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.


Reuben said...

nice blog. looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

The Jolly Crank said...

I think you're absolutely right when you say that the best thing is to know how to handle the tires you do ride on. No tire will do everything and circumstances and conditions are so varied in winter that often you have to rely on your skill rather than your equipment. I do think a lot of riders run their studs way to early in the season (I can hear them a mile away)though, because if there's no ice or snow the tire is actually less stable (rubber grabs a smooth surface, steel doesn't).