Thursday, March 23, 2006


Jordan is miffed. He’s been stuck in the house all week because of the foul weather and it’s spring break. First, it rained for a couple of days, and then last night it started snowing!

When I got up this morning, snow covered the grass, but the streets were merely wet. This called for a fixed gear with fenders! Sure, I could drive to work, but where’s the fun in that?

Mary came out to the kitchen as I was getting ready to leave. She stood there blinking in the lights and told me that I was crazy to ride this morning. I know she REALLY wouldn’t understand that I was looking forward to it. Maybe riding a bike in foul weather is a kind of compulsive behavior.

Someone in Texas said that he’d never consider riding a fixed gear on snow or ice. I actually prefer it. I can feel precisely how much grip my tires have, and the constant pedaling keeps me warm. I wear double-fronted tights and a windstopper fleece jacket. Since it was wet, I added a light sweater under the jacket. Halfway to work I had to unzip because I was getting hot!

The Centurion is geared very low, forcing me to spin. This is a good thing. The fenders keep the grime down too. My shoes and lower legs were just a little damp when I arrived at work.

Honestly, if you’re going to commute on a bicycle, consider fitting some fenders. They allow you to ride comfortably in the wet, stretching your cycling opportunities. You might even find that you need 2 bikes – one for fast, nice days, and another for bad weather.

Riding in falling snow is infinitely more pleasant than riding in the rain. Had it been a little warmer, it would have been raining and I would have driven the car. I HATE riding in the rain when the temperature hovers just above freezing. Snow doesn’t make me wet and cold. There’s an eerie stillness during a snowfall because it deadens sound. I get a kick out of riding along a quiet road made even quieter by all that white stuff! I can hear cars a long way off.

Motorists seem to be a little more considerate of a cyclist in the snow. I don’t know if that comes from sympathy or if they’re afraid we could just possibly be deranged. Mary would vote for ‘deranged’, I’m certain.

When I arrived at work, I heard all the usual stories of multiple car pile-ups and closed roads due to the nasty weather. And here I was thinking that it really wasn’t that bad. The roads were just wet. Maybe Mary is right about my derangement.



Blogger George said...

2 bikes?

I'm having a hard time getting by with 5:-)

5:46 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Where's the fun in driving, indeed! I love my fixie and I especially love riding in the snow. What gearing do you run? I ran 43x16x700x35C = 58.4" with my studded tires this winter and I'm curious what a OK guy considers "low". :)

2:19 PM  

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