|Doesn't Such a Photo Just Make You Want to Stop and Be Thoughtful for a Bit?|
Big Oak: "Learning to fall is good. Learning to not get into conditions that lead to falls may be better!"
Take Away: Unfortunately, learning and falling go together at first, just as they did when we first learned how to stay upright. Just as when I first learned, I got better as I went along at recognizing the conditions that lead to falls and on staying upright whatever the conditions. If I lived somewhere that offered frequent opportunities for riding in such conditions, I'm pretty sure I could begin to regard them as "routine." Snow biking may not be as glamorous as freeskiing, but you don't have to buy lift tickets!
John Romeo Alpha: "The ideal hand solution for me was ... sniper gloves."
Take Away: I am gradually collecting more and more gloves. One thing I found interesting is that ski gloves worked fine for shifting SRAM road shifters. Mittens not so much. Gloves had more difficulty with Shimano shifting gear because both the lever and the brake lever do different things while with SRAM you just push the lever further and the brake lever keeps to the business of stopping. It's ironic that I bought new half-finger gloves at the Hotter 'N Hell 100 and haven't worn them other than to try them on - in Texas!
Apertome Item 1: "Personally, I generally use platform pedals in the winter (and always when commuting). Not because I don't think clipless offers any advantage (I think it does), but because this way I have a lot of flexibility in my footwear choices. Also, winter clipless shoes are VERY expensive, and I refuse to shell out huge amounts of money for them."
Take Away: I'm looking enviously at clipless pedals that also include a platform attachment. They seem to offer the best of both worlds - clipless when the weather is reasonable, combined with added footwear flexibility for when survival trumps mere efficiency. This winter has been easier than last partly because I've not been as constrained by using the shoes that'd work with my SPD pedals. Both Shimano and Wellgo offer such "convertible" pedal models. For the moment, my old Ritchie clipless pedals are back on Buddy, but I'm looking! I think the platform spd pedals might also help in better weather with the syndrome in which the third toe on my left foot tends to go numb.
Apertome Item 2: "MUPs are almost always worse than roads, in terms of conditions, I've found. They're usually not treated, or even if they are treated, they don't get as much, or as consistent traffic, as the roads."
Take Away: Look at the photo above - those MUPs LOOK so nice, just like a calm body of water, under which alligators await. While I'm skeptical about most MUPs even in the best of conditions, a snowy MUP is a trap for the unwary cyclist...
Apertome Item 3: "I strongly recommend wider tires, your 'cross tires would be great for these kinds of conditions."
Take Away: Since I got new rims for my road bike last summer, I actually have unused 700c rims that I could mount the cross tires on. When it's cruddy out, I'd simply say "Thank God for Quick Releases!" I'm not a fan of multiple tire changes, but my wife would look much more favorably on those extra rims with a set of tires mounted on them. What's more, it'd also encourage me to actually PRACTICE riding in real cross conditions.
Justin: "I will get some knobbies for next year - my MTB has a pretty non aggressive tread, and I was sliding around like crazy. It was fun."
Take Away: I think the last three words pretty much sum things up...