Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thaw and Freeze


You'd think that I would be grateful, after several weeks of bitter cold, when it got above freezing, on Friday. But the cyclist in me, knows that what goes up is going to come down with a whole lot of ice. Which it did on Saturday. I'd rather it stay in the teens and twenties, keeping that snow nice and consistent, then going through the melt and freeze cycle that we just went through.

The Freeze

Tonight, I was biking through Loring Park and noticed that I was riding on glare ice. I made the mistake of trying to stop suddenly to take this picture, and went for a nice skid, which was pretty funny, as I shifted back and forth to keep from falling. I tried a few times to ride on it, hoping the studded tires would prevent a fall, but that was not the case. Luckly, I'm good at falling and won't having a bruises to show for it. It is a reminder to always watch what's ahead of me, slowing down when it gets dangerous.

Friday, December 26, 2008

3 Degrees F Really is Cold!

My shadow self

He needs a hat.

Weekend parking.

As always, the day after a snow storm, it's really cold and windy. Last Sunday, was one of those days. It was 3F, but not so bad, as long as I had the wind at my back. I realized why there weren't many people out biking that day, when I turned North and headed back home. That's when I realized that I should have had more food in my stomach, because the wind was really in my face. I could feel that I didn't have the energy in my core that I would normally like to have. So, I stopped and chewed on an energy bar, real quick. Then I headed for Free Wheel bike shop to get some warmth, while the energy bar did it's work. It reminds me that I always need to think ahead, this time of the year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Icicle by Bicycle: Part 1

I hopped on the Greenway and headed east. I only met a few cyclists, even though it was a balmy 34F. I guess people were too busy shopping.

To the light rail at Lake Street

And stowed my bike.

Arriving at my destination, Minnehaha Falls.

I've been coming to the Falls since before I remember. It is always a place that I make a point of going to every year and if I remember, every season. I really need to see it in all the seasons. In the spring, it's wet and turning very, very green. In the summer, you can hide from the sun under the lush trees and explore it's hidden avenues. The fall brings vibrant colors and cool waters. When the leaves fall from the branches, you see the rock formations and all that is hidden in the summer. And this place called Minnehaha Falls is right inside the city of Minneapolis. So close and so far away from the busy city. Every time I go, I say to myself that I should come here more often. I've spent so much time here, doing so many things. I promise, I'll come back.

Winter Strikes!

Dedicated rider said she's may end up walking if the ice is to dangerous.

Not many bikes at the at the Wedge Coop on Sunday evening.

I saw this guy on my drive in this morning. It was -7F/-21C at the time.

Winter definitely arrived in Minnesota, yesterday. I'm glad I had my studded tires, because it sleeted first, before the temps dropped into the abyss. I didn't ride to work this morning, but was happy to see 2 riders braving the extreme cold. My commute is 13 miles and I hope to work up to riding in the subzero weather, but I remember from last year that it gets real hard to peddle at those temps.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter Fun

One thing I've noticed is every winter rider has an opinion about what's the best type of tires to use. I'm using studded mountain bike tires, and they are a little bigger than I'm used to. Bigger tires don't cut down to a hard surface as easily as narrow ones. They tend to surf a little on the corners when you go though snow.

Last night, I got my first chance to ride my new winter bike in a snow storm. I rode through downtown and into Uptown. It was nice to skip right through all the gridlock, which was much worse than normal because of the snow. The bike handled very well, but it reminded me that whatever bike you're riding, you'd better be real careful. You always have to look for your next move. Finding the best spots to plow though the snow and dealing with it when you picked the wrong one. It's basically like a winter sport.

One cool thing about riding in storms is that the comraderie with other riders is heightened. When I would meet another rider I would say "Woo Hoo!" and would always get a smile and verbal agreement.

As for what's the best type of winter tires to have, my thought is whatever your choice, learn to ride it the best you can. That's what I'm going to do with this bike. I'm going to figure out what I can do with it and what I'd better not.

I only got off 2 shots before the battery died. Perhaps they didn't like the cold. Both are one Hennipen Av. and of a Fixie waiting for the light.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Winter bike

My old gary fisher is now winterized and on Sunday I took it out for a ride. With the studded tires, it sounds like a tank when it's on tar. But I can put up with that if it cuts down on falls.

Here I am outside my favorite restaurant, Namaste Cafe. I had one of their famous chai's before heading out on the longest part of my journey. I think it kept my toes warm.

On the Greenway headed out in to St. Louis Park.
Minneapolis Greenway after a little snow

Lone cyclist

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Words, words, words... can I come up with some words to fill this blog? My intention with this blog is to share about my experience as a cyclist and to encourage the use of them. It often seems to me that I have only been riding for a short time. I feel like a newcomer. I think it's because I really enjoy riding. It feels so good to be on my bike. I want to share it with everyone. So blog on.