Sunday, December 9, 2012

Snow Biking!

As of this moment we have about a foot of fresh snow on the ground. It's been falling since daybreak and still coming down. With great excitement I got on my biking clothes after lunch and headed out on Bear to ride in some deep snow on the still unplowed streets of my neighborhood. Owen joined me on his Mukluk. We rode for about 30 minutes and probably went 2 miles. We laughed a lot, got a good workout and had a blast!
Here's what I learned on my ride today:
  • Deep snow is hard to ride in, even on a fat bike
  • But boy is it fun!
  • Snow is slippery and you can skid a lot
  • This results in a lot of laughing
  • And some happy screaming
  • And a few near falls
  • I'm better at controlling a bike through skids than I thought I was
  • But look forward to getting even better
  • It's easier to ride in the ruts where a car has already driven
  • Pedals quickly get packed with snow making your boots slip even though the pedals have those little pins (12 per side on the VP Vice Trail Pedals I have) that are supposed to keep your shoes from slipping
  • It makes sense to carry some sort of tool to knock the packed snow out of your pedals
  • Wearing wraparound bicycling glasses may keep the snow out of your eyes but soon they are so wet from falling snow you can't see out of them anyway
  • Mid-calf, warm socks may keep your feet warm but don't help your upper calves, especially when you have zippers up the back legs of your fleece-lined pants
  • Zippers get really cold on your legs when it's 30 degrees F 
  • Leg gaiters may be a smart investment
  • And certainly some tall, warm socks so my feet and legs stay warm
  • Clothes get kinda wet when it's snowing
  • So a water resistant, warmer jacket is on my wish list
  • A toilet brush (clean, of course) is a good tool for cleaning snow out of your tires after your ride
  • People who see you riding smile, wave or stare - and sometimes all three - when they see you riding your fatbike in the snow

And most of all...

Riding in the snow on my Salsa Beargrease is really fun!!
I know, I know...I keep saying that - so much so that you might not even believe me. But it's true.

Oh, I've had a couple of moments when I've gotten a little tired or frustrated and I can't yet hop my bike over a curb (Ben from Milltown gave me a lesson on how to do this on a group ride last Tuesday - I have a ways to go before I can jump up a curb let alone pop a wheelie with much success) but overall I really do have fun when I'm out riding Bear. Riding Bear makes me feel a bit like a clown on one of those silly clown bikes you see in a parade. It makes me smile. And laugh. It makes other people smile and laugh. Riding Bear makes me feel kind of  adventurous. Makes me want to ride off the road and through a field even though I know I'm going to end up pushing my bike or even fall over.

Owen is having fun, too. And together we're getting out there on our fat bikes - even when it's snowing. More like especially when it's snowing! - and we're getting a lot of exercise, spending time together and, yes, having lots of fun!


2 comments:

Shebicycles said...

This is SOOOOOO cool!!! I am so envious of your snow - and the perfect bikes to ride in all of it! *Love* seeing the pictures (so that I can live vicariously thru them) ... And a great review of of some of the aspects of fat bike snow-cycling. Can't wait for more!! (Your friend I the snowless South).

Pamela said...

quite different from Loving the Bike's beach rides, but the fat tires concept is the same -- looks very fun!