Sam tells me (comment here) my commute of 1.25 miles (more like 1.7 the route I take) is too simple to be impressive -- and, in truth, I agree. Even riding to work this morning at 23 degrees wasn't a terrible chore; after breaking the fast at Starbucks and exchanging a few respectful nods with the handful of other bikers out it was more cool than difficult.
During the day the weather stayed chilly, the wind picked up, and the snow started to fall. I badly wanted to cycle back to the condo and drive the car to the airport. But mindful of Rule # 9 -- "If you are out riding in bad weather, you are a badass. Period." -- I suited up for cold weather and headed into the west wind for the 15 miles from work to the airport. Garmin reports 27 degrees, snow, and 11 mph wind. It was chilly, challenging, and lovely.
The airport commute heads west through campus and across the White River, where it picks up Washington Street for two miles heading west and Holt Road for another mile and a half going south. Washington to Holt is the one unpleasant part of the ride, both four-lane roads through working class and industrial neighborhoods. After crossing the interstate the route joins Minnesota Street, a smallish and lower-traffic road heading further west. A few quick turns to North Perimeter Road for four miles around the airport grounds. North Perimeter is where the ride gets fun. The wind picks up with no buildings or trees to block it and the road is a wide four-lane with good pavement and devoid of cars.
I locked the bike in my spot in the airport garage next to the valet shack
and stripped down to civilian clothes for the flight. It turns out
that the full-body scanners light up like a Christmas tree if you are
wet, which after sweating in winter garb was more than a tad amusing.
Today makes time two starting the commute home by riding to the airport. This past Monday on the return I enjoyed 40 degrees and sun for a pleasant ride back to work. I'm more than a tad concerned about what I will find when I get back to the bike this coming Monday.
Riding in weather is bad-ass, true enough. Particularly when you have no idea what kind of weather you'll be encountering for the return ride.
I predict a fat-bike in your future. That would make the chance of riding in snow on the way back much less daunting, no?
Could have used that fat-bike today. Snow and ice on the roads so I took the bus back from the airport. I guess I'm only half of a badass, kind of like Kim Kardashian's latest stunt. Query: is a fat-bike necessary, or is this the excuse for a disc-brake 29-er with drop bars that I can mount with studded tires?
You're probably right that the studded tires would make more sense if you know you'll be riding in packed snow or ice. If you're not sure what you'll end up riding in though, I imagine studs on pavement are a sketchy proposition.
What are your thoughts on the Salsa Fargo?
First thought is that those are sure funny looking handlebars, and that top tube sure slopes an awful lot. Almost looks like mom's Schwinn Suburban. Neither of those are valid knocks against it though, looks like a nicely spec'ed bike. And it's available in Ti...
A winner on Friday a.m.: 14 degrees at the start, warmed to a balmy 16 by the time I reached the airport. My feet finally felt normal about the time I made it to the airline club in CLT.
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