Monday, January 11, 2016

Scared Shitless

Not this section, rather 3 miles back west.

On a particularly icy stretch of trail (Windsor Heights by the dog park) a pedestrian looked at me and said that I was brave.  Recent snow melt ans subsequent refreeze covered vast sections of trail with smooth sheets of ice.  I'd been dealing with this for a few miles.  My solitary response was "studded tires."

Truth be told, I am not brave.  I am scared shitless of crashing.  One hard impact on my left side and I fear my hip will break.  One mistake on the ice and another clavicle is busted.  Or a wrist.  What if it is a leg or an ankle this time?  And the logistics of getting my busted ass to the hospital/clinic/doctor, that is a nightmare enough.   Bravery also requires choice.  I gave up my car.  I have no choice.

But above my fear is faith.  Faith in my bike, faith in my riding skills, faith that I will maintain a smooth ride over the ice, faith that I will find the right line, faith that my studded tires will do their job and faith that the Lord knows that I have enough health issues to worry about without adding another medical event.

I did not have time to say all that to the man walking his dog.  Keep an eye out for the cleanest line and stay as still as possible on the bike, make no sudden movements and pedal smoothly until dry pavement is reached.

 This is my 9th winter commuting on the red bike.  I know what it is capable of.  I know its limits.  I only ride it in the winter anymore.  I should have no fear.  I should have only respect.  Ain't no atheists on the ice patch.


  1. I'm with you in spirit. The winter has been so mild here in New England that I only had to take out my studded tire bike once. It's a second hand 8 speed Breezer from a local bike shop. Out of curiosity what studded tires are you running? Mine are Schwalbe.

  2. 3rd season on a set of Kenda Klondikes. I have not removed them from the bike since I got them. 110 studs, 700x35. I am averaging 150 miles Monday through Friday on them. Would like to get something with more studs but all I see available may not fit (700x42). Still, these tires stop my crashing by 99.9%. Best tire for the price. I have a set of Nokian Extreme (err the ones made in Finland) but am lacking a 26" function bike at the moment.

  3. The repeated flooding in Water Works has left the trail with 3-4" of dirt on either side of the trail, so no place for the melted snow to go. Not a sweet situation. The plowing is nice but the persistent ice, not that sweet