Friday, December 31

It Can Be Done

9ºF and I rode my bike to Target to get an RCA cord for our DVD player. We've been suffering with the same one for a few years and I'd finally had it. The old cord had a short, so I decided to go and get a new one. It's a mile and a quarter to Target, so I dressed warmly (but not over-dressed) and pedaled over.

I think I'm getting the hang of riding in the snow. And I'd like to share what I've learned so far.

I'm riding on regular mountain bike tires. So far no studded tires and I haven't tried the DIY zip-tie fix.

1) Keep your butt on the seat. It's okay to stand up if you're moving carefully with some momentum. I raised up a few times on my way home yesterday which was almost a necessity since I was two hours getting home. But if you try to stand up on the pedals as you take off you're going to break traction. It's imperative to keep your weight equally distributed between the front and rear wheels all the times. It makes starting out from a foot-down stop tricky.

2) Take curves and turns easy. Slow down wa-ay before you need to turn. Moving forward and stopping are not as tricky as you'd think. But turning on snow/ice is as difficult as you can imagine.

3) Stay loose. If you ride relaxed you can react effectively if you slide or skid. Play around on the snow and ice before heading out on a longer ride. If you get comfortable sliding and skidding around you won't fall and rupture yourself when you skate around unexpectedly.

4) Allow more time to reach your destination. Face it, you're just not going to be able to go as fast as you normally would. And there is always the possibility that the conditions of your route necessitate that you walk.

5) If you dress right you CAN keep warm while riding. The keys are good gloves and good shoes. Hands and feet will get cold first. If you have good insulation and wind protection on your torso and you keep moving you should stay pretty warm. But keeping the blood flowing alone won't prevent poorly protected hands and feet from going numb.

I'm getting more comfortable with the idea of riding on snow, just as I've recently embraced the idea of riding at night. All it takes is giving it a go and seeing that its possible. Try it sometime!

Not to change the subject, but I think I've got the OBS (Orange Blossom Special) all lined out. It fits me really well. With the longer stem at the lower (flat) angle the bike fits me perfectly.

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