• Sat December 11 2010
  • Posted Dec 12, 2010
Des Moines IA The first snowfall of winter usually sees a large drop-off in the number of cyclists on the road. Too bad… because with a lot of newer products like studded tires and older products like wool sweaters, it’s possible to get in a lot more riding. There are many pretty nice, not-too-cold days during our Des Moines winter. Except for the last two of winters, there are usually extended periods when temps are over 32F with lots of sun. Today, however, was not one of those great winter days. We had a near-blizzard last night with nearly 6 inches of snow on the ground. Winds are howling around 20 mph with gusts up near 30. The daytime high won’t hit 5F…. so it’s not exactly what you would call balmy out. But I needed to get down to Hyvee to pick up some coffee. Yesterday I picked up groceries using our family car… first time I’d been to the grocery store in a car in a long, long time. However, today I wasn’t about to start up my 3000 pound behemoth to pick up 12 ounces of coffee. So I got out my winter bike and started out. The wind was horrible, but the sun was almost bright enough to cancel it out. The snow was packed down pretty well, but I was doing a little fishtailing in some softer sections. Of course, the studded tires were flawless… no slipping or sliding… It’s a half mile ride to the store so it was possible to make the trip without a lot of heavy winter layers… My local Hyvee is a great spot for cyclists in that you can roll up to the rack, lock up and you are within 20 feet of the entrance. This is great since I don’t have to push a heavy through the snow back through the parking lot. Today I went with one pannier, took it off the bike and just loaded it at the checkout as if it was plastic or paper.

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