Snow Cycling Inspiration

Via The City Cyclist

Get Ready for ICYCLE 2011 Saturday February 12

Icycle 2010: Mens Final

You’ve braved the slush on your morning commute. You’ve made around icy corners on your weekend ride. Now it’s time to take it to the next level.

ICYCLE is Toronto’s only on-ice bicycle race.

Where: Dufferin Grove Park ice pad (map)
When: Saturday, February 12, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Via Facebook:

Its that time of year again! ICE RACE TIME!!

This year, to help offset the costs to the organizers there will be a small charge of $5 to sit in the players boxes rinkside. Totally worth it for the best seats in the house!

Everyone welcome so invite all your friends!

There will be an after fund raiser event at Bike Pirates, 1292 Bloor St West ($5 or PWYC)

All proceeds go to Peter McKenzie, cyclist who was hit on the Bloor Viaduct just before Christmas.

Get all the need to know info on the ICYCLE 2011 Facebook Page.

Looking to make your own studded ice racing tires? Derek Chadbourne of the Bike Joint wants to help you out:

Come out to Bike Pirates – 1292 Bloor West (map) – Wednesday February 2nd 6-9 to learn how its all done, taught by the Ice Emporer. Here is what you are going to need. Come on out it will be fun. For further info contact the Bike Joint @ 416-532-6392

For a starter a frame with tire clearance for stud protrution. Next determine length of scew needed for 2 to 3 mm to stick out , #4 pan head Robertson scews are my prefered ones and #6 second choice. For best results I pree drill holes for screws so a smaller bit than screw diameter, a hand drill, bit driver and ofcourse hundreds of those shiny things. 300 per are fun, 500 per are better and well my latest tires have 850 + per. Cost of scews are about $4 to 5 per hundred at Jacob’s hardware but they should be ordered ahead of time

Photo by Vic Gedris

What I Wear For Winter Cycling

It’s officially winter in Toronto. That time of year when many people believe outdoor physical activity grinds to a halt. It’s that time of year when excuses are passed off as reasons and it’s that time of year when I keep on doing what I do… riding my bicycle.

In the spirit of “how to do it” posts, here’s a look at my winter cycling wardrobe.

Let me state first that I tend to “run hot.” For some reason, I have a great tolerance to the cold. I don’t mind the biting wind on my cheeks and only once the temperature drops below -10 C do I add an extra layer to my legs.

That said, let’s look at outfit #1… the everyday ride:

1. Wool jacket with light lining (pocket handkerchief for running nose is essential).
2. Wool scarf
3. Toque
4. Merino wool sweater
5. Cotton shirt
6. Jeans (reflective strap since I don’t have a chainguard)
7. Fleece gloves
8. Merino wool socks

Not pictured: fleece long johns, leather boots.

My everyday rides take me to the grocery store, to the bank, to a new remote office (coffee shop), to the library. These are all short trips that see me on the bike for no more than 20 minutes at a time. In light snow, I’ve never had a problem with wet clothes and because I have a set of full fenders the amount of slush and grime spray on my shins is very minimal.

When I reach my destination I sometimes remove the pant strap and I’m ready to go. Easy as pie.

In addition to grocery hauling, errand running my bicycle is my only “exercise machine.” So, for longer, harder rides where I’m cranking up my already burning internal engine I dress differently… here’s a look at the active rider:

1. Waterproof/Breathable shell
2. Wool cap with ear flaps
3. Fleece half-zip
4. Merino wool base layer
5. Soft shell pants
6. Liner shorts
7. Lined water resistant gloves
8. Merino wool socks

Not pictured: Gore-tex hiking shoes, helmet

My goal on longer, harder rides is to have my outer layers block the wind and my inner layers fight to manage sweat. While I like the bright blue jacket for visibility, I bought it because the fabric is reliably wind resistant and waterproof and because it was on sale.

In the end, I suggest wearing what you feel is comfortable. I like my “advanced plastics” outer layers as much as I do my natural fibre one. Each outfit works for what I want them to do and finding the right mix that suits your body and your needs is how I feel you should determine what to wear on your bicycle in any weather.

Winter Cyclist Taxonomy

remind me to try this sometime

The Pacific Northwest Inlander looks at four types of winter cyclist:

THE METAPHYSICIST

Stealthy, swift and undeniably easy-going, the Metaphysicist doesn’t own a car. This type rides for pleasure — defying the norms of everyday transportation. You can spot him by the twinkle in his eyes, the ease with which he rides, his lack of concern over distance and weather.

THE BIKE GURU

This breed of winter commuter has a bike for every occasion. These specialized rides cost more than a lot of people’s cars, and they rip through the ice and snow better than any vehicle on four wheels. The Bike Guru is identifiable by his bicycle tattoos and his mastery of technical lingo.

MR. BUSINESS-CASUAL

This winter cyclist is equally at home in the conference room and the intersection. For Mr. Business-Casual, commuting is practical and efficient. His bicycle, like his briefcase, is an extension of his being — like an extra arm or a leg. Look for him to be wearing dress slacks and a sweater vest beneath his cycling jacket.

THE MARY POPPINS

This winter warrior rides because it makes her happy. Mary Poppins takes her bike into the grocery store, to work, and into her friends’ houses, because she forgot her lock and no one has the heart to tell this merry nanny “no.” She rides in dresses, baskets and bells.

Read the full article here: Winter Warriors

Where do you fit on the list? Personally, I’m trying to be a “Mary Poppins” but no one is letting this guy bring his slush covered bicycles inside anywhere!

Photo via the BikingToronto Flickr Group

Winter Telegram Delivery

Winter Bicycle Riding Tips From The UK

Bike By

While we’ve really only experienced a few days of winter-ish temperatures here in Toronto we all know that snow and constant cold are right around the corner.

Whether this is your first or your fiftieth winter on your bicycle this article from the Guardian offers up some excellent winter cycling tips that are applicable to Toronto as well:

• It’s natural, when you’re a bit anxious about conditions, to ride leaning forward and tense, with your hands on the brakes. But try to relax the hands and arms, and keep your weight back.

• As in any slippery conditions (such as very wet roads), do your braking early and as much as possible in a straight line. Definitely only use the front brake in this way; otherwise, use the back brake more. And you can also use the back brake to test the amount of adhesion you have.

• Try to steer “with your hips” rather than your hands: in other words, make directional changes progressively and with your whole mass on the bike, rather than by sudden sharp steering inputs at the handlebars.

• As snow gets grooved by car tyres and refreezes, you can encounter rutted tracks and momentary “tramlining” effects. Deal with this by allowing the front wheel of the bike to go where it wants; again, keep your weight back, stay relaxed and don’t be too ambitious about your speed.

• Mostly, on British roads, the snow is cleared or turns to slush quickly, but beware of transitions from snowy side streets to clear roads: this is where you’re most likely to encounter ice or tricky ruts.

Read the full article here: Tips on how to cycle in snow

GI Joe BMXer photo by LexnGer

Skis, Boards, Bikes and Dogs

Hell yeah! Bring it on, Winter!

Via Racer Diaries