Winter Preparations

Last winter, we headed south for a few months to escape the worst of the cold weather. We had planned to do the same this year. After much discussion though, Marilyn and I decided that given the pandemic and the dire predictions of what the next few months might bring, we just weren’t up for interstate travel. So, we are staying safely hunkered down at home.

So, as I headed out on my ride yesterday, I had preparing for winter on my mind. And in Vermont, when people think of preparing for winter, they think firewood. Surprisingly, I didn’t see as much as expected, but here’s just a couple.

A collection of firewood
Another collection of firewood. A bit more neatly stacked

Continuing on the theme of preparing for winter, I decided I should do some preparation myself. Back a few years ago when I still had my mountain bike, I used to put studded tires on it in the winter to ride the snowy and icy gravel roads. When I got my new Salsa, I gave the mountain bike (along with the tires) away, thinking a gravel bike was all I needed. Needless to say, every winter since I’ve missed having that bike. Much as I’d like to buy a new bike just for winter riding (I’m slowly being convinced I need an Ogre), I decided the compromise was to get some studded tires for my current bike. Luckily, I found a gift certificate for our local bike shop that I had gotten last Christmas and never used.

Salsa getting ready to try on some new shoes. Please ignore the mess in my basement, although I suppose I could point out the collection of chairs in the background.
A collection of studs. We are ready

Retired guy who likes to ride his bike in Vermont.

14 response to "Winter Preparations"

  1. By: gregblood Posted: December 8, 2020

    Looks like I just barely beat you to showing a firewood collection. And I must compliment you on your fine Park Tool bike stand. I don’t own one myself, and even if I did, I wouldn’t know how to do most of the work.

    As much as I want an Ogre, I have also been looking at the Salsa gravel bikes. I’m usually pretty decisive, but not when it comes to picking a new bike.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: December 9, 2020

      Well, I do only very minor adjustments. Otherwise, I turn it over to the pros. And I agree with you on bike purchases. Ogre, Troll, or Bridge Club? Or Salsa Fargo or Cutthroat? Or why a new bike at all? What I have is fine… Indecision, indecision.

      • By: gregblood Posted: December 9, 2020

        “Or why a new bike at all? What I have is fine.”

        That seems to be my main sentiment. And also, I’m sorry I said I barely beat you out on the firewood collection. I meant to say YOU barely beat ME out.

  2. By: Scooter Posted: December 8, 2020

    A stud collection! Rocky has been on the lookout for one of those.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: December 9, 2020

      Hmmm, I’m sure this is exactly what she had in mind.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 8, 2020

    The studded tire reminds me of working at a Texaco station in Bloomington, IL — way back then snow tires came with treads which were stud ready. We would use a sort of gun to insert the metal studs.
    You could hear studded tired cars pecking along the street.
    Long since banned in Illinois in any form — I see metal studs are still permitted in Vermont.
    Interestingly, MN WI MI IL as well as MS ?? ban any kind of stud, rubber, or metal.

    • By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: December 9, 2020

      Why do they ban them, do they wreck the roads?

      • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 9, 2020

        Hi Lednar,

        Yes, they were said to cause excessive abrasion.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: December 9, 2020

      Interesting. Speaking about cars, here in the northeast, getting your studded snows installed in the fall is an annual ritual for many people. I’ve always gotten by without, but I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority. Hey, maybe that explains all our massive potholes! Does your ban apply to bike tires as well?

      • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 9, 2020

        As far as I know, studded bicycle tires are ok, though Ive never seen any around here.
        Years ago, a kid at school made a set of chains for his bicycle.
        Snow tires are pretty much a thing of the past here — plus, the old school service station that would change the tires is long gone too.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: December 9, 2020

      We’ll have to see if my seriousness persists as the winter progresses!

  4. By: NancyG Posted: December 9, 2020

    Wow for the studded tires. The most weather I will ride in is rain if it is not already raining and I get caught in it, and temps in the high 30s. You are intrepid. Perhaps if I lived in Vermont I would need to adjust my comfort level.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: December 9, 2020

      It’s all about acclimating I guess. In the summer, a 50 degree ride feels freezing. In the winter, if it gets up to 35 it feels like summertime!

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