Friday, November 26, 2010

best commute of the year so far

This past monday we got 5 or so inches of snow and another couple on tuesday. That is enough to full on snarl traffic in Seattle. These are the very best days to commute on a bike, because
1. riding in the snow is fun
2. being stuck in a car on a freeway that has become a parking lot is not fun
3. wrecking your car or someone else's is not fun
4. fewer (functional) cars on the road. The cars that are moving are going really slow, so really it is probably a safer than usual bike commute.

Like everyone else, I wasn't expecting much snow on Monday so I rode my usual commuter, a Bianchi volpe with 32 mm tires. I have it set up with a front rack right now so there is more weight on the front of the bike, which really seems to help in the snow- it rode really well on the way home, I did not fall once. The ride across the I-90 bridge was eerie- the lights were out, the wind was gusting so hard it almost slid me sideways across the ice, the waves were almost splashing over the bridge deck, and there was a fog or mist that obscured the lights of Seattle.

Tuesday was clear and cold and there was packed down snow and ice on the road. I dusted off the mountain bike and put on my wheels with home made studded snow tires. They grip tenaciously even on clear ice. The only problem I have with them is that the tire liners don't quite cover all the screws so I occasionally get a slow leak. The widest Mr Tuffy is 38 or 39 mm, I need 42 mm or so to cover all my screws.

Both days were a blast to ride. Why does everyone think I'm insane for riding in the snow?

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