Saturday, March 01, 2008

Today's HC Ride and a Bold Comparison

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.


Anonymous said...

Condoms are for pansies.

bikingbrady said...

You better (TM) that last line. That was funny stuff :-)

Doug said...

I'd have to agree. This is my third winter with studded tires. I can't imagine riding without them. Having said that, I think I could have ridden most of the days since Jan 1st without them. We've had very little snow or ice on the road. Yet I've ridden with the studs every single day.

Frostbike said...

Yet another stud weenie here. I haven't ridden a bike without studded tires since November 26th.

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