Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ridin' Icy.

I said I'd ride today, and for a change, I rode. Then I stood in the cold for 40 minutes and rode back home.

I'm pretty sure that anyone reading this was affected by the giant blizzard storm of aught-eleven, so you already know that here in North Texas we got nothing but ice, and then another night of freezing temperatures. This morning, there were a few dry spots but plenty of ice sheets on the roads, both black and otherwise. I woke up, had coffee, watched the news, and checked the DART website to make sure that the trains were running. While I was disturbed to hear that Oncor was scheduling rolling blackouts, I figured that things like public transportation wouldn't be affected, because those things are important in order to keep us citizens off of the icy and dangerous roads. I loaded up the bike, lowered the tire pressure a bit, and was off.

It really isn't that hard to ride on the ice, I guess. I was able to pick my lines pretty well and only slipped a couple of times, but didn't fall at all - I could feel the rear wheel slide out, but I am apparently incredibly graceful on two wheels and was able to recover my balance immediately. The discovery that I have that kind of skill really pleases me, and I really can't express how much.

I did have my coffee cup holder mounted on the bike today, and had a cup full of coffee in it. I ordered a new fancy schmancy cup to use in it, but for now I am still using the same cup that thows out little spills if it gets to be too rough a ride. On one of my slips today a little bit of java got tossed onto my bars, and when I got to the train station I realized that it was so cold that it had frozen on my bars.

The coffee on my bars.

As I rode up to the platform I actually took my only spill of the day. I hit a patch of ice right as I got to the ticket machine and the bike shot out from under me. Luckily I was able to put my foot down on the one dry patch on the platform and save myself. The bike spun away from me, but didn't sustain any damage.

I stood on the platform waiting for the train about 40 minutes.

I waited until the digital sign above me changed and said "Sorry Suckers, Blackouts Mean No Train for You."

Sadly, it didn't photgraph well.

I rode the bike home, had a few more slippery moments, and even had to dismount a few times because I hit such big patches of ice. I made it home safely and ended up spending the day at home with my family. I did ride to the grocery store in the afternoon for wine restocking,and the route to the store was about 90% clear - there was one bad patch, but I hopped a curb and just rode through the grass. Today was an adventure for sure, and really a lot of fun. The schools are closed again tomorrow, and the roads are still pretty icy, so I'm probably going to make another run at riding the train. If I do, I will try to make a post of it.


  1. Were you riding with platform pedals, toe clips, or clipless? I found that the toe clips are just too slow to get out of on ice. And it seemed much harder to stick to good traction area in the dark.

  2. I normally ride clipless exclusively, but this time I put some platforms on. I didn't figure I would be going too awful fast, so I wasn't worried about retention.

    I waited until the sun came up - I'm not trying the ice in the dark. If it snows tonight (Thursday) I will ride the powder on Fri morning - the traiction shoudl be much better.