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· Deranged Touring Cyclist
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6,195 Posts
What a difference a day can make! Yesterday cycling was pretty much out of the question with 12" of fresh, wet snow on the ground. Today enough cars have been over the surface streets to pack that down into a slick but rideable surface. Especially for a fat bike. I deflated Robbyn's tires to 6psi and set out. It took a solid 15min of cycling to convince myself that I wasn't riding on a pair of flats. The difference in ride feel is huge, even from 8psi. Tread is engaged across the breadth of the tire rather than only its center 1/3. Traction is noticeably enhanced, as is rolling resistance on dry pavement.

The going wasn't fast, but it was fun and I have definitely found the right tool for this job in my Ice Cream Truck. Those huge, low pressure tires may not be easy to push on pavement, but that matters not at all as soon as you hit the frozen stuff. All at once, everything is perfect. Good times indeed. I've enjoyed riding my touring bike in the snow for years and it's performed wonderfully, but such conditions aren't the bike's strength. They are the Ice Cream Truck's.

Nevertheless, street crossings were straight gnarly, with the various MUP and street plows turning the protected parts of several protected crossings into a blasted wasteland of hard frozen chunks spewed from multiple plow plades and deposited in piles of random depth. Not all were rideable. One in particular was thigh-high and frozen hard enough to walk over, half lifting half dragging the bike with me. That might have been fun to try had it been anywhere but right in the middle of a busy intersection. In another area, the MUP was plowed, but only 1/2 width, making for interesting times in passing others. Mostly, it was just awesome.

I learned the knobbies on my front tire make a neat rip-clatter sound when the tire breaks through thin ice and proceeds to ice-break its way through the rest of the puddle. It was a really good day to have on waterproof boots and hiking gaiters. Temps were hovering around the freezing mark, but there was enough sun for the melt to proceed anyway. Lots of puddles and slush ponds. Indeed, I had to change my route at one point after finding that my usual tunnel under the freeway was blocked by a puddle wide enough to imply foot-wetting depth.

My shoes were supposedly waterproof and I was close enough to home for it to be a good time to test. Alas, the puddle was covered by a too-thin skin of ice. I could tell that it would hold long enough for me to get fully out onto it and over the deeper portion of the puddle before it failed, but fail it inevitably would. I'd likely have tried it had the ice been thinner or not there. Alas, I just wasn't comfortable with the random break and drop into 12+" of very cold water, with no real idea of what the bottom looked like or exactly how hard it would be to ice-break the rest of the distance. Fortunately there were plenty of alternative routes and it was one of those days where no matter which direction you looked, there was something to enjoy.

Little breeze, temps hovering right around freezing, otherwise clear and sunny. Thick blanket of snow softening and brightening the landscape in that semi-magical way it can. Many trees were still heavily weighted from the storm while others showed sign of freshly broken limbs. All in all, a beautiful day for a winter ride. I picked the right bike and the right combination of layers. Boy, I love it when that happens. I had only to raise or lower my jacket's zipper to keep my core temperature in the range I wanted. I had extra layers, a hat, and heavier gloves if they were needed but my call there was good.

I didn't do as well with my food, which I brought but in my trunk bag, where it is stored at ambient temperature. I know from experience that my preferred Clif bars turn into rock-hard tooth breakers somewhere south of the 40*F mark. Throwing one in a pocket close enough to benefit from body heat fixes that, but I forgot to do it. Came home ravenous after 23 challenging miles. Almost a bad thing, but I never bonked.
 

· Old, fat, and slow
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1,322 Posts
I have had a terrible few months in terms of cycling ..... I knew a couple months ago I wasn't going to posting any decent numbers this year ....

Then I got unwell, and when I finally got healthy enough to ride, the weather turned frigid .... actually Freezing .... how can the government of such a rich and powerful nation allow such things to happen?

I have done freezing rides and have the gear but ... well, Mr. Newleaf has explained amply why not to exercise that option.

Then I decided to at least try for 1800 miles ..... but somehow even that proved impossible.

I finally got out on New Year's Eve for a Newleaf®---a ride begun in inclement weather with every expectation of worse to come. It was, happily, only a Semi-Leaf .... the drizzle got heavier, lighter, stopped and restarted, but never got to rain, and I finished the ride at least mostly dry.

Anyway ... it was a substandard cycling year, but as we all know, a bad year cycling is still better than a year with less cycling.

Thanks for all the support and entertainment from all you folks.
 

· Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
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6,195 Posts
I have had a terrible few months in terms of cycling ..... I knew a couple months ago I wasn't going to posting any decent numbers this year ....

Then I got unwell, and when I finally got healthy enough to ride, the weather turned frigid .... actually Freezing .... how can the government of such a rich and powerful nation allow such things to happen?

I have done freezing rides and have the gear but ... well, Mr. Newleaf has explained amply why not to exercise that option.

Then I decided to at least try for 1800 miles ..... but somehow even that proved impossible.

I finally got out on New Year's Eve for a Newleaf®---a ride begun in inclement weather with every expectation of worse to come. It was, happily, only a Semi-Leaf .... the drizzle got heavier, lighter, stopped and restarted, but never got to rain, and I finished the ride at least mostly dry.

Anyway ... it was a substandard cycling year, but as we all know, a bad year cycling is still better than a year with less cycling.

Thanks for all the support and entertainment from all you folks.
I'm sorry your cycling year has been rough. FWIW, the adventures you did manage have informed and entertained me all year long. Also, and not to put too fine a point on it: you found a freaking tank, man! An impressively restored WWI beauty sitting in a vacant lot. That's awesome. Just sayin'. Here's hoping 2023 is good to you. Happy New Year!
 

· Deranged Touring Cyclist
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6,195 Posts
I tried for an official New Year's Day ride and didn't quite manage it. Way to go, Dos!

Today I fixed that with 13mi on Robbyn the Ice Cream Truck. Temps were right in my usual winter comfort zone at 27*F. Unfortunately my outer layer proved significantly more transparent to the light wind than I'd expected. That cut my endurance more than I'd have liked, but now I know that jacket is better as a mid than an outer layer.

The roads were fun: the 12" of snow which fell a few days ago has largely melted, but with significant sections of hard-pack remaining. Last night, another ~3" fell. Give the automotive traffic a chance at it and by the time I made it out this afternoon, the going was icy, bumpy, and very interesting without studded tires. Fortunately tire girth can make up for a lack of studs. I had little trouble.

It's interesting how much cleaner today's ride was vs. my previous effort, undertaken with temps barely at the freezing mark and significant sun-driven melt. After that I returned home with bits of grime and crud everywhere on my outer layer and the bike. Today, there was virtually nothing. I made tracks in a lot of snow, but virtually all of it stayed on the ground. That's kind of nice when you haven't worked out a fender solution just yet.

I'm glad to have made it out. Happy New Year to all. May 2023 bring us all many thousands of happy, safe miles.
 

· tall old member
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1,615 Posts
I hope there was no particular significance to starting the post with a picture of a guy with a flat. .....
That was toward the end of the ride. He ran over a piece of glass. He was a part of our group of five so we waited on him. He had tools and a tube and didn’t take long. The glass was on a switchback ramp going up to a bridge.
 

· Spin Spin Spin
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4,424 Posts
yeah, rode yesterday today and will ride tommorrow.....spending way less time here due to the 3 posters turning this place into some dumb dumb dumb blogfest of seriously, no one knows any of this crap on a cycling forum babble. sorry i can't take the stupidity. Someone ban these spamming forum ruining knuckleheads. Yes, "blogs" on a FORUM are spam and they totally suck and are only useful to amoebas.....after they are taught to read. Any human needing this level of info cannot read anyway.
 

· Old, fat, and slow
Joined
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1,322 Posts
I have learned to not even open the AI-generated, poorly translated nonsense posts which are really just advertisements for non-bike electric machinery.

I have nothing against electric bikes---or even scooters, etc which really need no pedaling (I was recently in a college town working security for the Shen Yun Chinese Classical Dance show and I saw a lot of these---pedal-equipped electric bikes, which no one ever pedaled.) No stress .... you want an electric mini-0bike that's awesome .... fewer cars is generally better.

However, the long and poorly written advertisements for electric whatevers .... not sure why they are allowed here.

As far as I am concerned if you cannot post a pic of your actual bike---not an advertisement but an actual, outside my garage type pic--and post a ride report, you probably aren't here to participate and share, but to sell .... and well, I have issues with that. Sorry. I am trying to fix all my issues, but .....

On the positive side, I simply ignore them and it is almost the same as them not being there. Maybe if they get zero reads and zero responses they will quit (whatever their algorithms dictate) or maybe after seeing that no one wants them, the mods will ban them.

I understand, Mods, that you 3want to give everyone a chance and not ban someone who might have trouble learning the basic characteristics of forum interaction. I don't have any bad feelings towards you---rather I think it is good that everyone gets a chance.

Still .... some of these AI posters .... I mean, I can go to other bike forums and see identical posts from these accounts ..... full-on copy-pastes .... obviously these are not attempts at real interaction ...

Whatever.

I rode the past two days because I hate myself every summer if i didn't ride int he winter when the weather is fit for humans. I am making a big effort to get past my mental and physical issues and just ride the danged bike ... I do a lot of twilight rides so I get great sky colors and light changes, and not so much traffic .... Having zero fitness is an issue, but that is part of why I am trying to ride more.

This biking stuff is sort of all right, i continually decide. After I get some stuff don I intend to go again today.

Low mileage, low speed, low stress ..... it's not a competition. I might ride more slowly than you walk ... I only hope you are as happy as I am, and that I am as happy as I can be.
 

· Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
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6,195 Posts
Today I didn't ride, but thought about doing so a lot. I went skiing with Mrs. Newleaf. Found myself considering the slopes from the standpoint of my fat bike. I love to ski, but shortly after returning home, I found myself searching for bike lift info.

For those who don't know, some ski resorts have figured out that they can sell lift tickets year-round if they cater to the MTB crowd in the summer. This is known as 'bike lift' in the google-fu context. I typically like to make summits under my own power, but a $50 bike lift ticket can make for a great day of high speed if still surprisingly strenuous fun.

As for the skiing, it was sublime, if chilly: I skied 6" of virgin powder for the first time. That was challenging as well as incredible. Temps started at 11*F, rose to maybe 18* later. Clear, sunny, not much wind. It's much easier to dress for skiing than it is for winter cycling. Nevertheless, it's too bad fat bikes are not allowed on the slopes during winter. Just saying ;).
 

· Old, fat, and slow
Joined
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1,322 Posts
Funny in a way ... I went out in long tights this evening because it was an unbelievably frigid 48 degrees .... which is below absolute zero for this region.

I probably didn't need long tights, but since I have them .... and then I couldn’t find my good long-fingered gloves ….. I had been trying to ride more but I did too longer days and needed a day, and then the sub-arctic weather blew in, so I missed three days and couldn’t miss another one … plus, since I cut the the cable I only gt rare football games and tonight’s didn’t start till after 8 p.m. so …..

It was refreshing to some back and feel that sort of feeling your body gets after exercising in a chilly environment … and comical when I thought about you guys with your actual six below and all ….

Glad to see the fat-tire flyer is still keeping you elevated, Mr. I12 …. I pulled out my old Cannondale Rize the other day but still don’t have the fitness to take it out for a ride yet ….. working on it.
 

· Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
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6,195 Posts
Yesterday, I missed riding in an all day snow storm. Today the snow has stopped falling, but conditions look awesome. If only I was well. Not sure what brand of creeping crud I've found, but it hit hard on Monday and may or may not be letting up today. Now it appears I've passed it on to Mrs. Newleaf 😥.
 
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