18 December 2009


Yes, snow fell overnight and made the journey in the morning "interesting". It's fine on the main roads, generally - although I noticed many stretches where the cycle path had been carefully avoided by the gritters - so on to the main carriageway, positioning and good observation the name of the game.

The main problem is the mile between home and the main road - here the gritters didn't make it, so the snow stays, freezes up and becomes slippy. I go slow, on a low gear. If going downhill, I walk - bikes are not good at stopping on ice. The late Sheldon Brown is spot on in his advice: front brake is best on dry surfaces, but on slippery ones you have to use the rear one. Since this one takes longer to stop the bike anyway (ie even on dry surfaces), the conclusion I reach is that you have to really slow down on ice. Really. Call me Sherlock.


davezac said...

you ride today though? - cycling before christmas was a ride in the park compared to today. it took me 1.5 hours to cycle from sale to fallowfield - a journey which normally takes 30 mins.

coco said...

Davezac: I take my (woolly) hat off to you and all the brave people who have cycled in to Manchester today. I've seen two or three, no more.

I did not cycle, this week. On Monday I wanted to, I swear, but it was the 'last' (or first) mile, ie from home to the main road that put me off - it was 95% iced-up, pavement and tarmac alike. Yesterday (Tue 5 Jan) I didn't go anywhere, by bike nor car - only walked to the park w/ the children, sledge etc. Today, I drove (long story - visitors tomorrow, needed petrol, etc). Even the main roads were only 70% clear and - you've guessed it - the 30% not cleared is where the cycle lane normally sits. Call me a wimp, but all this 'positioning' and 'owning the road' is all very well, but I don't really feel they apply in the current circumnstances - I felt my car skid a little bit at traffic lights and so on, and that's on the A56, ie a main artery.

I feel guilty, but only a little.
I really hope to get back on my bike soon. Meanwhile, take care, and good luck!

davezac said...

did i say i was foolish - i should say so. it was horrendous - when i set off (onto A56 sale) it was navigable. however after turning into edge lane stretford the snow had been compressed and ridges had formed. i rode where i could - middle of the road even - worked . today was easier.
from another cyclist and person working in manchester!