Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I have been saying it for 2 years -finally riding in the snow.

We were awakened at five thirty this morning by the power in the house going out. Thankfully, by the time I found the flashlight the power popped back on. I was a little worried because we have been through a long power outage before and I certainly didn't want to go through it during this cold snap.

Those little white dots on top of the photo represent sleet, and it was coming down hard this morning. I heard a little squeal from the bedroom and I immediately knew that school was canceled and that my daughter and wife would spend the entire day in their pajamas. I, on the other hand, decided that today was the day I would do some snow riding and stop being a wuss.

After everyone woke up we took a vote and decided that pancakes and bacon were the order of the day. We had pancake mix, but our maple syrup supplies were low, and our bacon stash was exhausted. With everyone else in the house calling me crazy I put on my long underwear and my Han Solo jacket, hopped on the High Sierra and spun my way to the store. The sleet on top of the road gave me enough grip to ride and not slide, so the trip to the store was fun but not dangerous at all. I'm guessing that once it warms up a little today that the roads will melt enough to really give us a problem for the morning commute tomorrow.

I got to the empty store without seeing a single car, grabbed the foodstuffs and checked out. Everyone at Tom Thumb knows me as the "bicycle guy", and the checker this morning was shocked that I would ride in this weather. She actually walked me to the door so she could watch me ride away. She asked me, "How do you ride that thing in the snow?". The only answer I could come up with was "very carefully."

I rode home without any real excitement, made breakfast for the ladies, and then got ready for the day. I drove to the office, and as I said, I am worried about tomorrow morning's commute. I'm hoping that my wife's school is closed tomorrow as well so she doesn't have to leave the house again. I'll be riding the bike and the train tomorrow to get in, but I sure don't want her driving, after seeing what the roads are like today.

As the say in the webs, "pics or it didn't happen", and while I don't have any photos of myself riding, I do have a photo of my bike in the snow after I came home.

Saddlebag full of bacon and maple syrup.


  1. Looks like you have v brakes on that rig. My ancient center pulls were pretty much irrelevant to stopping, which put a crimp in things. Even in North Texas, the hills can get a bit scary without any means to stop...

  2. Actually they are Rollercam brakes - they work great. They aren't disc brakes, but they really are pretty beefy.

  3. One of the things to watch for with freezing rain and sleet is your brake cables icing up, especially if your bike is stored indoors. Cold sleet hits warm cable, briefly melts then refreezes.

    Your shifter cables can ice up too, but that's a little less critical than stopping ability.

    Anyway, good on you biking in this. I've found biking is easier than walking on ice slick pavement. Double bonus: No scraping ice from the windows.

  4. Keep your bike indoors? I have so many that if I kept them indoors, my wife would kick me outdoors.