The Chainlink

Two words,...absolutely terrifying. Today was my first snow ride to work and I must say that it was not how I wanted to start my Monday morning. I was fully prepared with all of the proper snow biking equipement and was excited for my first winter ride. After all everyone says that it is a lot of fun and I have always thought of myself as a courageous person, but not today. I was scared out of my mind the entire ride. I almost slipped twice within the first 500 feet. Turning back to go home and drive was an option but I figured it would get better once I got to a properly salted road, but I was mistaken. I had several cars honk at me and I was trying to avoid the snow/slush the entire way, not to mention the cars that flew past me and covered me with slush off of their cars. I dunno maybe this will be more enjoyable if its not so wet outside and people are not hurrying to try to get to work. I will continue to ride to work on cold days and days where there is a light snow but if its anything like today forget it.

Any tips to gain fearlessness while riding to work in these conditions???

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It looks like I'll be encountering my first snow ride tomorrow night. I've been off these last two days and didn't get a chance to go outside until tonight, to see what it was like (cold, windy, mildly slick). Tomorrow for me could be "absolutely anything." I have no idea...

Fenders yes - when I put my first set of fenders on my bike-at-the-time after bringing it from Los Angeles (not a lot of fender sighting out there) it seemed like my bike had grown up or something. Sheesh, now I've got fenders on multiple bikes, racks, lights, ... a veritable urban improvement vehicle.
In all honesty today(Tuesday) would be a better representative for what you are going to encounter during the winter in Chicago(Shh, Don't tell anyone the secret). Sunny cold, wind, and the chance for ice in places. Just layer for the cold you'll be fine. My biggest complaint about winter riding is the way that the 20mph wind gusts seem to always be going in the opposite direction to my destination even if I am making a quick circuit. effin wind.
It looks like the city won't be ploughing and salting the roads as well as they have been.
Supposed to snow this afternoon. It will be my first snow ride since I rode in this morning. We shall see.
I don't find the fresh snowfall to be all that big of a deal. it's just when you have to contend with those glacial drifts of nasty ice--that's the real SOB of the ride.

And re: the Sun-Times article: It definitely didn't seem like the roads were anywhere nearly as rideable on Monday after the snow as years past. Maybe I wasn't mentally prepared for it, or perhaps the conditions WERE a bit worse thanks to the new civic stinginess.
I think the roads were worse on Monday evening..... We'll see how well they tend to the roads today. Hopefully not too big of drifts or icy patches. Beware of the skidding drivers.
Right when I left my apartment on Monday morning, I saw this total class act skid (and slam!) his car into a parked car, to just drive off nonchalantly. Definitely be careful out there folks.
if the forecast holds true, the ride home tonight is going to be a big ass sandwich. I'm ready to take a bite.
I thought Daley knew that we don't elect mayors in this city just snow shovels...

Rubani said:
It looks like the city won't be ploughing and salting the roads as well as they have been.
Yah, tonight sounds a bit scary. When it rains and then snows over it, there's lots of hidden ice. Slow and steady always seems to work for me. No sudden moves even if you find yourself on all ice. Tough order when your going downhill coming to a stoplight, though. In general, bike lanes seem to be mostly ignored when plowing. They also dont generally shovel or plow the sidewalks over bridges (except downtown) so both bikes and pedestrians sometimes have to walk in the road. They must just assume no one rides or walks over bridges in the winter. I've also read that the city is trying to save money by not salting as much. This should go far towards the 20 billion + we'll be needing for the Olympics !!!
HONK HONK... BEEP BEEP...

Let 'em!! As a bicyclist, you have the right to take a lane whenever the bike lane (or whatever lies ahead) seems even remotely perilous. If people have to go around you, just let them! If they honk, thank them - your goal is to be seen. Honking reminds you that you've accomplished this! Besides, if they have to slow down for a bit, they're just taking their foot off of the gas pedal for a second and putting pressure on the brake instead. You, on the other hand, have gone to great lengths to make the right decision for yourself.

Applaud you own decision and take all the space and time you need. Remember - you don't know how deep those slush puddles really are! So just go slow and stick with it! Check out www.bikewinter.org for tons more input, too!
I just had my frist snow ride of the year. I rode to school for a final on Saturday morning and it was early enough that the roads were still covered in snow. About half way there I was run off to the side of the road by a car, hit a patch of ice (covered by snow) and ate it. Luckily the car behind me stopped and the guy got out to make sure I was okay. I now have some horrible bruises, a cracked helmet, and some anxiety about riding in the snow again. I can deal with the cold, no problem, but I think I'll be sitting out the next few snow days.

It can be a bit terrifying. I say, let the cars beep, take up as much room as you need, and don't feel bad if decide not to ride. Sometimes it's just not worth it.

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