frosty mornings too cautious?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
jawaka
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frosty mornings too cautious?

Postby jawaka » 28 Nov 2008, 8:21pm

decided not to take the bike out today as setting off at 8.30 with a very heavy frost. the main roads have been gritted, but i usually go a longer way round which takes me onto country roads. i'd rather not take the bike if it means taking main roads only, it's just not much fun.
don't know if i'm being too cautious, but presumably there is a chance of ice around too

Edwards
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Postby Edwards » 28 Nov 2008, 9:00pm

Last January I damaged the ligaments in my right knee due to ice. So I am not that keen either.
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gbnz
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Postby gbnz » 29 Nov 2008, 1:12am

Well, used to be the case that I never bothered too much about a bit of ice on the road

Funny how a knackered knee, pinned elbow, cracked skull, brain haemorrhage, temporary brain damage, memory loss, hospital stays over a period of time etc, etc and all the other joys of cycling have changed my outlook (I'm proud to say I've never lost a bike yet,just damaged the organic bits!!)

My next major accident isn't planned until 2014, based upon a rational examination of cycling safety, mileage, conditions and a realistic asessment of risk

So, no, I decided to walk to town last weekend, not cycle in the snow and ice!

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Colin63
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Postby Colin63 » 29 Nov 2008, 8:18am

I have memories of commuting in icey snowy weather in London, and hitting the deck rather hard on one or two occassions, but that was a quarter of a century ago when I was supple. I'm just back from an attempted early morning ride along the River Lune and I only got a few hundred yards before I lost the back wheel and then I couldn't even walk the bike safely it was so slippery with black ice. So I've waddled home.

No you're not being too cautious. Tarmac, ice and bikes don't mix!
Last edited by Colin63 on 29 Nov 2008, 8:50am, edited 1 time in total.

glueman
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Postby glueman » 29 Nov 2008, 8:22am

Never used to give frost a second thought. Then one day riding to work I slammed into the ground and the following car spun on black ice trying to avoid me. A nice clear day and one frosty hollow to blame.
Be careful folks.

rogerzilla
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Postby rogerzilla » 29 Nov 2008, 8:40am

Frost is rarely a problem; frost after rain is what causes black ice, and freezing rain (thankfully rare) stops you going out even on foot.

It's always worth adding 30 seconds to your commute on cold mornings by tiptoeing slowly round corners - much better than scraping your shiny bike and getting road rash.

The current slime of diesel, mud and dead leaves is almost as bad as ice.

eileithyia
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Postby eileithyia » 29 Nov 2008, 8:40am

I guess it depends on the roads and the frost. Dry frost on dry roads is usually relatively ok.
Black ice of course is a different matter.

Used to have a 1:6 descent (direct route) from home in the mornings or a slightly longer route round if weather bad. One morning; left house,road dry so decided to do direct route, turned into lane, realised it was iced over due to the run off from a field and knew I would not make the right angled bend in 100 yards, had no choice but to grab / half crash into dry stone wall in order to slow my progress! :lol:

Fortunately my route to work is mostly main road with bus route and gritters but even then it gets interesting sometimes.

Last winter we had a very cold sunday morn just before xmas, going to a cycle club xmas dinner was interesting for those who rode. Fortunately it could be reached by all main roads, except for the last mile which was completely icy, those we passed who were riding along it, were not riding fast enough to maintain any warmth. I had a good excuse having already got 2 broken bones I was being driven.


Must admit having virtually no sick time left before May next year rather concentrates your mind on whether it is sensible to cycle or not, having previously in ridden in a variety of extreme conditions.
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Biscuit
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Postby Biscuit » 29 Nov 2008, 10:53am

Thought about a trike? :)

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patricktaylor
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Postby patricktaylor » 29 Nov 2008, 11:00am

If it's frosty I switch to my mountain bike and reduce the tyre pressures to maximise the area of contact with the road. It makes a big difference, I think. I remember watching a documentary about people in Iceland who drive their 4x4s into the frozen wastes, and they have their tyres almost flat.

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professorlandslide
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Postby professorlandslide » 29 Nov 2008, 12:15pm

i was going to say that about the tyres as well. I'm very much a fat tyre person, me and road bikes don't tend to match up. Fat tyres, let 'em down a bit if its really bad, but otherwise, ride in the dry bits where the car tyres have been, use flat pedals so you can get a foot down fast if it all goes wrong. In really nasty conditions i also use my knee/shin pads and drop the saddle 1/2 inch or so...

BrianInnes
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Postby BrianInnes » 29 Nov 2008, 5:50pm

Personally I don't think it's worth the risk on frosty / icy mornings to go out cycling whether for a club / training run or a commute. Dug out my turbo trainer and fitted a turbo tyre.

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robwa10
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Postby robwa10 » 29 Nov 2008, 5:52pm

About two years ago on my journey home I was going downhill in the bus lane passing all the standing traffic. Great! Until the gritter obviously stopped gritting the bus lane and it turned into sheet ice all the way down the rest of the hill. I was stood on the ground stradelling the bike. Used the brakes to slow myself down along with the friction. It's a funny memory now but I wouldn't want to repeat it.

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professorlandslide
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Postby professorlandslide » 29 Nov 2008, 6:59pm

I don't have a choice, no other way of getting to work.

rogerzilla
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Postby rogerzilla » 29 Nov 2008, 7:49pm

Force majeure! I'm not coming in today :D

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UrbanManc
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Postby UrbanManc » 29 Nov 2008, 8:26pm

patricktaylor wrote:If it's frosty I switch to my mountain bike and reduce the tyre pressures to maximise the area of contact with the road. It makes a big difference, I think. I remember watching a documentary about people in Iceland who drive their 4x4s into the frozen wastes, and they have their tyres almost flat.


I've just checked the weather forecast , snow for most of next week :?

I have to be at work before 6am, so, I've got fat tyre's (2.2"), normally I run them at 45psi , I reckon I try 35psi ... it should restrict sliding all over the place :roll: