Monday, December 7, 2009

Powder Cycling!

We woke up to 2-3 inches of snow in these parts this morning... the first meaningful snow of the year.

Of course, it put the motorists into Pure Panic Mode, and the guy on the traffic report said, "Just stay in the left lane of the Interstate this morning, to avoid most of the accidents and slide-offs."

I gave the NEW bicycle a much-deserved day off, and aired up the tires on the "clunker." Other than the escalated concern about what some irresponsible motorist might do, the ride to the office was truly "winter wonderland"!

Pushing through powdery, fresh-fallen snow on fat bike tires is a beautiful thing. For much of the route, I was making my own trail in the snow off to the right of the main traffic lane. (Striped bike lanes become meaningless, of course, when covered by snow. And typically the cars occupy the bike lanes as they cower away from the center of the roadway.) Wherever the road wasn't straight, I took to the sidewalks, etc., just in case of sliding-out-of-control motor vehicles.

Once the snow melts and re-freezes, it's not nearly so fun. Especially if it lasts a few days due to a weather inversion, and goes from white to dirty gray. But we'll roll with the punches, huh?

I LOVE to live within "self-power distance" of the office! (If it gets really bad, of course... 5 minutes' walk to the bus stop. Worst-case scenario; I could walk to work in less than an hour. I'm lucky.)


Unknown said...

cycling in powder is a lot of fun, I agree.... er.. well... cycling in about 4-5 inches of powder or less is a lot of fun - any more than that and I can't seem to stay upright. Like you, I also seem to find myself riding on the sidewalks a little more when there's snow on the ground. It's as close to mountain biking as I ever get here in MPLS.

Bikeboy said...

Good point, Reuben, about the depth of the snow.

Any more than about 5 inches in these parts spells disaster! They close the schools and wring their hands until it melts.

If you ride year-round in Minneapolis, you are a STUD!! (-;

Scott said...

We skipped powder and went from wet slop, to slush, to a streetcicle. I took the train today. The roads are mostly clear now, so back in the saddle.

Clancy said...

I skipped Monday as I had to take the kids(2) to school. I usually take them on the Xtracycle if it is above 15. But I was unprepared for the snow and didn't want to take a spill with them on the back. The powder is fine on the secondary roads but there was also some slick stuff.

I got some studs at the end of last year and didn't get a chance to use them. I mounted the front up tonight and need to get a tube for the rear.

db said...

Well, I rode Monday with plain knobbies and did OK, although my 35-minute commute stretched to 55 minutes. The ride home was a little dicier because of the slick hardpack on the side roads, but I still got the trip down to 45 minutes.

Put studded tires on my mountain bike last night, and then woke up to minus-5 degrees. Ouch. My wife and I have an agreement where I don't ride if it's below zero (I just don't have that kind of cold-weather gear). So the studded tires are still waiting for the "season opener". Hopefully tomorrow.

Clancy said...

I rode this morning with the dog alongside as the wife thought it was too cold for the dog to stay home. I put the front studded wheel on too.