide2.25 tires at26 psi, same issue. The bike shifts and slides.

Where I live almost all the winter riders have skinny tires, granted the roads are routinely plowed and salted so the majority of the days are snow free. Alot of the commuters I know only have one bike and switching tires/wheels for different conditions might not be an option so they stick with the skinny tires.
23 mm tires in the winter? Wow. Where is your winter, mine is in the Boston, MA area. I run 35 x 700 studded tires and 2.0" x 26" studded tires here. Most of the winter (3-4 months )I have a variety of surfaces to pedal on including packed snow, ice, slush and nasty roads. I ride on plowed bike paths, unplowed sidewalks, dirt paths and plowed roads. Bumpy, rutted ice sticks around for weeks at a time. I find that bigger tires with studs and knobs work best for my area. Where is your winter where skinny slicks work?
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Old 05-09-16, 05:20 PM
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Regarding the argument of fat tires vs. skinny tires, I have experienced the plusses and minuses of both. Folks from both sides have presented fair points and the facts and experiences provided are indeed true. I think at this point we all just have to agree that the tires we choose are for our regions and they will obviously differ, and that nobody above is actually wrong.

In my experience of year-round commuting (Ann Arbor, Michigan) I am lucky enough to have two winter beaters: one with 700x32 Continental Tour Rides and one with 26 x 1.75" knobbies. Neither are extremely wide or narrow but they are different enough. For the packed slush that sits on sidewalks and bike lanes in roughly-freezing temperatures, like wet-ish snow that's neither watery nor powdery, the fatter tires seemed to fare better. That's the stuff that the narrow tires usually cut through but throw me off balance. The consistency of that kind of "snow" is inconsistent (heh) and depth also affects how much I can "push aside" with the narrow tire and therefore how much of the time the tire is actually cutting to the pavement. Amount of foot and car traffic also affects this, too. Inconsistent patches of grip/no grip is arguably more dangerous than no grip all of the time. With the fat knobbies, yes the tread does get packed with snow, but the tire is not being pushed side-to-side by uneven depth and hardness of the "snow." It kind of just bounces up and over it. Fatter tires also deal better with car tracks compressed into snow.

However, with powdery, un-plowed, un-stepped-on, truly-cold-weather snow, the thinner tires offer more control. They push through to the pavement. Some of the time, the bike lanes in my area will have this kind of snow because people don't walk there, cars don't drive there, and there hasn't been enough snow for the plow to have been by. Then there is also the argument of the rider having enough power to push through. In this kind of snow, unless you have a truly FAT tired bike, or if the snow is a little more damp and packed, you're gonna sink in regardless so the thinner tire, having less frontal area, will feel easier to pedal. And it will cut through to the pavement, instead of slipping on its own trail of compressed snow like a ~26x2" would.

Now, obviously most of the snow that people will experience probably hovers between the extremes so I suppose it's up to everyone to see where their cut-off point is, or if there is one.


Back to the topic of the original (old) thread ... two years later and I, like the OP, still cannot find any substantial reviews about the Michelin Star Grip. I am quite interested in this tire.
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Old 01-17-18, 08:33 AM
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Resurrection alert!

I've been riding these StarGrip tires for two weeks now, and thought I'd update this thread with my impressions of them. I'm comparing mainly to a set of 45Nrth Gravdals that I bought at the same time.

The current link for the StarGrip tires is this one:

https://bike.michelin.com/products/michelin-stargrip

I'm finding they work 1) very well on hard-packed, dry snow that still has a dusting of loose powder on top, 2) moderately well on packed snow that is scraped to a slick surface, and 3) tolerably well on cold ice. However, I have not yet had a chance to try them on warm, wet, black ice.

Following is a photo showing some icy conditions. The photo was taken Friday, January 12 after a few days of thaw followed by a refreeze. What looks like pavement in the photo is really ice. The rest of the road surface is essentially also ice. It's packed down smooth, and was quite slick.

I was able to roll the ice and make the corner, but attempting to stop on that spot where my bike is parked caused my front end to wash out. That was even the case when I tried straight-line stops. However, I did brake lightly and was able to recover from the front-wheel skids.

20180112_142752 (Medium).jpg

Next is a photo from Sunday the 14th. This was after quite a bit of fresh snow had fallen. I had shoveled my front walk, and our streets had been plowed to more or less match what you see in my walk. (My city often leaves a layer of hardpack snow in the streets, because snowmobile traffic).

Conditions in this second photo are what I consider as ideal for the tires. They handle these cold, dry, packed snow conditions very well. I have complete confidence.

20180114_124510 (Medium).jpg

I'll further add that the flat tread profile on the StarGrips is helpful when dealing with chunky snow. The tires are 40 mm wide, and the flat tread pattern is way better than anything rounded. This is also the case with the two Suomi-brand tires that I have for my 26er bike. The Suomi with the flat tread pattern rolls more slowly, but performs better in rough and chunky snow. Part of my route with the StarGrips sometimes includes a stretch of sidewalk used by kids walking to school. Rough surface. Lots of frozen footprints. The flat tread patterns helps.

Go easy in cornering. I can be a little bit more aggressive in cornering with the Gravdals than with the StarGrips. The studs in the Gravdals do give added confidence when leaned over -- not that I lean much anyway.

The 40 mm flat profile means the StarGrips won't fit under my fenders. When the weather turns and we begin getting wet slush in the streets, I'll switch in the Gravdals. Because I can just barely squeak the 38 mm Gravdals under my fenders. Barely. The tire hairs will rub.

I have not yet had opportunity to run the StarGrips on wet, black ice. So far I'm confident riding them in the conditions I've experienced over the past two weeks, and I just mindful that their grip on slick surfaces isn't what I'm accustomed to from a studded tire.
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Old 01-17-18, 09:25 AM
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rumrunn6
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very cool, but ice is evil. biking to go snow shoeing is even cooler!
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Old 01-17-18, 09:41 AM
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JonathanGennick 
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
very cool, but ice is evil. biking to go snow shoeing is even cooler!
Yeah, that was a great afternoon! I was in a complete funk about getting outside until it hit me to bike to the trailhead. Short ride, and just enough to be fun. Then the rest was snowshoeing.
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