BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘ice’

#365daysofbiking What a difference a snow day makes

:

Monday January 25th 2021 – The day was again cold, and the snow didn’t really thaw at all. As I came home from work, I joined the canal towpath at Clayhanger Bridge to see what the tyres were like on compacted, hard snow: I needn’t have worried. They were fine.

Coming up over Catshill Junction Bridge I couldn’t resist a quick photo looking back the way I’d came: I love the way snow completely changes night photography.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2MF94wQ
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Ice magic

Sunday January 24th 2021 – The snow did indeed arrive, and in some quantity with it falling heavily throughout the day. Sadly, I was too busy with work matters to get out in it until early evening.

I managed a circuit of Brownhills, and the snow was maybe a couple of inches deep: But due to low traffic levels it was persistent on the roads and it made going hard. At least the tyres were good in it: If I’m honest, in handling terms they were far better than the studs I normally use, but that may be a factor of tyre width more than anything.

At Silver Street, the canal and new housing estate there looked beautiful in the snowy night. With nobody around and the white LED lighting complimenting the snow, it looked thoroughly magical.

I’ve really missed decent snowfalls this last few years.

This journal is also on WordPress, where the pictures are in higher resolution and the search box works! Click here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/3p4CdOZ
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking A contact sport

Friday January 22nd 2021 – Normally in winter I ride studded tyres. I do so because they’re bombproof and hold me upright even on black, sheet ice. They are noisy and hard to ride, but always my winter weapon of choice.

This year I read about other, studless winter tyres: Continental Top Contact 2 Winter.

Now I’ve not had a great experience of Continental tyres before now – Gatorskins were dire, although Continental’s inner tubes are up there with the best. So I tried this complex-treaded soft rubber commuting tyre with some trepidation.

I needn’t have worried: They are stunning. Not as good on black ice, but they are extraordinarily grippy. They have dealt with snow, ice, slippery mud and good old fashioned wet leaves. The grip is incredible.I am seriously impressed.

What’s more they’re pretty fast and silent too.

I could get used to these. Well done, Continental. Well done.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/3aHRoZp
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking better than expected

Saturday January 2nd 2021 – Although we’ve not had the inches of snow I would have liked, we had repeated short falls that kept it topped up. Saturday evening, it came on again, so I headed out on errands at teatime.

Coming back from the supermarket in Burntwood, I came down the Parade and through Holland Park and the Black Path, not long after and intense, but short fresh fall.

It’s safe to say it was magical.

And the best bit? The town seemed deserted.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2X9jXbz
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking You picked a fine time to leave me

January 20th – One of the few hard frosts of the season so far greeted me as I left on my bike for work.

I was very, very glad on the cycleways of Telford particularly for the studded winter tyres: Surefooted and grippy as ever. There was a lot of black ice, and I never once felt unstable.

Sadly what did cause me problems was my back brake losing all bite: For some reason my pads chose this morning to wear completely out to the point at which they were just about useless. The crossover point between ‘These are OK’ and ‘Where’s my stopping power gone?’ was one braking action on a downhill.

The one set of conditions when you really need to leave the front brake alone and only use the back… Oh dear.

Luckily, there were no spills.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/30Pl41r
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Frosty reception

December 17th – In Telford – it was a frosty morning after a rainy evening and there was no shortage of ice on the new footbridge. With every turn in the weather, this ludicrous civil engineering fudge looks more and more shambolic.

In many places the standing water from the night before had frozen on the bridge deck and steps – either due to lack of gritting or the grit washing away before having chance to act.

Someone really should be answering public safety questions about this farce, but I doubt they ever will.

Still, the frost on the local byways was pretty. But by heck, it seemed cold.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2Q51CKd
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Maintaining the bite

November 22nd – And when I got home, an essential job – replace the missing studs in the winter tyres I’s saved from last season.

Schwalbe, the makers of the tyres, sell kits of replacement studs and a tool for inserting them – they are fiddly to do but with a tiny spot of silicone grease they go in well enough.

I had six to do. Took me a while to re-find the knack, but I got there in the end… and hopefully maintaining the excellent grip I love these tires for.

But so worth in the end.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/34vhVVk
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Metal guru


November 19th – One of the reasons I was comfortable with the ice and frost was that I now have the winter tyres on the bike.

There’s nothing more painful than coming off on ice on a cold day – everything seems to hurt far more. To keep upright as far as possible I fit Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus tyres. They’ve an aggressive outer tread loaded with 240 tungsten carbide studs which grip the road through the ice to give purchase even when cornering. There’s a more continuous, subtle central tread which rolls well when at maximum pressure.

Riding these is noisy and harder than normal tyres – but there are no worries about stability – these grip beautifully, like the ice isn’t there at all. They’re also very effective on leaf mulch which I find a lot of this time of year.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2qNT3JR
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Cold comfort

November 19th – Next morning, back to Telford in the early morning on a hard frost, as expected. Mill Green was as beautiful as it always is on such a morning: Icy, pale but mistily serene and peaceful.

It was a good morning for once and that looked like continuing. With the winter tyres on, I’m ready.

Come on then, let’s have it…

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2qEIWXX
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking That was a bit nippy

November 18th – It was a cold, thankfully dry journey home. The roads were glistening with ice, and the main ones, a fresh scattering of road salt.

The first icy commute home of the winter is always hard. My hands and face were cold. It hurt.

Stopping at a shop in the way home, I noticed that the temperature was marginally still above zero degrees Celsius.

That was a shock. it felt much colder.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/34qigbI
via IFTTT