Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Bicycle Commuting Diaries: Studded Tires and Snow Plows

Winter is approaching and in Colorado that usually means one thing; snow. In our previous life, we usually parked the bikes in the garage and set up the stationary trainer as the last fall leaves were hitting the ground. This year we decided to “buck up” and keep riding through the ice, snow, and freezing temperatures.
Enter the snow tire for bicycles. We ordered the Ice Spiker Pro from our good friends at Schwalbe and Chris got them installed this morning. Neither one of us has rolled a bicycle with studs before so we decided to go for a test run. The tires require a break in period on pavement so, per the instructions, we started the “running in” process by riding to the post office.
Even though the route was the usual urban adventure of paved path and busy intersections, we found ourselves very excited for the adventure. With a new blanket of snow and a clear blue sky we navigated our way south with smiles on our faces. Intersections were a little crazy as we had to crash our way through the snow piled up from the cleared roads. We must have garnered some attention because most cars gave us the right away.
The only scary part came when we were faced with a wave of snow being thrown from an on-coming plow. I was about the head into a snow bank when the driver looked our way, slowed down, and lifted his plow. I guess that will be rule #1 on the Winter Riding Guide – “watch for snow removal equipment”.

Here’s to snow crunching under your tires,

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