Kyle W. Kerr enjoyed watching all the bicyclists in the snow this morning as he waited for the bus on Brighton Avenue in Allston.
My co-worker rode in specifically to test his studded tires, and said that they worked great.
A lot of people who ride year round bought them two winters ago when the snow was so bad, and then didn't use them at all last year.
If you did have good tires, it actually wasn't such a bad day for riding- the cars were moving slowly and carefully for a change.
Snow tires are overrated. For riding in conditions like today, tires don't really make that much of a difference in my experience. Studded tires provide traction on ice only, and have worst traction on pavement than normal tires. Today was not icy. Also knobby tred doesn't really do anything in mushy snow and provide worst traction than slicks which have more contact area with the ground. I ride 25mm wide slicks at low tire pressure to increase contact with the ground and they work fine. Things that help way more than tires in my opinion include: a fixed gear drive train, a low center of gravity / low handle bars, flat or riser style bars (wider the better), a good sense of balance, and the ability to quickly remove your foot and put it down if you are slipping to prevent falls (I can't use clipless pedals in the snow for this reason... I'm 95% confident in sneakers though). Wearing glasses and a brimed hat prevents snow from getting into your eyes and thats the most important part of clothing to wear.
Cars go slow and the bikes go pretty slow too, so its not that bad or dangerous in my opinion.
I rode year-round for a number of years, and the Nokian Extreme 294s (carbide studded tires from Finland) were just the best thing ever for two reasons. One, they just worked beautifully. Two, their rotational weight was a bitch and a half to get going. I had to pedal to go downhill. But it meant that, come spring, when all the wannabes showed up, having ridden rollers all winter, I could just smoke the lot of 'em.
Remember kids: when two cyclists are heading in the same direction on the same road, they're racing. Even if one of them doesn't realize it.
I ride the Hakkapelliitta A10s on my fixed gear. Three winters down and plenty of life left!
That man is a bicycle god. I have so much respect for him. Most might call him crazy. HE IS A GOD!
when i hit the beach this year with snowshoes i will be considered a "GOD"? This guy is an idiot, he's riding a bike with slick tires in the snow!
The best part is, when he gets hit by a car because he careened into oncoming traffic you lunatics will start commenting about how the driver should be publicly hung. THEN, the next date you'll argue about how capital punishment is inhuman and unjust.
Serenity now. Serenity now.
Also, cars don't hit Shah, Shah hits cars.
Those of us who are familiar with winter cycling will continue to mock your assumptions.
I somehow doubt you will be on the beach with snowshoes, although that does sound like fun (once we have the beaches back from the waves ...) to those of us who like to go out and do things rather than make things up.
Your imaginary world, concocted from the seat of a computer chair, can't possibly stack up to going out there and doing it. You should take those snowshoes to the beach, or bike on side streets in the snow. Just sayin'.
Narrow slick road bike tires are the best tires to use on snowy or slushy pavement. As long as there are not a lot of ice patches out there (or you account for them) you are best off using such tires in the winter. The idea is to slice through the snow rather than float on top of it. Like Sled Runners vs Snowshoes.
Those kind of tires in tandem with fixed gear (no derailers to get caked up) is great for snow - if you are not a lumbering ox.
For winter riding, particularly snow running, I like the tires that are slick in the middle but have some knobs on the outer. They aren't too wide, but they cut through slush and spin it aside like all get out.
Coupled with a 7speed internal hub (as you say - nothing to gunk up) these make for an epic snow machine.
Although I was kind of nervous one day, many years back, when it snowed while I was in class in Lowell and I had to cross a metal mesh deck bridge with it coming down fast ... but the dry pavement wasn't any challenge. It is the ice that sucks.
Love how a picture of a person DOING THEIR JOB on a bike gets turned into a debate by angry morons. He is a paid professional doing his job whereas you are a tool on the internet. P.S., hot bike.
And when they place a memorial Ghost Bike where the rider lost his life you will not see it against the snow unless they paint it fluorescent yellow.
I think calling him a God is a bit extreme, but hey too each his/her own. My only peeve with people on bikes in this weather is car sliding. On this mornings commute I saw many spin outs and cards sliding off the side of the road. On a busy street with cars trying to keep in lane this morning, there was a fellow with a walker on the side of the street. Like a bike, I obviously slow down and make sure I give this person wide space just in case my car starts sliding to the side, but that's me. In a battle between car/bike car wins, but it's a battle I don't want to win and do my best to avoid. I just hope people out in bikes/walkers, etc... are mindful of the fact sometimes in this weather a car can hit a patch of ice and if just for a few seconds, is uncontrollable.
Good tires or not, I feel like this is just stupid. No job or class is worth risking your life to get to.
It's not actually that dangerous... and you aren't going to get stuck in snow slide off the road like a car could. You just need to be confident to not fall on your face and watch the cars around you. I know this rider personally... actually passed him on my way into work today and he is competent to be out there.
I agree that there are plenty of responsible and confident bikers out there who can handle biking in this type of weather, but don't kid yourself, it's still dangerous. I watch bikers slip on the tracks and fall in Packard's Corner all the time. Recently I saw a car slam on the brakes at full speed, just narrowly running over a guy's HEAD after he fell. You can be the best rider out there, but if you have to stop short or swerve away from a door swinging open, you're likely to fall. I just hope that when you do, it's not right in front of a truck or car.
Be safe out there guys!
yeah and you can crash your car into another vehicle at 80mph on the highway or flip your car or get T-boned by a driver running a redlight. Something like 40,000 people are killed in car crashes every year and tons of pedestrians are hit and hilled by cars each year too. Every form of transit has its dangers but cycling is not nearly as dangerous as non-cyclists make it out to be, and studies/statistics/experience backs that up. Perpetuating the false idea that cycling is a dangerous activity moreso than driving prevents more people from riding bikes.
Myself I'd be worried about cars skidding out, or wiping out in exactly the wrong place. I went to school in Vermont and every year, a few hardcore cyclists got hit in situations that were nobody's fault but the slickness of the roads. One guy slipped and skidded under a panel truck that was fortunately stopped one year.
also for a lot of cyclists who ride for fun in addition to just a means of transport, biking in the snow is fun, its like skiing to them.
I biked it today. It was totally fine. In fact, I suspect it was better than driving given how slow all the cars were moving. I rode a fixed gear with front and rear brakes and 'skinny' (road) tires that cut right through the snow. It wasn't bad at all.
Who rides a fixed gear bike with a rear brake?
and not riders who think they're cool without brakes
Cause if you did, you'd know why fixed gears have one brake in the front. single speeds need both front and rear.
And it has brakes in front and back. They're generally sold in sets. If you bought yours from the hipster store it probably only has one in the front. I seldom use my back brake, but it is there if I need it. I have thrown a chain a couple of times over the years. If you are hauling down hill when it happens, you're gonna want that back brake (or hope that the chain binds up in your hub).
I built mine, so no hipster store involved, but I do see your point.
You need to do a better job of tensioning your chain. That should not happen, EVER.
Or switch to a 1/8 drivetrain instead of a 3/32. 1/8 chains are considerably stronger.
Also, sometimes other things break - like the cogs.
The drivetrain on a fixie gets a lot more stress than a freewheel bike.
Both times it happened, my chain was too slack. I knew I should have tightened it, but like everthing...I'll get to it later. After I rode that frame into the ground, I switched to 1/8.
Had one years ago, brakes front & rear.
Call me a wimp if you'd like
um - my fixed gear doesn't have a brake at all
I do know that Portland and San Francisco required them after some grizzly "bone out" accidents with fixed gear bikes that lost the chain on steep slopes and didn't have the back up brakes.
Like "power wash the road" affairs that normally involve a motorcycle.
Other cities require them, and, as someone noted in this thread, at least one is a good idea.
This IS his job. Plus, riding in snow is a lot easier than you probably think. Please refer to this article:
of being a "Cyclist", tell everyone your a cyclist. You ride a bike around one of the smallest cities in America, you don't compete in the Tour de France. YOUR NOT A CYCLIST, that's like me calling myself a barista because i make coffee every day before work. GET OVER YOURSELF!
He looks like an idiot. Standard extra tight pants, envelope shaped bag and his fixed gear bike. $100 says he has a few ugly tattoos!
I know, right? To be a barista, you'd have to actually work at a coffee shop making coffee. If only there was some sort of job that involved riding your bike around the city with a large bag, and this gentleman was in such an occupation...
u mad bro? did a cyclist pass a lil' too close to you in the crosswalk one day?
by the way, i drive every once in a while, and have had a license since I was 17. I've never been in a professional bike race though... am I a driver?
NO! I have a bike and ride up north all summer long, i just despise you odd balls who think you and your fixed gear bike rule the city. Go back to the suburbs!
City Bikers are the equivalent to people who rock sled dogs at a mountain. You have to be noticed, demand to be noticed, scream until you noticed then bitch once your noticed. GET OVER YOURSELVES!
I'm a matronly, middle-aged mom and I've been bike commuting into Boston for much of my adult life.
I don't ride a fixie.
I take my time and follow the laws.
I love high viz jackets and lights.
I don't ride a fixie because my knees won't do that anymore, but I do ride an internal-hub bike in the city.
I sometimes ride in winter because the sidewalks aren't clear enough to safely walk the half-mile to the bus, but the streets are plowed out quickly.
Dude - take a chill pill already. You are gonna kill youreself with your impotent outrage. You are the one screaming for attention here, not those of us who rode the roads long before we had special lanes or anything and will still ride them whenever we see fit for the foreseeable future. Take up dope smoking or yoga or something to chill you out, please.
If you were one of my teen sons, who also ride (and completed a century ride with me last summer - which makes them cyclists!) I'd probably ground you and take your driver's license and stop paying your car insurance until you demonstrated some maturity.
Lets call a spade a spade!
I ain't no "MILF" ... and if I didn't bike to work now and again, I'd have to use "enormously obese" instead. Most of my sedentary kin weighted 1-200 lbs more at my age.
Trust me, he's a very real cyclist.
i guess so...
Haha, such anger!
Sometimes I imagine who you angry internet commenters must be in real life. And what drives you to assume so much about a guy on a bike and HATE him for it. Are you the guy I made eye contact with on the bus? The girl I gave up a seat for? The driver I passed while they were stuck in traffic? I wonder, I wonder. And I am continually amused by your impotent rage.
I bike to work. We should grab a beer sometime. You might actually really like me if we met in real life. Have a good weekend.
Something you should ask yourself is why you feel the need to drive around one of the smallest cities in America.
You're not even a real internet commenter. I get paid to make internet comments in France, so I would know. GET REAL
I know him too. This *is* his job. So even by your own incorrect definition, this makes him a "cyclist".
That being said, your definition is incorrect. As greenlinetobrooklyn points out, is someone not allowed to say "I'm a driver" if they are not a professional car or truck driver?
I can't imagine how don't understand these things. I also can't imagine what on earth could have happened to you that would make you have such animosity towards a photo of a cyclist riding safely in slush that allows his slick tires to contact the pavement easily and far more securely than your car tires do.
YOUR NOT A CYCLIST, that's like me calling myself a barista because i make coffee every day before work. GET OVER YOURSELF!
Yeah, actually, anybody who rides a biCYCLE is a cyclist. You wanna know why? Because a biker rides a motorcycle. Yeah, I know, motorcycle doesn't have the word bike in it, suck it. It doesn't matter, convention has long established biker means a guy riding a motorized two wheel vehicle that is not a scooter or a segway, while the rider of a two wheel pedal powered vehicle is a cyclist.
If you drive a car, you're a driver. If you ride a bicycle you're a cyclist. Calling yourself a driver does not mean you think you're Dale Earnhardt and calling yourself a cyclist doesnt mean that you think you're A Tour de France type. Though apparently this guy, uh, is a professional cyclist.
Sheesh. You need a glass of wine or to wear underwear that doesn't chafe you or something. Why so cranky?
It would be worse to ride tomorrow when the roads are clear but narrow (and bike lanes aren't plowed) and drivers are going their normal speeds. Though I'll admit it, sometimes I enjoy riding in on particularly crappy days in part for the bewilderment of my co-workers when I walk in. Still the fastest/cheapest way to get there in all weather.
I kickscootred to work today and during the previous storm (not a razor, nycewheels kickped with thick solid rubber tires). What's that make me?
my unicycle into work today!
God I love snow days!
For a while I saw adults using razors on their commute but that trend didn't seem to last long. Is this other product better for some reason? I have a dull 10 minute walk from the T to my office that I would love to shorten.
EDIT: oops was meant to be in response to the kick scooter comment.
I thought it was enormously dorky at first but urban kick scooters are apparently a big thing in Europe and NYC. I caved in and bought the kickped I describe above and it's "large" and designed for adults up to six foot seven. It handles well on sidewalks and is very convenient. Xootr is the big company that makes commuter scooters and they're pretty great but up they use polyurethane wheels that slide in wet weather. I love mine because it's indestructible and handles well in all weather. You get some of the convenience of a bike but it doesn't take up as much space.
The Rolls Royce of scooters.
I'd like to set a record straight. There's a difference between a track bike and a "fixed gear" bike. A track book will NOT have a hole for a rear brake and might not have a fork hole either. A track bike has a fixed gear drivetrain. A fixed gear bicycle just implies the drivertrain the bike has, not how many brakes it has.
Track bikes are sought after by enthusiasts and bike messengers because they are minimalistic, both in design and weight, making them cheap to maintain and light weight/faster. But a true track frame is hard to find/afford. So many (call them hipsters if you must) just put a fixed drivetrain on any frame they can. If they feel safer with 2 hand/rim brakes, who cares? What it does indicate is that the person with 2 brakes has a slightly heavier bike than if they just had 1. It also means their brake pads will need maintenance and their rim won't last as long as if they had no brake. Get over yourselves. How many brakes one has indicates nothing about intelligence... especially compared to some of these ignorant/hate filled comments.
As for slick vs mtb tire, I agree that the slick is the winner for traction in snow. The problem becomes what is the snow hiding under it. There could be ice or, more likely, a ragged pothole... the type that give a racing slick a rim pinch (aka flat tire). For that reason, I actually prefer a smooth/slick beach cruiser tire (26x2.25+). In the end, confidence is the winner. If you feel confident on [insert tire style], you will be able to negotiate obstacles easier. So stop yelling at people for "doing it wrong"; you are the one doing wrong!
As far as safety of any bicyclist in this weather... its dangerous. But its dangerous on a sunny day as well. I would argue it's actually more dangerous on a sunny day because people are more cautious in terribe weather. They are more likely to be distracted on a sunny day.
And think about it; when was the last time you heard of a cyclist getting hit/killed on a bad weather day? Happens all the time on sunny days.
As for what a cyclist is... please! How petty! A cyclist is ANYONE on a bicycle. Just like a motorist is anyone driving a car. What? You say they have to be a professional and get paid? Youre forgetting that all people riding a bike are being paid... in the satisfaction of accomplishing something (usually getting to a destination... but sometimes there are even greater rewards, like having fun.
I like stories!
But I can tell you that the pictured bike is a custom track bike.
Veronica Corningstone: Yes? What is it, Brick?
Brick Tamland: I would like to extend to you an invitation to the pants party.
Veronica Corningstone: Excuse me?
Brick Tamland: [struggling] The... party. With the... with the pants. Party with pants?
Veronica Corningstone: Brick, are you saying that there's a party in your pants and that I'm invited?
Brick Tamland: That's it.
Veronica Corningstone: Did Brian tell you to say this, Brick?
Brick Tamland: No. Yes. He did.
Veronica Corningstone: Okay. No. I don't want to go to a party in your pants.
Brick Tamland: Very well. Ian, would you like to go to a party in my pants?
Ian: No, Brick.
Brick Tamland: All right. Let's go.
You don't even need a crash, or traffic violation, or backstory or anything.
All you need is a picture of someone riding a bike, and comments will start flying. If we keep this thread going, I'm sure we can connect this cyclist to that fire on the VFW in West Roxbury.
They already caught the guys who did that.