Thursday, December 20, 2012

To land on the snow

Today I commuted by bicycle, as yesterday it almost stopped snowing, and it was also rather cold, -13 °C, which meant that the remaining snow on the road was hard enough to carry the bicycle without problems.

It took 65 minutes to ride the bicycle to work, and 70 minutes back to home. Not too bad. Most of the way was surprisingly good as the bicycle paths had been plowed of snow, but then there were some rather bad places as well, where the snow was in piles and hard ridges or hadn't been plowed away at all.

In fact, Finnish Yle put up a web page for readers in Helsinki to report places where snow hadn't been removed from roads or caused danger. There are already 500 reports from readers. (See here, in Finnish.)

During the day we got about 5 cm of new snow in Helsinki. The snow was very light, so it wasn't too bad, but it also hid the bumps and hard ridges underneath, so one had to be extra careful when riding the bicycle.

Of course, if one would have a bicycle with wide tires and full suspension the situation might be different. But such a bike is heavier, and has more parts which can break.

On my bicycle there is no suspension, and the tires are relatively narrow, but I have 240 studs in the front tire and 106 in the back, and that is good, giving good grip for steering and enough traction in the back without being too heavy. And the new gear hub has worked flawlessly. Winter riding was one reason I originally wanted to have a gear hub, anyway.

It was good to ride the bicycle, as I had started to get a bit anxious about exercise, having been too busy with other things to even go for a long walk. This helped a lot.

(Posting title is from the poem At first I thought by Tom Hennen.)

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