pinkrobe's picture

How was your ride today? Week of October 12th

The weather outside is frightful, but the ride is so delightful...


Julie Gregg's picture

Good Tip!

Whoever suggested sandwich bags on your feet, thank you, that is a good tip. Everything was perfect this morning. I had the excat right clothes for conditions and the sandwich bags were exactly what I needed for my toes.

wwotl's picture


It's also fun getting strange looks from people when you pull off your shoes and out comes a sandwich baggie on the ends of your feet. :)

They also make a good emergency glove if you need to do any dirty roadside repairs during the winter. I've had to fudge with a dirty chain a couple of times and I'd rather sacrifice a baggie than get my hands or gloves covered in lube and road slop.

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture

Saw a ...

guy riding with them on hands feet and helmet between Brooks & Bassano on the #1 yesterday. He appeared to be touring ... what a shocker for him today!

scottmeyers's picture

What a blast.

So I put the nobbies on the hammer last week anticipating weather like this to come, Went down stairs and the front was flat... Soa quick tube change and out the door. The crunch of the snow and the whirrrrr of the nobbies was a fun new sound. Then the fun began. The climbs are a bit slower as you have to mind the power to the wheel or you spin. I came across a jack-knifed 301 bus and a bunch of dis-embarking passangers grumbling something about the snow and cold, I just mashed away with a big stupid smile on my face and icicles on my beard. I LOVED IT. Oh yeah and wore full wool this morning, warmest I have been yet.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

anon's picture

So happy I put 700x28c xc

So happy I put 700x28c xc tires on my fixed gear. The ride in to work was a blast watching everyone cleaning off their cars and having trouble at all the lights. Nice and toasty the whole ride in. Love my booties.

umgray's picture


What a beautiful morning, fresh snow, pathways abandoned (a few were ahead of me as by the number of tracks) and the chill in the air. A great workout with the single speed winter bike but managable. Great up until downtowm - holy sh*t! I thought it would be a lot safer on the sidewalks and walking the last couple of blocks (oh well beter safe than sorry) Interested in how this will play out for the commute home.

Hope everyone had a safe ride in and a safe ride home.

pinkrobe's picture

Turkey coma creates inertia

Yesterday, I was going to set up both bikes for winter duty. I got halfway done [set up my wife's bike], then decided to eat some turkey and read some comic books. 10 hours later, I decided it was late, and I didn't need to work on my winter bike, because it wasn't going to snow anyway, and I could do it tomorrow...

7:10, I pop out of the shower and hear on the radio, "...windchill of -12, temperatures rising today..." Sweet! No mention of snow. I wander out to the living room, and I hear my wife say something like, "It's flowing". I think, "Slow and low, that is the tempo...", but I ask, "Wha?" She says, "IT'S SNOWING". Quick like a bunny, I look out the front window - 2" of fresh, and it's not melting. F***! After that, I was moving at high speed. Clothes on, out to the garage to get the winter bike, downstairs, pull the crank, swap the chainring, change the tires, install the lights, change the rear cog, note the busted rear spoke [all hail disc brakes], new chain, round a bolt head off, swear a bunch, pump up the tires and pray that nothing comes loose on the way.

The ride in was pretty smooth, although BrownSnow was already forming on 12 Ave. We got stuck behind somebody in a Benz doing about 20 down 7 St., but that was the only bad part.

vonbergm's picture


Was watching it this morning while changing my tires...

wwotl's picture


Ha ha - I've had a few of those mornings!

My ride in today was great. Riding in a fresh snowfall is wonderful and it's always fun to see the bike tracks in the snow start adding up as more and more cyclists hit the main pathways.

I put the studs on late last week to "break them in" and was glad I had everything ready to go last night. No rush this morning and I almost felt sorry for all the cars I passed that were sitting there fuming. ;)

A bus had slid sideways under the train tracks at 2nd St which was causing some traffic woe. Lots of people sliding through intersections, onto the sidewalks and not getting up icy hills.

It only took me about 10 minutes longer than usual to get in, which was a lot faster than I thought it was going to take.

majchers's picture

That's it for me.

That's it for me. I am done for this season I guess.
Too bad...

pinkrobe's picture

Say it ain't so! The snow

Say it ain't so! The snow will be gone off the roads by Friday, then it's supposed to be nice next week. Don't hang up the bike quite yet...

majchers's picture


Well 'pinkrobe', I have about 27 km each way to crank. Some of it is on the 'pathways' that are not cleared of snow (never mind ice). I had 3 or 4 bad falls last season (still feeling the consequences). I tried various tires but never found one that would be optimal for the conditions/situations. Studs are good but are driving me nuts on the pavement. Anyway - I will see how the things go. Last year I stopped some time mid December (just with the big snow falls) so I am not too happy being forced to do it almost TWO months sooner this year!
Darn it.

vonbergm's picture


An iPod works great if you don't like the sound of the studs.

pinkrobe's picture

Yeah, your commute is way

Yeah, your commute is way longer than mine, and crashing is definitely no fun. I don't think there is one perfect tire - there are always trade-offs. If we [collectively] can be of assistance, just say the word.

ride's picture

Think outside the box, majchers

Your commute doesn't need to be 27km by bike OR 27km by car. Think outside the box! Maybe you can drive to a spot where you can park and access a snow-cleared pathway. Or maybe you can ride to where you can put your bike on a bus that has bike racks.

Sketch out your commute on and I bet you'll get a bunch of suggestions on how to keep doing at least part of your commute by bike this winter... pleasurably.

critninja's picture

outside the box girlfriend

she lives in silver springs, but when she rides to work she parks at the pumphouse and then rides to ogden via the pathways and inglewood. she misses all the bad traffic in both directions.

when i see an adult on a bicycle, i do not despair for the future of the human race.
- h.g. wells

BCDon's picture

Was it her?

I recall seeing more than one person unload a bike at the pumphouse and cycle off. Doesn't she face a bit of traffic getting to the pumphouse from Silver Springs, I'd think she'd be battling traffic down Crowchild because when I'm northbound on crowchild the southbound lanes seem to back up past the University. Looks positively icky.

seanyyc's picture

Maiden voyage of the winter bomber

Pretty slow going on the studs and the four-gear selection, but stupidly fun. And I'm the only guy in the room who enjoyed commuting this morning. But looks like will have to be put away come Thursday when things warm up.

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture


I just got some winter shoes to try this afternoon too... I'll tought it out and get a stud for the rear soon...



my bike is already dry in the basement... I checked it an hour ago...

Cword's picture


Bummed because I drove.

A nice new winter single all set to go in the garage, and I miss the first snow of the season due to too many errands that have to get done in between work and my night class.


wulfheir's picture

I thought I had my studded

I thought I had my studded front mounted on a rim ready to go, went to the garage to see a rim with no tire. So I stayed on my 1.25" slicks. I'll probably leave my bike at work until thursday when the snow is gone.

vonbergm's picture


Thought I could hold off changing to studded tires for a while, but it's hard to stay in denial when I had to face the white fluffy reality this morning. Brought the bike in from the garage to fix it up, nothing is worth than changing tires in the cold. Beautiful ride in. Will avoid the overpasses over 16th Ave and Crowchild and wait for the traffic lights in the future, tight corners on unplowed bridges are no fun.

headdamage's picture

Had put the studded tires on

Had put the studded tires on last week but still had to find all my winter clothing this morning. The hill on home road was a gong show... 6 cars all pilled up together with two or three of them on the bike lane and over the side walk. Down town was a bit hairy to, think I'll stick to the side walks to get back to the bike path tonight.

Jaykay65's picture

Fresh tracks

Created the route for all you others that come up Country Hills Blvd and down Barlow Trail north to the airport. Just came back in to see one other set of tracks.

Unfortunately, tonight's ride home may be the last until the next BIG melt. Depending how well the city plows the roads the remainder of today, tonight. I will not ride on CH Blvd, only beside it and usually the snow is plowed over the path, making it impassible.

I left at my usual time of 6:30ish and arrived only 5 minutes later than normal. Traffic was building as I was riding in and by the time I stepped out of the shower it was backed up from the airport back to Country Hills Blvd, 1.5KM of 5KPH flowing traffic.

Typical automobile commutes in my office area were any where from 2X - 3X longer than normal. I guess I should not gloat as I will likely be one of them the remainder of this week. That sucks!

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture

start point...

where do you start out? I ride chb from 1 light east Nose Hill Drive to the light past the superstore (the one by the starbucks)

Jaykay65's picture

Further East

Starbucks across from Cardel Place? Whoa, you truly do go uphill both ways, __" of snow on a bike. :-)
I enter by the Harvest Hills GC and ride east to Barlow Trail. I saw another set of tracks on the way home tonight so there were a few of us out there today.
Tomorrow's ride should not be so bad?

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture

further west...

The one in Edgemont... and yes I do ride uphill both ways, but way more on the ride home... I figure its 650-1000 feet of climbing on the return trip depending on the route...

enidcoleslaw's picture

super fun ride! first year

super fun ride!

first year riding in snow. i don't have a studded tire - don't think i'm gonna get one... my 700s seems like theyll do the job... we'll see though.

BCDon's picture

Good News or Bad news?

I'm not sure which. I have running around to do this week at work so need my cage (for example, I had a meeting at the airport for a couple of hours this morning, then to the office, then back home) and I have some dinner meetings to go to tomorrow and likely Thursday. Not sure about Friday yet.

So, that means no cycling for this week (except maybe Friday). And, I don't have studs yet (I mean, I am a stud of course but no studded tires :)).

Wasn't too bad, had a 10:00AM meeting, left the house a bit before 8:30 to head up to the airport and was there in 55 minutes. At that time of the morning it would normally be a 40 to 45 minute drive so wasn't too bad. Although, I may suffer tonight, don't plan to leave till later.

And then, by next week all will be well with the world, the snow and ice will be gone and the pathways will have lots more users (like me) on them, at least till next snowfall (although I'm thinking I'll keep riding then).

umgray's picture

cleared pathway

OMG, My pathway was cleared for the ride home (thanks City of Calgary!!!!!) Did anyone else who is on a winter pathway have their pathway cleared.

That so rocks! I really was not expecting that especially when it will melt in a couple of days.

I am so amazed - will write positive letter to city (while 20 thousand drivers of cars complain)

Alderman will also know

critninja's picture

cant believe that guy

he was on the radio today complaining about the bad roads - yet, isnt he one of those alderman who shoots down any sort of increase in property taxes?

when i see an adult on a bicycle, i do not despair for the future of the human race.
- h.g. wells

Jaykay65's picture

So will Mayor Dave

As published in the Herald and on Global TV, "...11KM drive to work...." By bike this would take 30 - 35 minutes for him to get in on a good day. (Okay 40 - 45 minutes because he may not be in the greatest of condition!)

Boo-hoo it took him an extra hour to get in to his office yesterday. Now he wants to find millions more dollars to improve snow clearing.

This guy could/should ride his bike to work! The city could offer car-share for him to get to his mayoral duties from his office. He probably gets chauffeured to many of these events anyway. What a way to show progressiveness and willingness to take a leadership role on an issue for the citizens of Calgary.

I guess as long as he is mayor we will have an uphill battle for furthering cyclists rights.

ggdub's picture

I've seen Mayor Dave running

I've seen Mayor Dave running in the neighbourhood, it ain't pretty, lets just say 30-35 minutes is pretty optimistic for him :)

Seriously though, there must be an election coming, that's the only reason why he's just now come to the realization that Calgary his piss-poor snow clearing.

scottmeyers's picture

Any paths that I ride closer

Any paths that I ride closer to the core were clean everything North of probably Mcknight/John Laurie still had my morning tire tracks In them. The ride was still good on the way home though!

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture

nose creek path

nose creek was being cleared under 64th Ave when I went over it.

scottmeyers's picture


My brother and I decided that would be our fall back if the roads got to dicey. I will have to check it out adn see how far the go into west nose creek park. 14th street, egerts park, and the park behind my bros house in beddington ( I know big help) were still covered, but we were still cutting through fresh powder. There was not a lot of ped traffic in that area today it seems.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

Jaykay65's picture

Section of Country Hills cleared

But only a short section of the path in the eastbound lane by Country Hills Toyota. Then across on the westbound side from the Deerfoot overpass to the intersection at 15th Street East (the old dirt road.)

Now only if the city would pave the dirt single track as was approved in the bikeway plan of 2000, I could ride every day.

But alas, I was out tonight and that single track will be much too treacherous to ride on tomorrow with the overnight freeze expected. The car is brushed off and will be driven tomorrow.

headdamage's picture

I lucked out and followed

I lucked out and followed the bobcat with the big spinning brush from home road to Silver Springs this evening... I was not expecting to have the path cleared all the way home from downtown :)

critninja's picture

didnt know...

that the pathway was cleared from home rd to silver springs. cool! has the city always cleared this section in winter? now i can ride to the gf's house all winter, and not have to dodge road traffic! ya!

when i see an adult on a bicycle, i do not despair for the future of the human race.
- h.g. wells

bclark's picture

Now they just need to sweep...

Riding up to the NW the only section I noted that wasn't cleared was the new bit between Home Road and 53rd St. I think they did that section last year so hopefully they do it again and also consider including plowing the bike lanes on 53rd on a regular basis (they may have done the northbound one but it's hard to tell vs. melting).

If they are doing the lower section from Home Road to Silver Springs are they also plowing the new bike lane on 52nd street and the river section of pathway between Edworthy and Shouldice?

Todays commute was a bit more sketchy with the fresh snow on the packed stuff.

Jaykay65's picture

One for six

Yep, I was the only one in my department that was here on time. Everyone else was as least 30 minutes late. One poor gal, lives near Creekside in Evanston and was 1-1/2 hours for a 15KM drive.

Julie Gregg's picture


ride home was great, downtown OK if u got in the middle lane and stayed away from the curb lane, pathway cleared all the way from downtown to my neighborhood, side roads were not great but still decent.

pinkrobe's picture

I raised my saddle Dropped

I raised my saddle
Dropped my bars
Carving through the brownsnow
Dodging sliding cars
Push a 3:1 gear
The studs they rarely fail
Got my pogies ordered
From Alaska via mail

InglewoodGuy's picture

First winter ride

That was a bit tougher than it looked. But I made it in from Inglewood with no falls. And a newfound desire to get better tires. My smooth rolling tires on my city bike were not the answer this morning.

No clearing of the pathways on the south side of the river from 8th St E to 6th St W. Plus the fun and games in the detour laden east village. I saw plenty of other riders, everyone seemed to be rolling along OK.

scottmeyers's picture

I need a lower gear. It was

I need a lower gear. It was a lot of work plowing this morning. Tough to keep the momentum up I am thinking 44-18 from 44-16 on 26 inch wheels... probably skinnier tires before the next beig dump hopefully. Looking forward to the sunny days now.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

ggdub's picture

northside cleared

The northside of the bow path was nice and swift this morning. Traffic on memorial was doing at best 10 km/hr. For whatever reason, the vindictive side of me kicked in and I hammered all the way to 10th, just to make sure the drivers felt extra slow.

Coming down Edworthy park road was interesting, made more so by my steely determination (read:procrastination) to remain on my slicks until this melts off. (Well that and my CX is going through a retrofit right now.)

scottmeyers's picture

Wow Motorist Ignorance is

Wow Motorist Ignorance is pathetic. A coworker jsut finished telling me that all bikes need to get off of the road becasue we are going to casue an accident. He proceeded to tell me how this crazy bike this morning was slipping and sliding and he almost ran in to him. He was putting all of the blame on the cyclist. I said you almost rear ended him. Bikes are traffic they have to abide by the law. Therefore in my interpretation had you rear eneded him you are the reckless driver. His response was well yeah in regular rules. So I pose the question is there another set of rules that we should follow? He told me that he is in control in his 4X4 pickup. I said really use your mighty engineer might. If a 200lb bike and rider is out of control and 2000 pound 4X4 is out fo control who is the bigger risk. The bike will likely slip slide hit a curb and bail into a snow drift. your truck will slip slide and takeout a car, bus, pedestrian, light post, Front window of a shop. And they wonder why we don't have to have insurance. I am so F'en mad right now at ignorance... Oh yeah and he told me I should take the day off when it is like this. I am the only guy from the burbs that is in the office right now...

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

critninja's picture

so brutal

unfortunately, i think that guy is just one of the majority who think bikes should be banished as soon as snow starts falling. the trouble is - how do you change that guys opinion? how do you change the opinion of people like him? i am not exactly sure what the answer would be...maybe it is as simple as continuing to ride through the winter...or writing a letter to the herald...not sure.

then again, the right answer is almost always the simplest one - keep riding! or, rub it in his face by showing up to work earlier and happier everyday!

when i see an adult on a bicycle, i do not despair for the future of the human race.
- h.g. wells

InglewoodGuy's picture

Sounds familiar

Had a similar comment in a meeting I was in yesterday, someone was saying how cycling should be banned on the roads in the winter. He had never seen such a thing anywhere else he had lived and couldn't believe it was allowed here. This was after watching a cyclist slide out on 4th St. Hope whomever it was is OK.

At the end of his spiel I informed him I was planning on riding all winter so he should watch out for me and all the other cyclists. No comment in reply.

vonbergm's picture


He does not have to drive. If he is not able to deal with winter traffic, no matter if it's cars, cyclists or pedestrians, then I suggest he'd be better off taking the bus. Problem solved.

BCDon's picture

But not everyone.

Well, the good news is not everyone has that opinion. But, enough do that it causes a problem.

The only solution I can see is to convert as many of them as we can. The more "riders in the snow" (sung along to Ghost riders in the sky) that we have the more we will be accepted.

Although, due to all sorts of meetings I can't really say "we" other than in mind right now. Hope to pick up the studded tires this weekend, bed them in next week and be ready for the crappy stuff "next time".

pinkrobe's picture

I was talking with a

I was talking with a co-worker who lives by Chestermere Lake. He complained about the drivers doing 20 km/h on Deerfoot, when everyone else is flying by on either side of them. I related my story of being stuck behind a car doing 20 km/h on 7 St. His belief is that cars are too light and have front-wheel drive = no traction. I blamed all-season tires not being designed for Canadian seasons, but instead more for southern US coastal winter conditions. He can be a cranky git, so I didn't go into the physics of friction, tire design and inertia, but I was really tempted.

Truth is, your average 4x4 vehicle weighs more like 3500+ pounds. 4x4 will get you out of a ditch, but it's not great for keeping you out of it in the first place. AWD and FWD do a much better job of keeping your average car on the road. RWD, unless the driver has some skill and really good tires all around, is as bad as 4x4. Having driven all of these types of vehicles in winter at one point in time or another, the AWD or FWD cars shod with properly-sized winter tires are easiest to handle, especially if a bit underpowered. But I digress...

Placing the onus of safety on those likely to cause the greatest amount of damage to people is what needs to happen. Somehow over the last 70 years, the responsibility for the safety of anyone not in a motor vehicle has been shifted onto pedestrians and cyclists. I'm all for personal responsibility, and if I'm weaving in and out of traffic like a nut I deserve what I get. However, just because you can't drive your vehicle without imperilling everyone around you, doesn't mean that I should have to stay off public roads.

scottmeyers's picture

Here Here... With mass comes

Here Here... With mass comes responsibility

...or with privlege (drivers license) comes responibility...

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

seanyyc's picture

drivetrains etc.

RWD is superior to FWD for a single reason: when your drive tires lose traction, you don't lose steering. Problem is, you need to load the rear with some weight (standard practise 'round the parts I hail from originally) to achieve optimal traction. Similarly, manual transmissions are superior to automatics, especially in this combination: they give you more torque control. Then again, the new computerized AWD traction-control systems blow this away, I imagine (I haven't had the pleasure of driving).

I did have a great deal of fun in my FWD manual rustbucked during my undergrad days, but I prefer the RWD manual for winter driving. Also tend to be less cramped under the hood. Of course, I have always had a set of good winter tires (the rustbucket's tires were worth more than the vehicle).

Now of course, I realize the majority of Calgary drivers weren't minted bombing down twisty deactivated logging roads in the winter, so I'm sure their view and experience might be different.

I suppose such a discussion might be a bit out of place on a cycling site though. I prefer the RWD bike :D

2wheeler's picture


As someone who has also driven all types of vehicles, was a cab driver, (front and rear wheel drive), drove trucks, owned several 4x4s, etc etc, I can say that in winter, nothing is more important than good tires.

I believe it is the law in Montreal (Quebec?) that every car has winter tires during the winter season. These people who's cars are ill equipped to handle any amount of snow should not be on the roads. It drives me crazy when I see a 2 wheel drive pickup with all seasons take 3 minutes spinning wheels to get through a light. AHHHHHHHHHHHH

Cword's picture

Frst Snow Ride

For this season and this bike.

I decided to go all out for a new winter bike this year and picked up a Specialized Single Cross at Bow on Saturday.
Tuesday I couldn't ride due to too many errands too spread out over too little time. I was bummed because I didn't get to play in the snow.

I was overjoyed to have the chance today.
The single is geared 42 x 18. It rode very well in the snow on the 700 x 32 "Haufalize CX" tires it came with. I encountered a bit of trouble climbing from the hill behind the Foot, when the bike slowed on a steep bit of path and I found myself pedaling but going nowhere. I'll have to work on controlling torque at slow revs to handle snowy climbs, or opt for a lower gear (This gear is very nice on the flat though).

The ride home today with the Edworthy climb will really tell me what kind of work I'm in for this winter.

scottmeyers's picture

Awesome!!! I have one on lay

Awesome!!! I have one on lay away, I was hoping I could have the cash saved up before the first snow fall... Missed it I guess but soon... I might bug you later see how it is working for you.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

Cword's picture


The only strange thing I noticed was a "chattering" from the rear wheel when traction was getting touchy on a climb. I haven't determined if it's the wheel or maybe a characteristic of the aluminum frame. This is my first aluminum bike, I've never felt a chatter like that on any of my other bikes.

pinkrobe's picture


Hmmm. None of my bikes are steel, and I've never heard chattering. Is it the fender? Maybe something is rubbing when you're cranking hard.

Cword's picture

Feels like ABS brakes

The Chattering feels like ABS brakes, Umgray is right on with his remark about the snow density and traction. It may very well be the tire/snow interface that initiates the vibration.
I only got it when climbing, yes the fender would get noisy when the vibration occurred, but it wasn't the cause.

I'm wondering if the frame stiffness had something to do with how much I could feel it.

I'm expecting to feel it again today on the ride home, climbing Edworthy, and if it occurs will try to get a better handle on whats going on.

Maybe it's a single speed / snow density / tire related anomaly that I'll never feel again.

PedalFaster's picture

Inspect carefully

I will defer to those who may know more about frames but I have never had any kind of chatter from my aluminum or chromo frames. Chatter or vibration to me means some kind of driveline or wheel alignment problem. I would go over everything really carefully, make sure there is nothing loose or rubbing, check bearing tightness, tread clearance to your frame, chain alignment in the gears you are using when you get the chatter. I paid for inattention to maintenance with a big spill last year and wouldn't want to repeat it or see someone else bail either. As with a car sometimes a problem like shake or chatter isn't easy to diagnose at first. Thank goodness bikes don't have electrical systems. Maybe a friend could ride with you and when you start to get the chatter they can take a look for anything that seems out of the ordinary.

Cword's picture


I went over the bike once when I got to work Wednesday morning, but haven't had time since.

I haven't been able to reproduce the chatter since Wednesday morning either. The snow on the ride home that day was a completely different consistency from the fresh stuff that morning. This leads me to believe that it is indeed some characteristic of the tire/snow.

The chatter was also definitely the coming from the rear of the bike, under power while climbing in the snow. I've no issues with the front end other than one I discovered while doing some low speed maneuvering. I found my toes touching the front tire, (clipped in, in shoes I've been using for 3 years on 4 other bikes with no issues)


umgray's picture


I had it as well this morning. I think it was the density of the snow and the fact that my rear wheel is a MTB tread. I rode the single speed this morning and was having a tough time on the hills but the density of the snow was really high.

2wheeler's picture


That is almost too nice to ride around town. I am jealous.

seanyyc's picture

could be..

Yes, provided the tread of your tires actually roll forward in time and leave tracks in fresh brown slush.
Otherwise, I think there's another crazy out there.

umgray's picture

work out

The single speed was a bit tough today and the oatmeal snow didn't help. However, it was one of the better workouts on a bike I have had in a long time. Forgot that cold fluffy = easy, wet sticky = hard, gotta get my head in the game for winter. let's hope that was the hardest it will get?

Still made it in way before anybody else and nobody at the office bike cage so....

I hope they plow the pathways again!

majchers's picture

Geee... I wish I was on my

Geee... I wish I was on my bike today and not sitting on the Deerfoot!
It took me 1hr and 20 mintues to get to work.
My best time on the bike is 1hr 4' (26.7km)!

Julie Gregg's picture

mixed conditions

getting out of the neighborhood was some work, foot down once in a while, but still OK. The pathway was awesome, ploughed again this morning, I might have to bake cookies for the guy!! Downtown a totally different story, I am useless in the brown snow. I started out OK but hit some thick heavy stuff and had to abort, then tried to start up again with little success, opted for running with the bike, good grief...I don't mind going for a run in this stuff but to drag a bike along with me was a little over the top. I am thinking maybe my fat mountain bike tires were NOT my friend in that snow, I saw guys with skinny tires go thru' no problem, of course they looked about 25 and fearless. Bottom line, I still was at work on time and passed many vehicles sitting on Memorial Drive. The temp was pleasant and the snow coming down very refreshing.

umgray's picture

Please say thanks to the city and your alderman

We need to continue to say thanks to the city and your alderman for plowing the bike paths. i called 311 and asked the nice lady to convey my thanks for the bike pathway plowing and I emailed my alderman as well. if we do this more often they will understand they are being used and we appreciate the large effort for a small number of people (joggers and dog walkers tend not to feel as excited about the plowing). Since the alderman and roads hears about the complaining of the car drivers we need to counter and say "Thanks"

Oh yeah, great job everyone onthe herald comments, I noticed a number of you made comments and we did stand out along with the pedestrians.

scottmeyers's picture

Remember this link

Use this Link to contact the aldermans office via the web. The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green
headdamage's picture

I used the link to send a

I used the link to send a thanks and I got a phone call back within the hour thanking me for thanking them... seems they are very happy to hear from someone that is not bitching about poor plowing at this time.

Spinner's picture

So are you going to use the

So are you going to use the link again, thanking them, for thanking you, for thanking them. Or something like that :)

Julie Gregg's picture

more thanks

I got an email thanking me for my thank you!

Jaykay65's picture

Hint to drivers

Maybe some drivers will get the hint that a lot of the pathways are already cleared, while the roads are a mess?

I don't know if we should gloat or just stay quiet?

I feel like gloating, but by doing this possibly the drivers will demand the city stop plowing and sweeping the paths and concentrate resources on clearing the roads first.

I'll just sit here and listen to them complain and smile by big stupid grin. :-)

bclark's picture

One driver did comment

I was going through the comments on the Herald site and notice one driver on Memorial was complaining about being stuck in traffic while the bike path was nice and clear at 6:30am. Of course he wanted to drive on the bike path!

Funny thing is I don't recall the bike path being cleared when I came in at 7:30am. It was just crusted with snow. It wasn't even clear this morning at that time either until I reached 29th street (by Foothills) and then it was only clear on the north side.

This guy is so envious of cyclists that he's angry about something that isn't even happening. If he rear ended another car he'd probably blame the cyclist two-lanes away and going in the opposite direction AND having nothing to do with the accident!

At least he noticed there's a bike path. I guess the challenge is to get him, and those like him, to stop just noticing it and actually get out and use it.

vonbergm's picture


A little more work today than yesterday, especially fighting up the hill with my 42:13 ratio. If it wasn't for clipless pedals and studded tires I would have been walking my bike. So I can understand that people opted to leave their bike at home. But it does feel a little lonely not to see any other cyclists...

pinkrobe's picture


I doff my cap to you. I can't push anything more than 42x14 in this slop, and even now I can really feel it in my legs when I get home...

vonbergm's picture


I am just to lazy to change the cog. Would prefer a lower ratio right now. In this weather there is no chance of spinning out at the top end. Still waiting for the S3X hub, that would solve these problems...

Julie Gregg's picture

home stretch

great ride home, pathway down to pavement, snow in the trees and all around, looked like a post card. Feels lots warmer, next few days are gonna be fun! back to summer conditions.

enidcoleslaw's picture

check out this a-hole

check out this a-hole comment:

"2 hours in the car is better than 2 hours at work, I still get paid. As for you heroes on the bikes you won't be half as happy when someone loses control and runs over your environmental ass, and no we can't all live downtown, we like to drive away from the crackheads after work and live somewhere safer."

ugh, wow, different wave lengths....

critninja's picture

i read that too...

...pretty scary really to know that there are people out there with so much hate in them.

when i see an adult on a bicycle, i do not despair for the future of the human race.
- h.g. wells

BCDon's picture

There are solutions.

Perhaps not legal ones. That kind of attitude brings out the rebel in me. Reminds of the person in the U.S. who was cycling along and was never bothered. But then he had a VERY large handgun strapped to his back.

Just because the legal system lets him get away with killing someone doesn't mean that "everyone" else will.

But, I digress, better to move on and ignore the idiots, they will take themselves out of the gene pool soon enough anyway.

We've all heard from them and seen them.

scottmeyers's picture

It is a sad state of affairs...

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

2wheeler's picture

nut job

I'd love to have the opportunity to meet this guy. I could clear up some of his misconceptions.

1.I'm not a hero.
2.I don't live downtown.
3.I don't ride to save the environment, I ride so that I can be in good enough shape to kick the crap out of someone exactly like himself.

Maybe I'm not exhibiting enough love? He really does sound like he feels threatened somehow by us cyclists.

seanyyc's picture

Envy does strange things.

Envy does strange things. Was probably steamed from sitting for hours in traffic, watching the odd person on the bike pass by.

jondub's picture

No studs

I can't tell you how frustrated I am that I didn't put my studded tires on at the weekend so that I could ride this week. I just haven't had any free time to change them, and I know that if I ride without them I'll slip and injure myself.

scottmeyers's picture


Commute time was back to normal today. It was jsut a little dicey coming out of the neighbourhood.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

stranny's picture

Road AND PATH cleaning

I certainly wish there was a way to get the pathways cleared from the top of Max Bell arena and beyond all the way to the linkup at the zoo. Is this not a city pathway which they should be clearing? Every winter I ride there are fewer and fewer free parking lots (yes I am talking about the Zoo which was free) to start the ride from in the winter. I want to continue in from the Max bell arean but it takes so long to plow through the snow before I get to semi-clear paths, its getting me very frustrated. Even with studded tires, the snow is too deep and hard to push through. So anyone coming in from the east or southeast have any issues on the east side of the bow river or is it only me?
Anyone ever talk to the city about the path clearing or do I need to get a snowplow on the front of the bike?

ggdub's picture

Call 311, it should be

Call 311, it should be cleared since its city pathway and not a "neighbourhood" pathway. Although, if I remember, the section just east of the zoo can be troublesome to plow because the river ice sometime floods over it. Someone who rides that section regularly might be able shed some more light on that.

jpk's picture

Beautiful ride this morning

The fog (with my lights) made for a great show on the ride today. Started to get misty as I passed Prince's Island and it stayed all the way to Douglasdale.

Having a clear pathway downtown was great! The roads were even better after I got out of my neighbourhood.

Also saw the stupidest bike salmon of the year this morning - wrong way, no lights, in the curb lane on Memorial. I saw him/her try it for two blocks then hop onto the sidewalk. Hope they're ok.

pinkrobe's picture

I miss the sunrise! There

I miss the sunrise! There were some beautiful mornings back in September and early October. I guess I'll just have to go to work later. :-)

The ride in was less perilous than yesterday. The first third of our commute has frozen solid, providing pretty easy riding. The ruts and soft snow we had to deal with have been smoothed out significantly. The only trouble was a truck stuck halfway up the first hill. There is ~2" of hardpacked snow and ice all the way up the hill, and this guy was just spinning his tires, blocking a T intersection. His buddy was on the sidewalk watching. We just rode up and around him. My biggest fear was that his tires would catch and propel him into one of us, but it didn't happen.

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture

Nose Hill park...

not cleared and horrible due to all the dog walkers ... the Beddinton connector was cleared off though... I won't use that route on the way home...

Scott's picture

Just read the whole thread...

I had to live vicariously through each of you because all week I have been sick home with the flu. It's been breaking my heart. I was just itching to ride to work on the first snowfall and when it came, I was too busy hacking up a lung to even get out of bed. I did take my daughter to school though and was thoroughly entertained watching all the cars sliding into one another. I got to even watch one brave cyclist hit the deck because he forgot about the rule... never use your front brake! Ah well, he got up just as quick as he went down ant appeared the only thing hurt was his pride. He did get off the bike a block later to help with the multi car pile up I bore witness too. Good samaritan. Reminds me of me. I dont know how many times I have stopped to help cars who are stuck on the road and help push them to safety.

Well, I am getting better and will be riding soon enough to be certain. Then I will have my own stories to lend.

Cheers. My Bohemia Blog

Julie Gregg's picture

Made it!

neighborhood streets were either sheer ice, or chunky ice, started to ride but ended up jogging my bike to the pathway, just seemed smarter. After that, smooth sailing. I too saw the entry in the Herald from the really angry guy who wants to "run over my environmental ass". How do people build up that much hate over a drive to work? he's a scary guy!

InglewoodGuy's picture

Better ride

Mounted a set of the Schwalbe studded tires from MEC on the cruiser last night. Today's ride felt much more safe and planted, although I have to say the rolling resistance of the studded tires is way higher than the touring tires I was running before.

Pathway around Ft. Calgary is still not cleared and it looks like it has been driven on (likely CPS) so it is compacted and icy. One pleasant surprise was the sidewalks were cleared on the detour through the east village. I am loath to ride on sidewalks, but I decided to in bad conditions since there is no pathway.

PedalFaster's picture

hidden potholes

Well, the warm weather is back, which means slush and puddles and that wonderful taste of road salt as the scummy water splashes on your face. I expect everyone is dealing with the same stuff today but I just wanted to add a warning about potholes and other debris hidden in the puddles and slush at the side of the road. I have waterproof gear so I'm not too picky about getting wet but when I decided to squeeze by on the right today instead of waiting I got a big surprise as my front wheel dove in to a shallow pothole. Almost took a header but managed to save it. A good lesson, if it had been icy I probably would have went down.

Let's hope this warm weather lasts a few days and gives the melt a chance to run off, a freeze up now would make things a skating rink like last year.

Keep your spokes crossed!

gyrospanner's picture


That's what I did last night! After having a really fun first Snow Day.

I took a small jump with an off-camber landing that's easy when it's dry, only to land a little too heavy on the front tire, which slipped out to the side and I went Splat and Rolled Out.

Sore Shoulder this morning, but now I have an excuse to drink!

Back on the bike tomorrow 'cuz I hit it with lotza' heat and lotza' Voltaren all day. That's gotta be the wonder drug of the year.

scottmeyers's picture

Be careful with the

Be careful with the voltaren. It can be tough on your stomach, But you are right man it works.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

seanyyc's picture


I don't think I know anyone that's taken that and didn't have some gastro side effects, amongst others. Not sure why they seem to be handing it out like candy, pretty powerful stuff.

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture

I have ...

I never took it on an empty stomach. Pretty much the same rule for any nsaid...

gyrospanner's picture

Rub On Voltaren

I'm using the rub, not the pills (you need a prescription). You can buy it right beside the A-535 or Icy Hot, the nice thing about it is that it is actually medicinal. I have a friend that takes it in pill form, but she has Mega-Arthritis and needs it for pain.

My doctor told me that the best way to use the rub is to put some heat on the area to open up the pores before you rub it in so it soaks in really good. I have 2 tubes at home and 2 tubes at the office!

Cyclists never get sore, do they? HAHAHAHAHAHA....

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture


I used the topical version this year when I had a bad cald strain ( mooo ). I was able to ride but lost 5 weeks of full time running before triathlon season...

BCDon's picture

I hate that.

Man, I hate those "bad cald straing". Thank goodness you put the sound in so I knew what you were talking about. I sometimes get a real bad "crippling" cramp when I wake up and stretch wrong. You can see the poor little calf all constricted and knotted up. Then, when it finally goes away, it is real sore for awhile.

Fortunately the only time I get them on the bike is if I'm real dehydrated and it is hot. Won't be happening over the winter.

Spinner's picture

Back on slicks today

Loved the ride this morning with that fog, only wet roads on the way to work, the only icy part was my short cut, that was a little dicey on a recumbent with slicks but it kept the heart rate up. Nice quick ride home on mostly dry or damp roads, even the short cut was melted.

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture

re-freeze please...

Just a tad icy out there... I really noticed the temperature drop from the NW to the NE.

scottmeyers's picture

Knee warmes and shorts.

Knee warmes and shorts. Does this mean it is spring time now? Great ride, hardly any traffic. Watch out for the smooth ice especially on bridge decks. The ped/bike bridge over memorial at 10th street almost ate me this morning.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

pinkrobe's picture

I overdressed

I had on a balaclava and legwarmers today. Too hot! I was sweating like crazy by the time I sat down at my desk. The roads weren't bad. There's not much snow left, just ice, so it's considerably faster. By next week I could be back on the road bike...

NW_Tri_and_Bike's picture

I doubled up and wasn't too hot..

I do agree it may be bad to the road machine ... the upside is this has forced many of us to gear up for winter riding... can't wait to move the innova to the rear and mount my nokian to the front... that being said I still want to take my TT bike out on the country roads before there is too much gravel...

Spinner's picture

What a beatiful day

Just got home from a 5 hrs cruise around the SE and downtown. Couldn't ask for a nicer fall day for a ride.