TCI Friday

I have a single-speed (currently fixed) bike with a basket, that I use for errands. You know the winter is wearing thin when you fantasize about riding to the grocery store on a fixie, wearing shorts, and no helmet. That’s right. No helmet. Sometimes I live life on the wild side. It’s also less than a mile, and the wind in my hair is worth it (but do flame me in the comments, because I enjoy that, too).

Our trails are currently sheets of ice. They roll pretty well under studded tires, if you’re so inclined. I’m wary of doing any damage myself, so I’m steering clear.

I like the Night Moves™

That leaves the road bike, which feels like a rocket sled after a winter spent pushing big rubber over hill and dale. The streets are littered with sand and salt still, a filthy mess that accrues at the margins and will rot your metal parts faster than you can say “sodium chloride is just rock salt.” Another challenge is that the snow banks, really ice banks at this point, have been melting and freezing over and over again, spreading thin black ice out from their edges, right where riders want to put their wheels. It makes for some dicey morning riding, followed by a mandatory bike wash.

None of this should be read as complaint. It’s simply the state of play, and I know what I’m in for, even as I pull my bibs up and tippy-tap down the basement stairs.

I stand there and look at my bikes. I love them a little (ok, a lot), and it makes me wistful to stand there. I should only ever always be riding all of them. You know?

But circumstances dictate, as they will.

And so, this week’s TCIF asks, what bike are you riding right now? Are you like me, hemmed in by environmental factors? Or are you right in the groove with one particular machine, and so you ride that one every time?

Hey, friend! Got $3 burning a hole in your pocket? Why not subscribe to The Cycling Independent today, so we can have $3 burning holes in our pockets, and we can be like pocket-hole twins?

Join the conversation
  1. jlaudolff says

    No snow banks here in the PNW. I’m riding my moots with 32 slicks and full polished chrome fenders. The fenders add a ton of drag. I’m always glad to switch over to the summer moots, if I’m lucky, by late April.

  2. DaveinME says

    Maine is still wicked cold so I’ve only been out once on my road bike so far. The roads are just as you described. A complete mess. I’ve spent my winter Zwifting which I’ve enjoyed a lot.

    It is supposed to be 55 one day next week so a ‘sick’ day may be in order.

    As for bike selection I have a road bike and a cross bike.

    I can’t wait for the warmer weather as I got a new road bike two months ago.

  3. Jeff vdD says

    This morning, my adventure bike, newly shod in 48mm Rene Herse Juniper Ridge (measuring 49mm). Surprisingly good traction even on the ice, but damn it didn’t feel that way when on the ice.

    Mostly, though, it’s been fat biking since the MA snow started. Probably a few more outings on it before the adventure bike becomes my go-to.

  4. TominAlbany says

    I’ll be taking my studded tires (and the MTB they’re on) out for a roll this weekend. I checked out my trails and they’ll be necessary this weekend. I’ve had the CX bike out on the road last Saturday. Shame on me for not washing it yet. It IS filthy.

    The road bike had a full tune up and I replaced the cassette, chainrings, chain, cables and housings so, it’s not going outside until it warms up a bit and we get a good rain or two to wash the crap off the roads.

    Grocery store is only half a mile away for me too. I wear a ball cap since I lack the necessary follicles to enjoy it hatless!

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