The White Winter

It snowed in Seattle. It snowed a lot. I rode my dropbar mtb all over the town. Streets were ghostly. The ground was white and glittery and crunched under my tires. People hid indoors as the snow flakes falling blurred the skyline, the trees, the light. The city was transported back in time to a less civilized era, and wolves entered the city to hunt. I saw it all.

I’m so tired. The effort of rolling over even level ground is so much more than a road bike.

I went from Belltown to the U-district and back, then home to Capitol Hill. People were snowboarding in Gasworks park, where this picture was taken.

gasworks snow.jpg

I’m worried about the impending melt and refreeze. I hope my Schwalbe Spiker Pro tires get here soon. One of the lightest studded XC tires out there and costly. Please Fedex, get those tires from Kent to the bike shop before the ground turns to icy death!



6 Comments

I love this—Mark is our Snow storm blogger!

I made the trek out to west seattle (via mini-van) to pick up a set of Nokians (the hakkapeliitta) and mounted them over the weekend. I’ve only been out for a few miles, and haven’t headed down any of the big hills, but I gotta say it’s fun to ride in the snow. I’ve had zero trouble stopping, mostly the opposite—trouble getting started. Even w/ the studs the rides a bit squirrly.

Last night I hooked my dad’s old runner sled up to the straps on my messenger bag and rode up to Phinney and 65th to meet a friend for some high-speed, long distance sledding. Great adventure all the way round.

I’ve been commuting here in Madison, WI through our early Winter snow storms.  It is really gorgeous to ride on these snowy days.  Our city plows the bike path and I have studded snow tires so the “footing” is good.  But, it is much more difficult to ride in cold and snow.  My average speed gets cut almost in half over Summer commutes.

Getting geared up in the mornings takes an extra 10 minutes which is a pain.  About 1/2 of that time is spent getting my shoe covers on over my MTB cleats.

But it is worth it.  Riding as the Sun rises is gorgeous with the new snow in the woods and backyards along the path.  The rides home in the dark is peaceful with the Christmas lights and moonlight reflected off of the snowy lands.

Cold.  Hard.  A hassle.  But I love it.

Good to hear someone else is cycling in this weather. I’m just north of you in Vancouver and have been having a blast riding in the snow. Everyone says I’m crazy, but I feel safer on my bike than walking the icy sidewalks. As long as I can stay away from the bad drivers in their summer tire clad SUVs.

Riding a Devinci Melbourne hybrid with bumpy Kenda tires. The skinny tires slice through the snow and get decent grip on the concrete below.

Snow this morning was deep and turned my front tire into more of a rudder than a rolling tire. I had to pedal hard even on the downhill parts, but I still loved it.

I was out riding in Ballard yesterday and didn’t see any other bikes on the roads. I was amazed by how stable I felt on my MTB, and no less than 6 people asked how easy it was to ride. Here’s a rather boring shot of one of my stops. http://www.flickr.com/photos/clonpop/3127643778/
I wish I’d thought of heading to Gasworks.

Back in my G-ville FL days, I played on a cyclocross bike in the sandy trails to the west of town.  It’s strange how similar snow is to sand.  My arms are sore from hossing on the bars through soft spots. 

I’m running 1.85” mud tires until my 2.1 Snow Spikers come in (tomorrow hopefully).  The only other mtb tires I have are Michelin XC-Dry which have better float but don’t shed the snow at all.  And without spikes, they are bloody treacherous on ice.

 

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