South Salem Cycleworks: Salem, Oregon
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December 21, 2016: A delightful bike ride on the snow and ice

I’ve been riding my old Stumpjumper with studs to and from work, but XC skied one day.  In the morning, the skiing was delightful, just zooming thru the soft snow, but by nightfall, wearing my L&M Vision 360 on my helmet, the skiing was work.  Mostly packed ice, in the streets and sidewalks, until I got further into the residential areas, where the sidewalks would either be soft snow, or freshly shoveled, while the streets were packed ice.

Mike on snow bike

Even under formidable conditions, a bike can be good transportation

Went back to riding the Stump thru the residential areas with little traffic.  I did descend our local Croisan Scenic trail, hoping the studs would hold under the forced braking and turning thru tight corners, and they did.  I then rode out to our Minto-Brown park and did the south end loop.  Paris-Roubaix on fat tires!  I’d lowered the pressure to 30psi, but it was still staccato!  The multiple footprints left an icy form of cobblestones. 

Snowy path

Many footprints, one bike tire print.

Coming back along the duck pond, a high-water sign was pushed off to one side, but I proceeded onwards thinking I could always turn around.  Sure enough, I came across where the water had frozen across the path, and the short-but-explosive cracks of fragmenting ice alerted me to the water beneath the ice!  I was using my 24/28 most of the time, and when I spied where the water had progressed further, I decided I could make it thru on the uphill side of the path. 

Icy pond

Birds on the icy pond

The ice broke beneath my front wheel and I found that I was forcing my wheel thru six inches of water against the resistance of the ice sheet.  Not thick enough to support the weight of the wheel, my front wheel became an ice-breaker, powered only by the revolution of my pedals as they dipped below the surface of the water!  I was hoping I wouldn’t suddenly find ice too stiff to crack and be forced to dab a foot into the water, but I was able to plow thru!  I wasn’t sure if my feet were soaked or not, but continued back up the climb to the shop to keep them warm from the exertion.  Apparently, the boots had shed the water, but I doubt they would have kept the water out if I’d dabbed!


More photos:


A cold day in the woods

Mihael with railer

With the right equipment much is possible