Thursday, January 6, 2011

Biking in the Snow: Quick Lesson Learned

Please plow me.
Today I discovered that a Dahon Eco 3 is too light to reasonably travel of 2 inches of  well-packed sticky snow.  The tires just don't have the tread and get stuck, causing the bike to wobble in their own tracks.  Tomorrow, I'll try taking the Specialized Expedition with its knobbier tires and heavier weight.  Definitely wish I could afford a couple of studded tires through.  The streets are fairly clear but I suspect that most of the residential streets and many of the urban trails are still pretty covered with the same type of snow.  Unfortunately, Bob and I had to go out and purchase a new gas range when the heating element on ours died over on Christmas Day midway through cooking the turkey. 

I hope this person has a good ice scraper.
Bob made a brief observation Christmas week that I've been meaning to share, by the way.  Have you ever noticed on those very, frigid mornings on the way to work the number of cars driving around with windows covered in frost except for a few patches scraped off presumably to give the driver a view of the road.  Well, Bob noticed that while the drivers might be able have a partial view of the road, they don't seem to have much ability to see other traffic, which probably includes bicyclists.  Do drivers have any kind of legal obligation to completely clear all of the window?  Is it a moving violation to do otherwise?  You never know about Arizona, especially if the current state legislature has anything to say about it. . . . but I do know that I can't see through frosted over car windows. 

My favorite new hat is a bit of a departure for me.
More snow possibly returning this weekend.  I welcome it despite the fact that it cuts into my bike riding time but like last year I've returned to hitching rides with my husband in to work, skis or snowshoes in tow.  Yesterday, I skied home and made a detour into the into the forest to practice alternating the pizza wedge and the french fry moves.  I insist that my p.m. commute home be fun.


G.E. said...

Wow! A folding bicycle in the snow. I'm impressed that you even gave it a try. :) If it helps any, I have never put studded tires on my bicycle, and I've ridden through the snow here in Colorado. I just have to be more careful and watch what I'm doing... of course, I haven't tried this on a folding bike either.

As for the frost on the windshield, I think in most states there are laws stating that drivers need to have an unobstructed view of the road (which to me includes frost on windshields). There was a story not long ago about a girl on her way to school being hit in a crosswalk because someone hadn't cleared their windshield of frost (link here: Such a shame that drivers don't take a few minutes to just clear it off before heading out.

Dottie said...

That's a lot of snow. Those shoveled sidewalks look pretty appealing...

Traci said...

That's good that the sidewalks are clear at least - that's more than we have in the South when it snows! We just got 4-5 in. dumped on us, mixed with ice, and that's enough to cripple things for days here! I can't even stand up on ice, so I'm not going to attempt getting on a bike or in a car. Like you said, I'd be very worried about drivers here since we're basically on regular streets rather than paths. There were photos and videos of cars skidding all over and into each other last night, so I can imagine them hitting a cyclist. And yes, I also hate when people try to drive after simply clearing off a tiny area of the window on the driver's side - as if they can see anything on the road!

Cherilyn said...

"I insist that my p.m. commute home be fun."
What a great way to think! I don't have a commute, but there are ways I could work this into my week.

bikerchickchar said...

I just came across your blog. :) I have 5 bikes at home - one of them is a mountain bike that I have studded tires, for riding in the winter. I have a limit of 3" of snow to bike in...after that it gets too squirrely to ride. The studded tires help a bit to keep you upright. :) Charmaine