Last Sunday I walked on a lot of ice. Yesterday I rode on even more. What made my survival possible were the Nokian winter studded tires that I had on my Santa Cruz Heckler. There were 9 of us out there. I rode from about 9:45 AM and was back to the car at 2 PM, after 17 + miles in abnormal conditions. The ride started with completely frozen surfaces with a completely different situation by early afternoon, when the sun had heated the mud up to muck, and the surface of the iced sections was collapsing . It was really tough work to churn my bike up through the mud on the edges of a blueberry field and a hay field at the end, to the point where I bonked and seized up my right quadriceps muscle right above my kneecap. OuCh!
The three of us ( plus Ian and Jason) who had studded tires completed the additional loop up to the Blueberry Ledge on Pleasant Mountain.
It was just too icy for the rest of the group to deal with the additional mileage, especially with the falls that were happening left and right. Neil, Ian, Jason, and even Eric, who did have Nokians, smacked down. I didn’t see much of Rigger or Nate, either upright or horizontal.
I was ready for this ride. I thank Bubette Carol for selling me her Nokians, which were not needed as she moved up to a 29er. I also thank General Tso for recommending the Fox protective armored bike shorts that I wore under my tights. I did take a digger once and emerged unscathed. With the bite of the carbide pugs on the tires I was able to traverse smooth glassy sections of ice on ascents and descents without any undue treachery. Top illustrate, here’s a 7 second clip of Ian demonstrating the technique of hugging the ridge at the edge of the ice, and them moving across the road:
I used to ride on home made spiked tires until I had a couple of flats. Here is a shot of Craig Mac who double flatted his home made winter grippers on a downhill that had beaucoup rocks that pounded the crap out of both tires.
Here’s the stats and the map from the ride, via Strava:
|Max Speed||21.2 mph|
|Avg Speed||4.4 mph|