just enough to justify putting away the good ole fixie and pull out the WinterMongoose, an oldish mongoose hybrid bike i pulled out of my father's garage over thanksgiving. now, the WinterMongoose needed some work before it could be ridden, let alone ridden through the snow.
i dropped by the hub at the u of m, had a great chat with ben and figured out what needed to be done, which ended up not being too much, to make the WinterMongoose rideable. now, i'm a novice when it comes to working on bikes and updating and what not, so i let ben take the bars and lead the charge. two new tires [front studded], fenders, a tune up, and a chunk of change later, the WinterMongoose was ready ... to sit my garage for a week and wait for snow.
for a few days, the roads were clear and my fixie did just fine to get from home to work/school, but finally, saturday evening, it snowed. i stood in my kitchen on saturday with a cup of night and day coffee and excitedly watched the snow collect on the ground.
i have been a bicycle commuter for a couple years now, but i have never needed to ride in the winter because of my location in relation to where i needed to go, ie: i lived across the street from school last winter, so you can imagine how excited and nervous i was to ride.
i bundled up [mistake one] and headed out to ride across downtown mpls. with shaky handlebars, i began to pedal, very slowly, out of the alleyway and into the street. i could hear the chickt chickt chickt of the studs hit the occasional concrete. the beginning of my ride was rough, but as i hit downtown, the roads, bikelanes, and pedmall, were clear. i felt a little sheepish, and extremely warm, as i rode with studded tires on the mostly clear roadway, until i hit eat street and strevens ave. both streets made me very glad i had a little tougher traction for my tires. the ride to mcad was great, cool and crisp.
now, what did i learn on my first winter commute? LAYERS; i had too many. i was dressed to take the dog outside, not for physical activity and building body heat. no someways, i am glad i was too warm as opposed to too cold, because i am still very optimist about this evening's ride home. my first "real" winter riding experience was great and i proud to boast the No Drive, Just Ride motto in all seasons. yes, there wasnt a lot of snow, but i'm glad to have some winter-weather-training-wheels to start out on. i am looking forward to more snow and excited that, after graduation in two weeks, i have a studio space that is outside of my little apartment, therefore, another excuse to Just Ride, daily.