Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
well, it finally snowed here in mpls.
just enough to justify putting away the good ole fixie and pull out the WinterMongoose, an oldish mongoose hybrid bike i pulled out of my father's garage over thanksgiving. now, the WinterMongoose needed some work before it could be ridden, let alone ridden through the snow.
i dropped by the hub at the u of m, had a great chat with ben and figured out what needed to be done, which ended up not being too much, to make the WinterMongoose rideable. now, i'm a novice when it comes to working on bikes and updating and what not, so i let ben take the bars and lead the charge. two new tires [front studded], fenders, a tune up, and a chunk of change later, the WinterMongoose was ready ... to sit my garage for a week and wait for snow.
for a few days, the roads were clear and my fixie did just fine to get from home to work/school, but finally, saturday evening, it snowed. i stood in my kitchen on saturday with a cup of night and day coffee and excitedly watched the snow collect on the ground.
i have been a bicycle commuter for a couple years now, but i have never needed to ride in the winter because of my location in relation to where i needed to go, ie: i lived across the street from school last winter, so you can imagine how excited and nervous i was to ride.
i bundled up [mistake one] and headed out to ride across downtown mpls. with shaky handlebars, i began to pedal, very slowly, out of the alleyway and into the street. i could hear the chickt chickt chickt of the studs hit the occasional concrete. the beginning of my ride was rough, but as i hit downtown, the roads, bikelanes, and pedmall, were clear. i felt a little sheepish, and extremely warm, as i rode with studded tires on the mostly clear roadway, until i hit eat street and strevens ave. both streets made me very glad i had a little tougher traction for my tires. the ride to mcad was great, cool and crisp.
now, what did i learn on my first winter commute? LAYERS; i had too many. i was dressed to take the dog outside, not for physical activity and building body heat. no someways, i am glad i was too warm as opposed to too cold, because i am still very optimist about this evening's ride home. my first "real" winter riding experience was great and i proud to boast the No Drive, Just Ride motto in all seasons. yes, there wasnt a lot of snow, but i'm glad to have some winter-weather-training-wheels to start out on. i am looking forward to more snow and excited that, after graduation in two weeks, i have a studio space that is outside of my little apartment, therefore, another excuse to Just Ride, daily.