Thursday, February 5, 2009


Once again a long delay.

Quick update: I followed through on my plan to ride the Heckler for my commute the next day. It wasn't really as great of an idea as I had hoped. The tires did get plenty of grip everywhere....but it was really slow. And actually rather painful. My legs kept hurting in the way that they do when my saddle is too low, but the seat height seemed right. I guess I don't have the fit dialed in as well as I thought. Mountain biking offers many fewer opportunities to stay in the saddle, so I guess seat height issues are less noticeable.

As of now it's been a week since I've biked in. Last Tuesday we had snow falling in the morning, and I threw the bike in the back of the truck, drove the truck to the mechanic that didn't fix it right, declined a loaner vehicle, and rode in to work. (I'm not going to drive a loaner van in the snow when I only have liability coverage)

The ride in wasn't too bad. There was maybe an inch of snow on the ground, and I got the pleasure of putting down first tracks. Eventually I saw some other tracks, but they were from feet. I caught up to and passed the guy who was walking and continued to work.

They let us out of work early due to snow concerns, and there were about 4 inches of snow on the ground when I left for home. The roads were clear, which was a plus, so I didn't have anything to worry about there.

The bike path was....not clear. I didn't know exactly how it would feel to ride 6 miles through that much powdery snow, but I can now conclude that I don't like it. Even my knobby tires had trouble finding a good path through the snow since it was full of footprints and van tracks from where they are doing work in a park alongside the trail. I thought riding in the van's tire tracks would simplify things--it very much did not. Getting caught in the rut was very bumpy and slippery, and I would ride fresh snow any chance I got.

I passed a jogger going the other way, we greeted each other. I kept chugging along (slowly), and a couple of miles later, he passed me. I got passed by a jogger. That was definitely the low point of the ride.

Continuing on, I saw another set of tire tracks in the snow. Someone else had actually biked in that day, which surprised me. I even saw the rider a mile or two later, getting on to the trail. We exchanged greetings in passing (Him: How's it going? Me: I want summer!), and continued on. For the rest of the ride, there was nothing to see on the path except my own faded tire tracks rom that morning.

Oh, did I mention that it was sleeting/freezing rain the whole ride? I think that's worth mentioning. All told, we got: 4" of snow, sleet and freezing rain all night (maybe 1/2" of ice), then another 4" of snow on top the next day. I wasn't about to try to bike through that mess, and even if I could have driven my car was still in the shop, so I just worked from home on Wednesday. Computer people can do that. Actually, no one in my department went in to the office.

The snow never melted off much until the weekend and while I have wanted to ride the past couple of days, it's been 9 degrees in the morning (for our European visitors, that's approximately -1,000C).

I believe tomorrow should be up at least into the mid teens in the morning, so hopefully I'll get one day of biking in, at least.