The Chainlink

Traffic 'round these parts dropped off pretty dramatically a few weeks ago... hard to tell from the "I rode today" thread who's still riding, as one would have to conclude that Gene is the only one out there most days by reading it....

Who's sticking it out and plans to continue to ride pretty much every day regardless of weather?

(Was winter 2013;   2014 starts on p. 36;   2015 starts on p. 61)

 

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I was fortunate enough to leave work at 4:30, only a short time after the snow's arrival.  The main roads were fine but anything not in the lane or on a side road deserved some caution as it was slick.  Overall it was not too bad on a Divvy bike at the time, but I was early and conditions could only have worsened.

Any morning ride reports? Considering whether to Divvy northbound toward North Center around 6:30 tonight.

Roads were clear of ice and slushy(salt slush) . Only caught a bit of a slide on one portion of the Elston Lane but I saw it coming.

LFP was clear north of North (plowed and heavily salted), but unplowed to the south.  South of North Ave was still ride-able, just exercise some caution.  The streets downtown were mostly cleared of ice and slush.

Riding up Wells last night I saw an ambulance parked on Wells just south of Schiller. It seemed someone had been loaded into the ambulance, and there was a "civilian" (i.e. non-medical person) standing at the back of the ambulance and holding a bike. He was talking to one of the emergency responders. I don't know whether the accident was cycling-related, but I post here in case anyone saw or heard anything.

I stayed on the train all the way to Union Station this morning because I suspected the side streets I usually ride on would not be plowed. I went west on Adams to Racine, then south to Taylor then west to Polk and Paulina. There was a lot of slush, but I had pretty good traction with the studded tires. No falls. Can't say the same for the only other cyclist I saw today... I was about a block behind him and saw him wipe out twice.

Steve

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This is the first winter biking I've done. My pedals keep spinning with out the chain. Is this cause of cold?  Bike is parked outside for the six hours of work. Does it need more oil on the chain before biking...or something else? Has anybody had this problem?

Is the chain slipping off the chainring? It probably couldn't hurt to lube up the chain, too.

Leslie said:

This is the first winter biking I've done. My pedals keep spinning with out the chain. Is this cause of cold?  Bike is parked outside for the six hours of work. Does it need more oil on the chain before biking...or something else? Has anybody had this problem?

The chain is on chainring how ever it's not moving the rear tire. I push back on the derailleur and it starts again til it stops again. Repeat. Maybe lube chain some after the bike has been sitting in cold while at work before riding? Cause it was fine in morning after being inside. It was cold on ride home!

I am by no means an expert, but I'd try giving it some lube and see if that helps. It's also generally a good idea to wipe as much snow off of the bike as possible after your ride. Sometime cables can get wet and freeze up. If bringing the bike inside solves this problem, then I'd guess that something is getting wet and freezing. My bike room at home is outdoors, and I've had problems with cables freezing up.

Leslie said:

The chain is on chainring how ever it's not moving the rear tire. I push back on the derailleur and it starts again til it stops again. Repeat. Maybe lube chain some after the bike has been sitting in cold while at work before riding? Cause it was fine in morning after being inside. It was cold on ride home!

Alright! Invest in a towel and bring oil. It's true snow was blowing onto bike today even under a tarp. Thanks

The chain should be lubricated regularly, and more often if you're riding in wet conditions. A thicker oil, resistant to washing off, would be better. One problem is that if there is water inside the chain, an application of oil may not displace it, so the chain isn't really getting lubricated. If possible, take the chain off, bring it inside and clean it in a water-displacing cleaner such as WD-40. Then dry it and apply the chain oil. Then keep it oiled. While you're at it, check the chain for excess wear. If you have any rust on the outside of your chain, there's probably rust (and wear) inside. If you run a chain worn much beyond 1% elongation, you are going to damage your cogs and chainrings.

Steve

Leslie said:

The chain is on chainring how ever it's not moving the rear tire. I push back on the derailleur and it starts again til it stops again. Repeat. Maybe lube chain some after the bike has been sitting in cold while at work before riding? Cause it was fine in morning after being inside. It was cold on ride home!

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