Last year I tried to be a winter road biker, with limited success. It turns out that it was a good year for the attempt, as we had warm-ish temperatures and very little snow. This year, not so much.
We’re about average on snow accumulation, but the snow arrived in a couple of perfect storms that has left the streets ice rutted. Basically, if you ride on the roads you either risk a nasty fall on glare ice, or a nasty run-in with a car as you push your way into the traffic lane. I prefer neither.
I was, at first, reluctant to go back to winter mountain biking. After a dramatic tumble in my only winter race last year (a lovely over-the-bars-flip that had me landing flat on my back, luckily into a nice, soft snow bank) I gave my one studded 26er tire to the Spouse so he could have a complete set for his bike. I figured that winter riding just wasn’t for me.
Two weeks on the trainer cured me of that. There is nothing more soul crushing than trying to work out on the spinner. No, there is one thing: working out on the spinner while wearing a heart rate monitor so you can see how little work you are actually doing even though you feel like death.
So a couple of weeks ago I went back to the local bike shop and completely bailed on my goal of making it through the rest of winter without dropping cash on bike-program-related-activities. With my wallet a bit lighter, I walked out with a pair of Suomi Extreme 294 studded tires.
Best. Decision. Ever.