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Is it ever worth it? Bike commuting in icy weather...

Dec. 5, 2016, 6:26 p.m.
Posts: 1048
Joined: May 4, 2006

So damp pavement currently and temps forecast to drop several degrees below.
Anyone brave enough?
Do I stick with the major routes (probably treated) but deal with more motorists or stick to un-treated routes with very little traffic.
Or get the Seabus…

Dec. 6, 2016, 8:51 a.m.
Posts: 1118
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

So damp pavement currently and temps forecast to drop several degrees below.
Anyone brave enough?
Do I stick with the major routes (probably treated) but deal with more motorists or stick to un-treated routes with very little traffic.
Or get the Seabus…

Get some winter tires and take it slow. Stick to the main routes where you can, and assume every corner is going to slide out from under you.
It would take me longer on transit that a very slow ride on my bike, so its a no brainer for me.

Dec. 6, 2016, 11:38 a.m.
Posts: 103
Joined: Aug. 19, 2011

yup, threw some studded tires on yesterday. Will probably keep em on for the rest of the week, as long as I need to.

I will say this, I am glad I have them, they will last forever because I only use them 1 week or so a year. They are heavy, but when its icy I'm not in a rush. They are very effective.

FWIW I use Shwable Marathon Winter on a cross bike.

Dec. 6, 2016, 2:25 p.m.
Posts: 1118
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

yup, threw some studded tires on yesterday. Will probably keep em on for the rest of the week, as long as I need to.

I will say this, I am glad I have them, they will last forever because I only use them 1 week or so a year. They are heavy, but when its icy I'm not in a rush. They are very effective.

FWIW I use Shwable Marathon Winter on a cross bike.

I find studs a bit of overkill for most Vancouver snowstorms. Its usually so soft and mushy, I end up wearing the studs out too quickly. I am a fan of the Continental WinterContact II's I got at MEC.

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5028-164/Top-Contact-Winter-II-26-x-1-9-Tire

They are soft and grippy like car winter tires, and do well in slush and lightly packed snow. For full on ice and hardpack, studs would be your best bet.
They also offer the Conti's in 700x37 for those running bigger wheels.

Dec. 6, 2016, 8:34 p.m.
Posts: 29
Joined: Aug. 11, 2015

I saw someone biking to work on a fat bike. The other way to go ;)

Dec. 7, 2016, 3:50 p.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: March 11, 2007

I see people commuting on fat bikes in the middle of the summer. I don't get it.

Dec. 7, 2016, 4:40 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

I see people commuting on fat bikes in the middle of the summer. I don't get it.

Aren't those all power-assist bikes?

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

Dec. 8, 2016, 10:13 a.m.
Posts: 103
Joined: Aug. 19, 2011

yeah, I agree on probably overkill, but on the icy days not freaking out about the black ice is worth it. I have hit the deck a couple times over the years. Like I said, I only use them maybe one week a year, for my peace of mind its worth it. YMMV.

BC

Dec. 8, 2016, 1:25 p.m.
Posts: 4295
Joined: Sept. 27, 2004

yeah, I agree on probably overkill, but on the icy days not freaking out about the black ice is worth it. I have hit the deck a couple times over the years. Like I said, I only use them maybe one week a year, for my peace of mind its worth it. YMMV.

BC

I have hit the deck a couple times over the years

This, now I don't bother with the risk and choose other ways. The nail in the coffin was the narrow miss with a out of control car from behind…. Not worth the risk anymore. I value me health more than I used to, I call it preventative pain management.

"X is for x-ray. If you've been bikin' and you haven't had an x-ray, you ain't goin' hard enough." - Bob Roll

Dec. 8, 2016, 4:40 p.m.
Posts: 1048
Joined: May 4, 2006

I have hit the deck a couple times over the years

I had a couple of near misses a couple of winters ago. Rode out of my underground garage early one morning not realising it had rained maybe an hour earlier and then temps dropped below zero leaving lethal black ice everywhere. Turned bars left to ride down my road and bike just understeered forward. Luckily no cars where around and I got my foot down before I fell. Lucky escape, I think to myself but carry on.
Next junction, exactly the same thing happened. Again, I'm lucky to get my foot down but just turned around and walked back home.
I think I got the bus into work that day and was very late (as was everyone else as it was chaos all over the Lower Mainland)

Cool story bro' !

Anyway, got Seabus Monday and drove Tues [HTML_REMOVED] Weds but rode in this morning…bloody hell, it was nippy at 7:15!

Dec. 9, 2016, 7:18 a.m.
Posts: 2099
Joined: April 22, 2006

I've rode every day this week. Generally I find its safer than driving in YVR in the snow. If the conditions are bad I can get off and walk. I stick to separated bike lanes and the side walk mostly. Second narrows bridge was sketchy earlier in the week but they finally got around to scraping the sidewalk. Don't trust the road. It takes less black ice to affect a bike than a car. It takes longer but it's kind of fun trying to pick your line through the chunder. Ps I'm using 38mm CX tires.

Dec. 9, 2016, 8:18 a.m.
Posts: 2099
Joined: April 22, 2006

Pss 2nd narrows was clear at 8am (friday). I got fresh tracks. :grinno::grinno:

Dec. 9, 2016, 9:07 a.m.
Posts: 1048
Joined: May 4, 2006

Pss 2nd narrows was clear at 8am (friday). I got fresh tracks. :grinno::grinno:

I got fresh tracks over LGB into downtown!

Dec. 9, 2016, 10:19 a.m.
Posts: 3801
Joined: April 13, 2003

I see people commuting on fat bikes in the middle of the summer. I don't get it.

I see a guy commute on a unicycle on a regular basis.

:high:

:canada:

Dec. 9, 2016, 1:21 p.m.
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug. 6, 2004

Took it safe today and did the commute to UBC with my Heckler.

Current conditions are heavy snow with a fun commute to look forward to
in a few hours.

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