Ice Cycling

I seem to have invented a new extreme sport on the way into work: Ice Cycling. The roads were like an ice-skating rink. Scary stuff :(

Here’s some advice for anyone in the same boat:

  • use a high gear: avoid using low gear if possible, even when starting off. Low revs mean you’re more likely to get traction.

  • try to avoid turns: keep the bike as upright as possible.

  • try to avoid braking: braking is very likely to start a skid in icy conditions.

  • use busy roads: where the ice has been melted by car traffic. In icy conditions, you should ride where the cars have been, since they’ll have melted the ice.

  • ride away from the gutters: they’re more likely to be iced over than the centre of a lane. Again, ride where the cars have been.

  • avoid road markings: it seems these were much icier than the other parts of the road; possibly because their high albedo meant the ice on them hadn’t been melted by the sun yet. So look out for that.

Here’s a good thread on cyclechat.co.uk, and don’t miss icebike.org: ‘Whether commuting to work, or just out for a romp in the woods, you arrive feeling very alive, refreshed, and surrounded with the aura of a cycling god. You will be looked upon with the smile of respect by friends and co-workers. – – – Or was that the sneer of derision…no matter, ICEBIKING is a blast!’ o-kay.

Their recommendations are pretty sane, though. ;)

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6 Comments

  1. Posted February 6, 2009 at 14:31 | Permalink

    Personally, I’ve given up cycling – it’s just a way to get to work or home quicker, and I really enjoy the peaceful bits in between, to be honest.

    Some tips for walkers, then:

    1. get a lift if possible.
    2. avoid the edge of the road, as it’s like full of sludge.
    3. don’t walk on the path – it’s bloody slippy.
    4. if you can, walk in the hard-shoulder on the /right/ sight of the road – it’s usually been cleared out by trucks and the like, so less slippy and wet.
    5. work from home.
  2. Ian Tester
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 14:48 | Permalink

    I prefer snow biking. It’s more of a spectator sport :)

    The weather down here is anything but snowy – we’ve had a two week long heat wave. Have fun in your cold weather.

  3. Posted February 6, 2009 at 14:55 | Permalink

    @Ian You have no idea the fun you’re missing…

    what am I saying – trade?

  4. Posted February 6, 2009 at 15:10 | Permalink

    @Kae — number 5 sounds like the best advice of all ;)

  5. Posted February 6, 2009 at 17:25 | Permalink

    After watching one cyclist come a cropper in the ten minute walk to school with my boys I decided discretion was the better part of valour and took the bus.

  6. Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:51 | Permalink

    I’d add this for walking: on bends keep an eye out for cars – they might be on the footpath faster than you think.