Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Commuting — more snow

Friday, December 17th, 2010

We got a few more inches of snow, which resulted in schools being closed. I always get a chuckle out of commuting by bicycle when schools and businesses start shutting down. Then again, it doesn’t take much to close the schools here.

My commute rides have been interesting. The streets have mostly been snowy/slushy, rather than icy, but I’ve still been glad to have studded tires. The “newer” studded tires are narrower than my old ones, which had me a little concerned about snow, so far they work great. If we get deep snow, I might need to ride my mountain bike, or something. I’m also considering fixing up The Beast and getting it ready for action again, just in case.

My morning commutes have been a lot slower. Today I overheated and sweat through my layers. I forgot how much extra work even a little snow requires to push through. I’ve been using a sweater, but I think I need a thinner insulating layer that breathes better.

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I had been taking my bicycle inside the building at work. However, when I did so after riding in this stuff, there was a lot of snow and slush stuck to my bicycle, which started melting and dripping everywhere. I guess the bike will have to stay outdoors in this kind of weather. Not a big deal, but I prefer having it indoors when possible.

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I still see 1-2 other commuters on the bike rack every day, which is encouraging.

Riding home in the dark, with snow, is an interesting experience.

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I’ve been taking my time and enjoying looking at Christmas lights on my way home. I like the lights on the house below. However, I think the train with a family member’s name on each car is just a little over the top.

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The Trucker is working very well for winter commuting duty. I’m frequently amazed at what a versatile bicycle it is. It’s a joy to ride in all kinds of different conditions, and I’m always finding new types of riding it excels at.

After my wreck last weekend, my face is healing nicely. No more headache or neck pain, either. I did buy a new helmet, just to be on the safe side.

Sarah has to work Saturday afternoon, so I ought to plan a ride! It’ll be cold, but it looks like it might get up to 25°F, which isn’t too bad.

11 Responses to “Commuting — more snow”

  1. Scott Loveless Says:

    I keep hearing about all the fun my friends are having in the snow, and all we have here is wind.

    One theory about skinny tires in the snow is that they will sink through to the hard stuff underneath and your studs will help with traction. Fat tires, on the other hand, tend to compress more of the white stuff and float on top. There are proponents of both theories. I’m in the “if it gets me where I want to go, then it’s fine” camp.

    Your bike lights are very festive. Jingle jangle.

  2. Apertome Says:

    Scott, I think that’s exactly what’s going on. Time will tell how these tires work in deeper snow. If I have trouble, I can always fall back on big fat knobbies.

  3. RANTWICK Says:

    Lovin’ the festive bike. I’ve been percolating about my next winter bike, god help me, and I think I’ll take the narrower tire approach next time. Nothing against the “float” of low psi knobbies, that is how I do it now… but I would like to see for myself how narrower tires behave.

  4. Jon Grinder Says:

    I had the supply person at work order me a floor mat, like you see at the entrances to public buildings, on which I park my bike. Any drippage gets gaught on it, and spares the carpeted floor of my cell…I mean, “cubicle”.

    When the mat gets nice and dirty, I take it outside and sweep it off. That way, my bike never has to stay outside.

  5. David Crowell Says:

    We had more ice than snow here in Louisville. The studs have been keeping up “rubber side down” so far.

    My Christmas lights failed on my bike. The wires got damaged. I could have soldered stuff back together, but I threw them out. I still have one set on my single-speed, but it’s not equipped for the weather.

  6. Bill Lambert Says:

    Michael, glad to hear your neck is OK. When I was commuting to work last year, I took my bike inside and hid it in a closet nobody really uses, and I put plastic garbage bags down with newspapers on top. Maybe a benevolent soul will allow you to use such a closet or mechanical room. Five more days and the nights will start getting shorter!

  7. Tim S Says:

    love the dark/xmas light/street/fender pic towards the bottom.

    now that I’m a “stud” I’ll be out on the pavement in short order.

  8. wil Says:

    Michael, You are lucky that you have light on one end of your commute. I only see dark riding during the week for my commute. That is one reason that I don’t have many pics to post. I will get some here soon and I will grab some while I am out riding tomorrow. Thanks for checking out my blog.

  9. Jeremy Says:

    Versatility of the trucker, indeed, it’s a great bike.

    More and more I find myself wanting a set of Christmas lights for mine….

    lookin pretty sweet man!

  10. Mike Says:

    Get one of those long plastic sleds for kids. Toboggan length. With sides. Set your bike on it inside and empty it out once in awhile. If you park outside and the temp drops you may find your drivetrain frozen when you need to ride home.

  11. Apertome Says:

    I appreciate the suggestions. I just don’t think I can make it work in my office. I was pushing the limits bringing the bike inside at all. Thanks, though!

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