Ice-Cycle…

In news which appears to have come as a shock to many media organisations, there’s some wintry weather forecast (in January, no less!). It was even more of a shock to me as I was hoping I had warded it off by strategically ordering some very expensive spiked winter tyres for my bike, behaviour which would normally guarantee at least three years of uncharacteristically mild weather. The plan is to buy some new wheels and then fit* the old ones (which are on their last, er, legs) with the studded tyres. Theoretically, this should allow me to swap in and out as the forecast dictates, and prevent excessive wear of the winter tyres, as they otherwise are unlikely to last out the winter. The main problem is that you’re supposed to do 40km on them before the ice comes to bed in the studs, so my timing does appear to be a little off as the tyres themselves won’t arrive to next week – maybe I can ride the bike round and round the shed to bed them in?

I’m half looking forward to this – and half nervous. Looking forward to it because I love it when it snows but I get so frustrated when our ungritted roads become compacted and icy and I’m either stuck indoors or forced to rely on the car. And nervous because when it comes to cycling over ice, I’m a bit of a wuss and I know even studded tyres won’t make it like cycling on dry tarmac, but having shelled out for the tyres, I’ll feel I have to… Hopefully I’ll get over the nerves after one or two successful trips (according to people who’ve got them, the moment usually comes after you’ve cycled 5 miles over black ice without noticing until you get off the bike and fall flat on your bum). After which point, it will probably start raining and not stop till June…

* and by ‘fit’ I mean ‘get the lovely local bike shop to fit’. I’ve done enough Marathon tyre wrangling for a lifetime.

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7 Responses to Ice-Cycle…

  1. zungg says:

    A whiff of snow in the forecast today, so I grudgingly rode my tanklike, snow-tire-equipped mountain bike in to work, certain that this would postpone all precipitation until tomorrow, and lo! just looked out the window and it’s snowing! Snow tires are a ton of fun in the snow and a miserable burden at other times.

    Maybe drop your seat a bit so you can stick both feet down if necessary!

  2. disgruntled says:

    The bike has a cross bar which limits me a bit but I do normally deploy God’s stabilisers fairly readily in the snow… I’m not proud!

  3. I’ve been meaning to put this on CCE, but don’t believe the guff about the tyres wearing out. I’ve not lost studs, and mine are in fabulous shape, and it’s their 3rd year in use (first one not by me, so not sure how much use they got).

  4. John Gibson says:

    Lets be careful out there.
    John

  5. disgruntled says:

    @Sara – I hope you’re right as I’ve worked out it will take about 5 years for them to earn their keep!
    @John – don’t worry I’m too much of a wuss to be anything else

  6. Jo says:

    I never did get round to getting any. Too busy teaching my bikes to swim.

  7. disgruntled says:

    heh. No answer to that but a pedalo.

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