BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: snow

Preview: Slipnot Bicycle Tire Chains

During Interbike RL scoped out the Slipnot Bicycle Tire Chains.

Now if (…err… when) Chicago gets the snow this year, I’ll be ready to rumble to work, even over unplowed streets – with the Slipnot Bicycle Traction System.

Slipnot made a video of riders enjoying winter snow riding without any slippage.

I’m hoping my winter here isn’t that bad, but when the snow falls, at least I can say I’m ready. Heck – maybe I’ll just have to take my bike out for some off-roading fun with these chains. Usually the city streets I use to commute are pretty well-plowed. (Note: this traction system is not intended for use on bare pavement.)

Tire chains come in a mesh bag for washing and should work with any braking system.
IMG_5938

I’ll let you know if installation goes as smoothly as advertised:

Sharing the Ride

Sometimes I thoroughly enjoy the alone time of being on my bike; other times it’s great to have a friend to share the bike commute home. A couple of weeks ago was one such night.

Flurries had been in the weather forecast for the evening, but the meteorologists seemed to not make a big deal of it, so neither did I. However, by the time the sun set, I looked out the window and knew I would dread my bike commute home. Snow was falling in big flakes and the accumulating snow might be just enough to hide the slick spots on the road.

When I set out for home, I simply repeated a mantra in my head to keep me focused on the riding task at hand and praying for a safe bike ride home.

Unfortunately I had worn my glasses that day (foregoing the contacts) and couldn’t fit my ski goggles over my spectacles. I decided to take the most direct (hopefully fastest) and well-lit route. The snowflakes fell on both sides of my eyeglasses – blinding my view and causing me to pause every few blocks to clear them off. At about the midway point – feeling on edge and anxious to be home already – while I was waiting at a traffic light, I saw another bike commuter pass by. I waved. He waved. And after he passed, the “ah ha” moment dinged in my head like a bike bell — “Hey – I know him! That’s Greg!” (for more about my recognition of this fellow commuter friend and his bike, please see Dottie’s LGRAB post)

He must have had that same “ah ha” moment as he passed because he waited for me to turn the corner and catch up. We marveled at the unlikelihood of running into each other, but he had worked late and I had left a bit early. Result = my mood immediately lifted. Snow seemed to let up, too. Turns out Dottie could rest at ease as he and I shared the rest of the commute home. Safety in numbers.

greg
Thanks Greg for sharing the ride.

What “sharing the commute” bike commuting stories do you have to share?

SNOW DAY!

Here in Chicago we officially have logged the third-largest snow storm in history for this city.

This blizzard has left about 20-inches of snow on the ground with significant snow drifts and hundreds of abandoned cars on north-bound Lake Shore Drive. Not to mention the thunder snow many Midwesterners experienced and the 60+mph wind gusts!

Luckily I did not have to venture out into the snow or the aftermath.
chicago snow

A few cyclists have been posting updates about their enjoyable adventures on their bikes today – including a calm bike ride down an abandoned Milwaukee Avenue and not having to share the roads with many (if any) cars (most of which were likely buried in).

In the meantime, I continue to monitor local riding conditions via our local bicycling network – The Chainlink’s discussion board – and the Chicago Biking Conditions and Advice Wiki.

I’m just thankful to not have been a part of the epic snow-in on Lake Shore Drive.

I miss my bike and I think may have a touch of cabin fever. Luckily the infamous Groundhog – Punxsutawney Phil – predicts an early spring!

Winter Biking Primer from Chicago

Streetfilms recently did some filming in Chicago and I love the resulting video about the joys and ease of winter riding that they put together:

I particularly agree with the comment about bike commuting helping to ease the “winter blahs” (at minute-mark 2:08).

Final note about riding in single digits vs. snow (minute 4:01). Last Friday at 7-degrees on the bone-dry roads I felt warmer than I did yesterday when it hovered close to 30 but stayed damp all day.

TGIF snow ride home

The end of the first week of the new year is bringing snow to Chicago!

We’ve been enjoying a period of cold dry conditions since the thaw on New Years Eve – perfect winter cycling weather in my opinion – that I was tentative about heading out into the snow and traffic of rush hour on a Friday night. Fortunately I wasn’t alone in my commute and my fellow bike commuters this evening helped cheer the end of this week in the friendly ways only fellow bike commuters can.

Along my way I met Annie.
annie

I road her wheel for a bit and then took the lead until our paths diverged. Riding with someone to see their line in the snow can help. A few riders blew past us but everyone has to ride within their own comfort level. A rider I met closer to home – Steven – agreed that there’s no need for us riders to take any unnecessary risks or rush anywhere tonight.

Luckily I only rode in enough snow to cover the ground but I still fear any drifts and what could be hidden by the white covering. Since the snowfall is so fresh, salt trucks are still making the rounds to all the major streets. The evening car commuters are helping to keep too much from accumulating so far.

snowy bike lane

Thank you to the fellow bike commuters I met tonight and to all bike commuters everywhere — you definitely bring joy to my ride.