Taking Our Own Advice

Taking Our Own Advice

by annette

walking my bike up the hill in the winter
me and my bike at the top of the hill

As some of you know I have challenged myself to riding my bike everyday in the month of December here in cold, snowy Rochester, NY. With another eleven days to go, I have struggled with some of the realities of winter biking, the largest of which has been ice. I can stand the cold and even the wind, but the ice that has formed on the paths and roadways I like to ride has been a bit daunting. I find myself truly hoping for a meltdown on the roads before I have one myself.

We always tell women on tour that there is no shame in walking a section of road if it is too steep for them. I found myself taking that advice yesterday when my own street was a sheet of slick ice. I walked two blocks before beginning my ride on a well salted main street. I am riding a fatbike with four inch wide tires so I am on the best bike I could be for this endeavor, but I have to admit, there are some instances where riding a bike is just not a good idea.

While searching for advice on winter cycling technique I found this quote in a forum on ice biking:

“Ice can be rideable, or it can be so slippery that you'll crash just holding a straight line, but experience will teach you the warning signs. Treat winter cycling as a learning experience, always. It will turn you into one heck of a bike handler.”

Sage advice to be sure. I am enjoying the challenge and riding the fatbike is great fun. It has been beautiful seeing my favorite biking places in the cover of snow, but I am going to heed the warning signs of that shiny ice and walk when the going gets too slippery. - Annette

winter riding