Thursday December 15th. While it stopped snowing sometime overnight, the snow is still there, and with the temps hovering at/below freezing through the weekend, it’s not going away any time soon. In fact, we may even hit 18F/-8C overnight Friday. While we get down in the 20’s F several times a winter, it’s pretty rare for the mercury to dip below 20F here. I think it may have been only a handful of times in my 15 years living here that it’s actually happened. (Yeah, I know that’s like nothing for people who see 4F/-16C regularly during winter, but our climate is pretty temperate, what can I say.)
So…snow! It’s nice to see the snow stick around for a little bit. And since we didn’t get freezing rain immediately following the snow like we did last week, it’s more manageable. But the operative term is “more”. Because only major streets get plowed and cleared, and we don’t use salt. The side streets stay untouched because 1) we don’t have the equipment and 2) it will melt, eventually. And while these streets are quieter than the main roads, they still get used. All that nice snow from last night? It’s packed down on the streets. It’s not quite ice but it’s still slick.* While I might be able to bike on this, it’s still a sketchy proposition. But I don’t want to take the bus…
So I decided to throw the studded tire on front of the Crested Butte. Simple, right? Well, the wheels are bolt on, and while one bolt loosened easily, the other wasn’t budging. So I push down on my box wrench with my foot…and break the wrench in half.
I’ll probably be on foot/bus the next couple days. I can still try to remove that front wheel, but a studded tire would maybe be useful for a day or so. Is it worth the effort? Part of me says yes, because it would be cool to play snow biker for a bit. It would also be really nice to have a dedicated bike for snow/ice riding. Out of my four bikes, the one I’d most likely press into that service would be the Heavy Duti. But I’d need to figure out the front brake situation (meaning: figure out a front brake situation) to make it useful for that. (And I almost got around to that, but have been a bit too broke/lazy lately.) In that case, I could leave it ready for the nasty stuff and not worry about having to swap tires on one of my other bikes only to have to swap it back in a few days. Of course, this might be the last of the snow for the season, so if I go through all the trouble to get a bike set up for snow/ice, I won’t see it again until next year!
*And later reports from other cyclists confirmed this.