More Winter Stuff

It has been a different kind of winter here in MY Town. True, the cold temperatures have been pretty normal, and the amount of snow hasn’t been too far above the average. The main difference has been the ICE. Almost every snowstorm has been preceded by freezing rain. Then the snow covers the frozen rain. Then the frozen rain becomes a sheet of ice. When the snow is shoveled off the driveway and plowed off the roads, the sheet of ice remains. And this year, the ice never seems to go away–at least on the residential streets.

The main roads are pretty clear though, thanks to the many tons of salt spread all over them. That creates a bit of a Catch-22 for me. Most winters, I try to avoid the heavy traffic of the main roads and the corrosive effects of salt. This year, I have to choose between the busy, salty streets and the quiet, icy streets.

So far, I have mostly gone with the quiet, icy option, but I’m not sure how much more of that my body can take. I suffered my 5th crash of the season today. (Again, I wasn’t seriously hurt. Only embarrassed.) In barely over a month, I have easily smashed my previous wintertime record of three crashes. Here is my excuse:

Usually, I’m pretty good at preventing a fall by taking my foot off the pedal and planting it on the ground when I feel my tires slipping. I can tell you from this year’s experience that the foot plant technique doesn’t work when your foot slips out from under you just as fast as your tire.

Why do I put myself through that kind of abuse? Well, the alternative is no outdoor riding at all, which, to me, would be an even worse pain. Time for some pictures:

Sometimes the ice on the streets . . .

. . . is almost as bad as the ice on the local ice rink.

A snowed-in VW Beetle
A Waterfall. It’s moving fast enough that it hasn’t frozen solid yet.
When I ride through a Minnesota forest, I can’t help but notice how messy and scraggly it looks compared to the beautiful German forests Suzanne routinely features.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

7 response to "More Winter Stuff"

  1. By: DJG Posted: January 13, 2023

    Great photos Greg, I for one would not / could not venture out in conditions you are prepared to.
    You have my admiration.

  2. By: NancyG Posted: January 13, 2023

    As with DJG, I admire you. But I also worry a little about yo.u. How many crashes can a body tale before the toll must be paid!?!

    Photos sure do tell the talk of winter ice in YOUR town.

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: January 13, 2023

    Great stuff, Greg, and very adventurous riding in those conditions.

    Whenever I start to bellyache about pedaling in our winter rain, I always remind myself I could be slipping, sliding, and falling on ice in northern climes.

    Stay safe!

  4. By: BobinVT Posted: January 13, 2023

    Good for you getting out Greg. As others have said, I’m not a fan of crashing on ice on my bike. I can sorta maybe tolerate a fall when running or walking or hiking, but falling on a bike definitely makes me nervous. And we’re dealing with way too much ice here this year as well!

    • By: NancyG Posted: January 14, 2023

      My thoughts exactly — old bones break easier!

  5. By: Suzanne Posted: January 15, 2023

    I agree with what everybody else said! Great pics and dangerous but courageous riding.

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