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My ride tommor (snow)
Last Post 02/08/2014 12:03 PM by Orange Crush. 4 Replies.
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02/08/2014 12:46 AM
Just set up my winter fixie to go downtown tomorrow morning.  It's 19 degrees and about 6" of un-plowed snow.  10 miles.  I'll leave the house about 6:30 on cross tires and 44 x 18.  Debating whether I want to travel light with a small backpack or go front panniers with some weight in them.  The bike will handle a lot better with the panniers.  I used to bring books I didn't need in my Ann Arbor school days when the roads were bad.

I'll wear my winter socks: cross country skiing socks, almost knee high with the sole cut for a cleat and coated with Boot Tex (I think that was what it is called; a brush on rubber for repairing hiking boots)  Makes for a very walkable surface.  And with my bare foot in a produce bag, normal winter socks, then a large produce bag over my shoe and inside the big sock, all the rest stays dry and is good insulation, including the shoe.

In snow, high teens for temp is close to ideal.  Snow is hard work.  Cold isn't a problem.  And it is cold enough that spills in the snow don't get you very wet.  Of course, this is Oregon and we have storms brewing so tonight's observ atins don't mean much.  And there is the chance I will awake and decide this not so young body really shouldn't be out there.


Cosmic Kid


02/08/2014 09:50 AM
And there is the chance I will awake and decide this not so young body really shouldn't be out there.

This. Seriously, after all your recent crashes and injuries, why bother screwing around in the cold and 6" of snow?
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!


02/08/2014 10:13 AM
Gave it a try and bailed. On my windblown street, there was 4" new over tire packed base. I couldn't generate enough power (rear wheel slippage) to cut through the crust. I could see the first three blocks as being epic. After that, it would be tire tracks: good until you lose the track, then a crash or a foot down is almost inevitable or until a car comes. (And this is Portland - how do you drive in snow? - Oregon.) Bike lanes would be like the first three blocks except additional heavy snow on the one or two streets that get plowed. (The longest and hilliest street is plowed. It is an emergency route with two major hospitals on it.)

So, given that 1) I'm a 60 yo in decent shape, not an off-season 25 yo racer and 2) my vow is to keep the rubber down and good health up this year, I decided another day of doing little was a better option. Instead, I will do the weight bearing exercise of shoveling snow. (My house and my neighbor's.)

37 years ago, I commuted 12 miles into Boston on 6" of fresh heavy New England snow. I was strong enough that the virgin snow was fun. (I also had the benefit of a plowed base. You don't know how much that helps until you try to ride a street that never saw a plow after the first snow.) Riding home that day was epic. Much more snow had come down and only the tire tracks were even possible. I went down 3 times on one street where in places the track narrowed to a foot and I couldn't stay in it. Into deep snow. Just got very wet on the outside to match the sweat inside. It was hard work all the way to the house. No danger of freezing! So I have done epic. This time I'll pass.



02/08/2014 10:18 AM
Cosmic, it's a beautiful morning. White. Still air. There would have been almost no traffic going in and had the snow been a little more manageable, it could have been a ride I remembered fondly a long time. But if it snowed some more, the ride home could have been another epic. Again, a ride I might remember for years, but not fondly!

Orange Crush


02/08/2014 12:03 PM
Snow is where I bail but its been awesome dry cold weather on the west coast this week; about 5-10 below freezing in the morning; near zero for return home. Fun bike commuting with proper wear.

But yesterday I bailed on my usual Friday 80km winter training ride on account of bum knee acting up. Injury (meniscus most likely) from unfortunate ski jump turn on inadequate snow last day of Xmas break. Recovery had been descent but riding in the cold has definitely set it back. Time for some rest this weekend.

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