Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Riding Conditions

What with all our melt/freeze/melt cycles, winter riding has become more like chancy spring riding. In fact, I promised my wife that with the slippery conditions I wouldn't ride to the bike co-op today. We had been out earlier for a walk and could hardly manage the slick sidewalks. Just other day, commuting to work, I lost my front wheel on the icy sidewalk in front of my old cycling buddy's house, just two doors down from my place.

Studded tires will only do so much and it is easy to become over-confident after many successful commutes. And there is every type of condition out there right now. From dry pavement to large snowy humps to series of frozen ridges. Slush too.

I ran into my winter cycling friend Rob the other day on my way home and after comparing the size of our (let's keep it clean) studs, we discussed riding conditions. When it came to slush - as Rob put it so well: "People complain about riding in slush. To me it means hope!". Hope springs eternal as they say. I'm getting pretty excited about the soon - to - come fair weather cycling season and starting to think about getting my two fair weather bikes ready for the season. The mountain bike (Furry Lewis) has a strange knock emanating from somewhere near the bottom bracket and after replacing the whole front cranks/chainrings/bottom bracket last year in preparation for the MS Mountain Tour, I'm praying that it doesn't need replacing. I wanted a sealed bottom bracket for the very reason that it is supposed to be maintenance-free.

My red road bike which I have yet to name, needs a granny gear. Climbing out of the river valley at 149 Street is well nigh impossible. And I don't think it is my conditioning. Last season, after nearly 3,000 km. of varied riding conditions, I still couldn't make it up that very steep incline at the western edge of the river valley trail system.

I realize that changing the front cranks/chainrings will affect everything else involved in the transmission but I'm willing to grind my way through the necessary adjustments to be able to climb steep slopes and besides, the MS Bike Tour is in June which is only 4 months away. There's training to be done!

Tricky stuff

But there I go, getting way ahead of myself. Given our northern location, we still have months of "winter" riding to do and lots of excitement negotiating our frozen highways and bi-ways.

1 comment:

  1. Knocks from my drivetrain are almost always my pedal striking a misaligned kickstand. Probably not your problem, but always a nice one for me, because it's an easy, non-critical fix! Just kick the stand back into place.