I made it to the HC ride today. We rode East to St. Paul- into the wind. About two blocks from our food destination, Andre's front tire flatted. He brought the wheel into the cafe and fixed it. I wish I could do that when I have a winter flat. I mean drinking coffee while fixing a flat is pretty nice.Last week, I had a slow leak on my ride to work and decided to stop and fill it instead of fixing it. I had to fill it twice before I arrived at work. In warmer weather, I would have fixed it on the spot.
Another interesting thing about today's ride is that I chose to ride a bike that does not have studded tires. The ice has receded enough to make riding without studs pretty safe. The decision process I went through was notable, because I've become a real chicken regarding riding on ice. This is because I've become accustomed to riding studded tires and now think riding without them is dangerous. I only started riding with them two winters ago. Before that, I rode less in the winter, but I definitely rode on ice without so much trepidation. I've become a pansy and I blame studded tires.
I'll tell you why this subject is important. Riding studded tires is a compromise between safety (traction) and ease of pedaling. Studded tires are much heavier and I believe the studs slow you down. This is so noticeable that I've come to see studded tires like wearing a condom -- they almost ruin the feel of the bike, but I'd hate to have an accident.
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