Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sol Returns

The sun was out today and the wind was calm. A great day to ride.

We received 3" of snow on Sunday morning. The roads are mostly clear, but this evening the sun and salt melted roads re-froze as the temp dropped below 20.

My rear derailleur froze today - the brifter lever would move, but the derailleur would not move. I was able to wiggle it free and when I got home I sprayed WD-40 in the joints. Has anyone had that problem before?

Happy riding!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day ride

Santa was kind to me this year, he brought me a new Brooks B-17 saddle. I've heard a great deal about these saddles for a long time and Santa delivered.

For my Christmas Day ride today, I covered my new saddle with two plastic bags to keep it dry.

We had a white Christmas very early morning, but temps overnight in the mid-40's with a great deal of rain washed and melted away our snow.

Half-way through the ride it started to rain again. I wore cotton stretch tights beneath my ski wind pants. The wind pants are not waterproof, so near the end of my 23 mile ride my legs were getting quite cool.

I rode down to New Haven, then jumped on the Rivergreenway and rode towards Fort Wayne. The Park Dept. plowed this stretch of trail, and it was nice to ride without worrying about cars.

Although the rain was quite heavy at times during the ride, I was glad to have the chance to get out.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Happy riding!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

There's no ride like snow ride

We received 3 inches of snow overnight. Went for a ride in the snow this morning - the first real snow ride I've ever done. I've ridden on dry roads with snow on both sides, but not a full-out ride in the snow.

Here's the Cedarville Reservoir. The weight of the new snow has pushed water up from around the edges of the ice. There's about 4 inches of clear, strong ice on the edges - plenty for ice fishing now.

Snow on the twigs and branches looks beautiful.
One thing I found is there are certain conditions that make for difficult riding. The open tire track here is fine for riding.

This grey snow is packed and partially melted snow - it is very difficult to ride on. The front wheel is very squirrelly in this stuff, making going straight very tough.

Scraped road surface, packed and frozen, is no problem at all. I had good traction, and could ride almost as fast as on dry asphalt. The interesting thing is this surface is slippery to walk on, but the new Nokians had plenty of traction.

This deep snow riding was no problem either - plenty of traction and it was fun to ride in. When I say deep snow, it is only 3 inches deep. I could only get up to about 9 1/2 mph in this stuff.

Snow packed itself in the brakes.

And in the derailleurs and in the wheels. I rinsed everything off with hot water. After everything melts off in the garage, I'll wipe off the chain and put some lube on it.

This happens to be my 100th post. Thank you to all of you folks who follow this blog and make comments. I've learned a tremendous amount from your blogs and comments.

Happy riding!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Park and Ride

Perhaps one of the best ideas I've had in a long time is to drive part way to work (it is 19 miles), park my truck, bike the rest. The only problem is there are very few places to park where my truck will be allowed to remain for the day. I think it was Steve A who said that commuting is about time, not mileage. I agree, it takes me up to 1 1/2 hrs to ride 19 miles to work, so I want to reduce my commute time in the cold and the dark by driving part way.

I parked today at a public park - the only place where I'm sure my truck won't be towed. There are a couple of public access sites for boating where I can park, but when the snow gets deep, these areas aren't plowed. There are a couple of nature preserves where I could park also, but the park will be my first choice. There are no stores, malls, or other areas with large parking lots on the way where I can park.

I did get my new studded tires today, so I will be mounting them tonight for the ride tomorrow.

Happy riding!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter Commuting About to Begin

Ever since grade school, I've never ridden much in the winter. It's not because I don't like winter, because I really do. It just never struck me that riding a bike in the winter would be a good thing to do. Ice hockey, ice fishing, cross-country skiing were things I liked to do in the winter.

But thanks to many of you people who keep riding through the snow and ice and blog about it, I think I'll give it a try. I've been riding here and there after work and on weekends when I can find the time so I can get used to the idea and to figure out what clothes to wear.

Today I ordered some Nokian Hakkapaliita W106 studded snow tires for my Tricross, from Peter White Cycles in New Hampshire. Penny said they would be here Monday or Tuesday, so my winter commuting will begin soon.

Tonight I rode past the Cedarville Reservoir (it's right behind the bike). It was a balmy 20 degrees, and the wind is down to only 10 mph, so it was very nice compared to the howling winds we've had since Wed. morning.

Anyway, will keep my posts coming regarding my winter commuting.

Happy riding! Stay warm.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blowin' In The Wind

We missed the big snow, but have big wind now. Sustained wind is at 35 mph with gusts to 60. Temp is at 29, but is dropping quickly now. Didn't ride today because of the ice on the roads and the big wind.

I hate the strong winds. Should be over by Thursday morning.

Monday, December 7, 2009

First Snow

We received the first measurable snow of the year - about 1 inch. Did not ride to work today (haven't for three weeks now). I was thinking of riding this morning, and charged my light battery for the commute. But with the snow and slick roads (no studded tires yet), I unplugged the charger and got in my truck.

One day soon, I'm tellin' ya, I'll get back on the bike to work plan. I did ride a little yesterday (Sunday) after supper and had a good time. This weekend was a work weekend on two of the public disc golf courses. Of course, being a disc golf junkie, I managed to get in several rounds.

The nice thing about this time of year is the temperature is staying cold enough now to freeze the lakes. Ice fishing soon for Bill! Some people are out already, but I take great pride in staying on top of the water.

Happy riding!