We had our first real snow storm of the season yesterday and I was determined to get out for a ride before being confined to the house. It’s been so bitter cold the past week, and my work days started so early, that I did not get to commute. I just had to get out, even for half an hour.
Friday evening, I spied the dirt trail pictured above while riding home from the city on the train. It’s adjacent to the railroad right-of-way, but far enough away from the tracks that no one would get freaked out by my presence on it. I suspect that people walk their dogs along the trail. It seemed like a nice place to take a cruise on the “gravel bike.”
The weather yesterday morning was peculiar. It was snowing heavily but not sticking to the secondary road surfaces. My own street was crystal clear but the main road a block away was covered with snow. The shoulders, in particular, were a bit sketchy on 28c slicks. The snow tires are on the other bike, but I really wanted to test the disc brakes on the snow.
The brakes screamed at me for the first few minutes of the ride. I thinks it’s the first time they’ve been really wet. They quieted down after awhile. They definitely stop better than the brakes on my other bike. Braking, however, wasn’t an issue on this ride. Shoes were.
On my return trip down the trail, my rear wheel lost traction and slipped out from under me. I was going all of 4 miles an hour, so I instinctively clipped out of the right pedal and put my foot down. I expected to make contact with snow covered dirt but there was no dirt, only frozen water ice. My Look road cleat made contact with the ice and down I went.
It’s officially time to replace the road pedals with the Crank Brothers pedals.
The ride was surreal if short. There is something magical about pedaling through weather that keeps other people inside, and I like the looks I get from motorists who wonder what the hell I’m doing on a bike in a snowstorm.
Of course cleaning the bike after the ride took just as long as the ride!