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Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Started an event on Facebook last week where I invited 20+ people to come ride with the WVWC college students during their first week back. About half replied, and a quarter of them were planning on attending. No one showed up. It snowed like crazy two days before, and I guess that killed everyone’s appetite for a ride.

Not me!

I suited up, rode to the meeting point, and waited a whole five minutes longer than I said I would. After that, I scuttled off on my adventurous ride. The route I planned has been ridden by me several times, but never on the cross bike. I didn’t know how it would handle it, or how the snow would affect its maneuverability over rocks, dirt, and mud… For the most part, it rode like a dream. After a very arduous climb, I ended up not having brakes on the way down since the rims and canti’s were coated in ice. Luckily I was able to slow myself down with my foot, and death grip on front and rear shift levers.

At the bottom of the hill, I saw a stray horse. Not knowing much about horses, I didn’t know if I should confront it like a dog, or whether it would attack. Do horses attack people? Bite? Trample? What, anything?

After unsuccessfully wrangling’ up some horses, I went back on the ride. There were many photogenic landscapes and opportunities, but for some reason, this was the only shot I took during the ride:

bike ride in the snow, cyclocross, cross, snow cross

I couldn’t even keep my shadow out of the photo :( I blame using a phone to take such pics…

By this point in the ride, I had been on the bike for almost an hour and a half, and the only part of my body that was cold were my feet, despite the temperature only being 22*F. The sun was coming out, and I knew I still had enough time to have some fun…

Off I went to Gene (Fat Tire Cycle)’s house to see why he didn’t make it to the ride. I didn’t see any vehicles there, so I decided to leave him a little surprise:

cyclocross snow angel

A ‘cross snow angel! I knew he would know it was me, and I thought it would be a funny gesture.

All in all, the ride was very fun, and kept me burning calories, and improving my bike handling skills by leaps and bounds. This is the first year I have really embraced cold weather riding; I’m really wondering why I wasn’t so receptive to it before….?

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With snowfall, it is really hard to motivate yourself to do anything. After work, I was planning on doing an hour or so of cross country skiing to keep my aerobic activity up. I haven’t had too many exciting or super enjoyable ski sessions so far, so the inspiration to go out is even more difficult. With cycling, I can recall past experiences that make me remember great routes, climbs, downhills, or feelings in general. These great times allow me to know that I’d feel great after a good, hard ride.

I got on my bike and took off through the powdery snow, leaving wonderful tire tracks everywhere I went. The initial sting of the cold air hit my legs, but after the first mile… I was ready to keep on pedaling.

Oddly enough, the cross bike really feels more responsive, nimble, and under control than the MTB does in the snow. I’m sure this is due to the skinnier tires at low pressure, the tires not half-floating, half-sinking into the snow, and the differences in geometry and center of gravity.

We all know getting started for an activity is the hard part, but once I was out there, I was whipping around, trying to burn as many calories as possible. It didn’t take much discipline to have an adventure, and test out things that I have never done before on a bicycle in these kinds of conditions.

I learned a lot of new skills, and abilities of my own body (how long it takes my toes to go numb, then hurt), or about the bike (how I can powerslide down a hill by locking my rear wheel just enough..) These things made it totally worth going out.

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross uphill downhill wvwc west virginia wesleyan college

 

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross uphill downhill wvwc west virginia wesleyan college figure 8's velodrome

Figure 8's, yes.

 

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross uphill downhill wvwc west virginia wesleyan college snow velodrome

I was doing laps around the snowvelodrome, er, the rubber track at the college

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross uphill downhill wvwc west virginia wesleyan college pomegranate post ride meal

Post ride snack~

 

 

 

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Well, first snow has fallen, so it is another round of trying the snow chains. This year, I have scrapped the external tensioning wire on both sides, saving about 120g,  and the install takes less than 20 minutes for both wheels:

DIY | Tagged 700c, better traction, bicycle, bicycle on ice, bicycle snow, bicycle snow chain, bicycle snow chain diy, bicycle snow chains, bicycle tire chains, bike chains snow riding, bike snow chain, bike snow chains, brake, carbide, chain, continental, disc, DIY, how to make bike tire chains, howto, ice, icebike, innova, Mountain, mountain bike snow chains, mtn, nokian, people slipping on ice, peter white, peterwhitecycles, Pneus à crampons, road bike snow chains, schwalbe, slipping on ice, snow, snow bicycle, snow chain bicycle, snow chain bike, snow chains bicycle, snowchains bicycle, stud, studded, teeth, tire, Video, weather, zip ties, Ziptie

Before

DIY | Tagged 700c, better traction, bicycle, bicycle on ice, bicycle snow, bicycle snow chain, bicycle snow chain diy, bicycle snow chains, bicycle tire chains, bike chains snow riding, bike snow chain, bike snow chains, brake, carbide, chain, continental, disc, DIY, how to make bike tire chains, howto, ice, icebike, innova, Mountain, mountain bike snow chains, mtn, nokian, people slipping on ice, peter white, peterwhitecycles, Pneus à crampons, road bike snow chains, schwalbe, slipping on ice, snow, snow bicycle, snow chain bicycle, snow chain bike, snow chains bicycle, snowchains bicycle, stud, studded, teeth, tire, Video, weather, zip ties, Ziptie

After

The only change I noticed in having the chains being held in place by zip ties alone was that the tension needed to hold them in place created unneeded stress on the sidewalls of the tires. One of the chains where the entire link was not fully aligned ended up rubbing a hole into my rear tire, ending the ride prematurely.

I stopped here for a photo op, and to let the tubeless goo seal the hole:

DIY | Tagged 700c, better traction, bicycle, bicycle on ice, bicycle snow, bicycle snow chain, bicycle snow chain diy, bicycle snow chains, bicycle tire chains, bike chains snow riding, bike snow chain, bike snow chains, brake, carbide, chain, continental, disc, DIY, how to make bike tire chains, howto, ice, icebike, innova, Mountain, mountain bike snow chains, mtn, nokian, people slipping on ice, peter white, peterwhitecycles, Pneus à crampons, road bike snow chains, schwalbe, slipping on ice, snow, snow bicycle, snow chain bicycle, snow chain bike, snow chains bicycle, snowchains bicycle, stud, studded, teeth, tire, Video, weather, zip ties, Ziptie

Click for larger image

One last photo really shows how cold it was outside; all of the grit and water that flew up onto my frame froze. This created an impenetrable fortress of frozen gunk on the bottom side of the downtube:

DIY | Tagged 700c, better traction, bicycle, bicycle on ice, bicycle snow, bicycle snow chain, bicycle snow chain diy, bicycle snow chains, bicycle tire chains, bike chains snow riding, bike snow chain, bike snow chains, brake, carbide, chain, continental, disc, DIY, how to make bike tire chains, howto, ice, icebike, innova, Mountain, mountain bike snow chains, mtn, nokian, people slipping on ice, peter white, peterwhitecycles, Pneus à crampons, road bike snow chains, schwalbe, slipping on ice, snow, snow bicycle, snow chain bicycle, snow chain bike, snow chains bicycle, snowchains bicycle, stud, studded, teeth, tire, Video, weather, zip ties, Ziptie

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Went of a long ride today which took me to a part of the next town that has not yet thawed out. Going a bit further, I passed by the largest body of water I have ever seen that was frozen over. I had to take photos, unfortunately the roads turned to pure packed snow/ice mixture. It was a mess.

A mess it was.

Frozen Lake Footage:

I rushed up back from the shoreline when I heard a vehicle approaching from afar, making sure that my carbon fibre wonder was going to be okay and in my sight. (That’s right, I treat it like a child.) When the vehicle arrived, I was still messing around with my camera, trying to place it in my waterproof bag, and put it in my rear zip pocket. The big, roaring junky old Bronco stopped in front of me and a little old lady started talking. She went on about of I went out toward her way, there were some loose dogs. I asked her if she lived in the area I was headed to, she said no, wished me good luck and went on her way.

I thought to myself, Well, wasn’t that awkwardly nice of her warning me of some loose dogs? I personally wouldn’t have thought about warning a cyclist about that. Not that I’m a jackass or anything, but it just wouldn’t have came across my mind. I was glad she was willing to stop and take the time to do so; it really made the ride worth a little bit more that day.

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WV’ers as you know, we are being bombarded by snow, day after day after day. You’re becoming jittery, no? Waking up in the mornings and putting on your bib shorts only to remember that there is a foot of snow out there and just crawling onto the rollers instead? Is anyone else worrying that their cycling tan-lines are going to be non-existant in the next few weeks if there isn’t a break in the weather?

Yeah. Me too. :( Take a look at how much snow there is around the house after shoveling:

cycling news

bicycle parts

west virginia road conditions

I think I removed the bike tire chains off the MTB too early..

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TV / Internet was down for about nine hours today; posting this a bit late. With this vital necessity gone, I decided to finish up Bill/Carol McGann’s second Tour de France book.

I hit the 1990′s and their prose about a rider that kind of sparked for a while piqued my interest.

Claudio Chiappucci was around the same time as LeMond, Hampsten, Indurain, etc. I think he was a captain/domestique for Indurain at the time. This guy had panache and took off without a whim sometimes. He kind of reminds me of Jens Voigt. His attitude and riding style was totally different than the conservative sniping attacks of Indurain, and maybe that is what is so interesting.

Here is some footage of him in the 1992 Tour.


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Its the first day in over a month without snow coming down, the car snot is clearing off of the slushy roads. The giant bank LCD screen says that it is 40*F outside.

You want to ride.

Today is that day – You get off work and start calculating how much time you have until it gets dark. You know that you just finished putting on new cables, housing, and bar tape and want to try out the shifting on the road. You’re tired of your trainer, and the treadmill feels like a jail cell with a belt underneath you.

Time to ride. (more…)

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