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Thread: Am i chicken...

  1. #1
    BIKE!!
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    Am i chicken...

    ..or am I just being smart. Here is my story

    I live on top of a mountain. Therefore I have a 2 mile downhill (Steep) on the way to work and a 2 mile uphill coming home. I am not complaining about that, however the snow that we had yesterday and today made me take the car to work. There were some black ice patches on the road as well as a dusting of snow.

    Going down the mountain would be scary if I suddenly hit a ice patch or the like. It is nearly impossible, unless I replace brake pads every week, to take it nice and easy going down. Anybody have a similar scenario or advice. Do studded tires help if you hit a slick patch of ice?? Or is it safer to bite the bullet and drive the few days it snows.

    Another thing that worries me is other drivers sliding and hitting me while I am riding.

  2. #2
    Another Retro Grouch
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    Crashing can be really bad, have a look at the "Rider Down" forum, some very bad stories there. If I have any doubts, I go safe, there's people at home waiting for me. I think you're being smart

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Good studded tires will help on black ice, yes. If you get to the end of this YouTube video, I'm doing about 30mph downhill on glare ice in a light ice-fog. One-handed, in fact. I wouldn't be in a hurry to try that without the studded tires.

    As for the braking problem, disc brakes would help since they have long pad life, but you can buy a lot of brake pads for that price.

  4. #4
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    Black ice is probably the most dangerous hazard to winter road biking. You can't see it until it's too late and there's no hope of controlling a bike on it.

    The good news is that black ice almost always occurs in the same places, and under the same weather patterns, so if you get to know the route well enough you can anticipate it. If there's any uncertainty remember that it's better to be a live chicken then....

    There are a few black ice zones where I ride & I take a pass when the weather favors those conditions.

  5. #5
    I Ride for Donuts
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    You are just being smart. I have a pretty good elevation drop on the way to work also, half of which is on a dirt road. The day or two after a good storm, while the roads are packed snow/ice, before the pavement is showing, I drive. These are my only driving days. Usually it's about 15 days...one year it was 5, one year it was 30. One year I broke my leg snowboarding and it was 41. Getting hurt will take you off the bike far longer than skipping a day because of ice.

    ...I also hit the starbucks drive-through sometimes on these days. It's like a reward for all your hard work on the other days.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  6. #6
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    my motto is " you dont live, until your ready to die "





    *jk*, be safe doode. take the car

  7. #7
    bi-winning
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    From what I have heard, studded tires are pretty amazing.

    But, screaming down a mountain with cars which don't have studded tires can still be dangerous.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  8. #8
    local trails rider
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    Studded tires do help a lot on ice and very hard packed snow.
    Snow is not necessarily bad at all, as long as it is a little bit soft.

    I have never used studs, and that has lead to some occasional spills. The latest one was two days ago, on my flattish commute. We had a night of rain and then it started freezing in the morning. I got to work OK but, in the afternon, the paved paths were covered with a film of ice: I fell once and had a couple of close calls. The next night, some snow fell and got stuck to the snow. That made the paths grippy again: no problem riding, using the shallow tread hardpack tyres.

  9. #9
    BIKE!!
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    Thanks alot! Glad to here I am smart! haha

  10. #10
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    When you mentioned being worried about other drivers hitting ice and sliding into you I came to an immediate conclusion. Do NOT ride when the roads are like that!

  11. #11
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    You are just being smart. I have a pretty good elevation drop on the way to work also, half of which is on a dirt road. The day or two after a good storm, while the roads are packed snow/ice, before the pavement is showing, I drive. These are my only driving days. Usually it's about 15 days...one year it was 5, one year it was 30. One year I broke my leg snowboarding and it was 41. Getting hurt will take you off the bike far longer than skipping a day because of ice.

    ...I also hit the starbucks drive-through sometimes on these days. It's like a reward for all your hard work on the other days.
    ^^ I was weak in 2008 Rewarding myself with starbucks? For driving?
    I have since gone to studded tires in the winter and I crave bad weather and ice. Ice is the best. The blacker the better.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  12. #12
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ I was weak in 2008
    Aw, you blew it for me. I was going to quote and tell the old you to buy yourself some studs.
    Recalculating....

  13. #13
    29er and 26er
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    You are not chicken. Do what you feel is safe.

    I don't mind riding in the cold, but riding on the ice is a different story.

    ON that note, I was hoping for an early spring but the snow the last few weeks have ended that for me. Lets hope I can get back on the road in March!

  14. #14
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    I work at home and I generally don't ride my bike in the house.

  15. #15
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    I dont like riding during a snow storm because I almost have been taken out by a blow. There are no shoulders on some of the roads i take and those plows are so big they actually are larger than the lane. So during snow storms I drive. Also ice sucks. next year im going studded for sure.

  16. #16
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    The rule from 2008 still applies in 2013.

    If the weather is too nasty to bike to work, the weather is too nasty to go to work.

    The only day I missed this winter the office was closed.

    I have occasionally been reduced to walking and pushing the bike through deep snow for extended sections, but traffic here gridlocks at the slightest hint of snow and driving would take twice as long as just walking with the bike.

    All the usual caveats about appropriate equipment, tires and practice on slippery roads, anticipating drivers ill-prepared for conditions, and allowing snowplows adequate room, of course, still apply as well.

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