Saturday, January 10, 2009

first winter (snowy) commute

Wednesday I did my bike commute. Let me start by saying my commute by bike is partially done by bus. I live about 35 miles away from where I work. Sometimes I take the bus because it is slightly cheaper than driving. It is not faster, though. It takes about twice as long than driving myself. Anyways, I ride my bike a couple of miles to the bus stop. I then throw my bike on the rack and relax until I get to Burlington. Then I get on my bike and ride the rest of the way to my shop. It is about six miles each way of riding on a direct route. Therefore, if I commute two days a week, I will get 24 miles a week. In 12.5 weeks I will hit 300 miles. That is my goal for this winter. Quick math suggests that I will be into Spring before then so I have to supplement my riding on weekends around town. I really want to achieve this goal.

Back to the ride. I got into Burlington and we had a steady moderate snowfall going on. I was a little anxious yet excited. I love riding and this was going to be a unique experience. I was very impressed and pleased with the performance of the studded tires. They have an aggressive enough tread on them to do a good job when there is a bunch of crud on the road. I had quite a range of conditions to deal with. I traveled main roads as well as some secondary roads and the tires seemed to adapt to each very well. I found myself in only a couple of predicaments with the coffins on wheels. Mostly, they seemed to be courteous and cautious of my presence. I got blasted with some crud at one point when a car passed me. I realized that there was no malicious intent nor was there anything that I could of done about it. I looked down and saw my legs covered in muck with the consistency of pancake batter. Winter battle wounds!

Another observation I made was that I need to go to a 19 or 20 tooth rear cog, (I am riding fixie if you didn't know) because the 17t is a little tall for foul weather. I have to get out of the saddle on some of the climbs and then I easily loose traction in the snow. I still haven't done anything about switching to flat bars and I still want to give it a try. Hopefully I can give it a shot here soon. I would like to get some better winter gear, but winter riding gloves are going to be a must. Better luck next year! Get out there, you will be glad you did.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Sminch,

Glad to hear that you are up and riding. Your goal sounds feasible and I support you with that. A few bucks saved by commuting by bike is money that you can spend on your winter gear. If I was not such a wimp, when it came to Vermont Winters, I would ride with you to help you reach your goal, but I will be with you in heart and mind. Take care and ride safe. I look forward to your next entry.

D-