Tales from today's utility ride

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Pale Rider, 16 Jan 2016.

  1. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Unusual ride to market yesterday. Sheet ice. Like, everywhere. I suspect I would not have gotten between my house and the kerb if I hadn't borrowed the MTB with the studded tyres. I put the QR camera mount on it, aimed it slightly too high (as usual) and this is an example of what I was riding over:

    That shiny stuff is ice, not wet water. At places, it covered the whole cycleway. I was nervous and cautious despite the studded tyres, but it didn't miss a beat. The closest I came to falling was walking backed to the parked bike when I trod on a white line. Apparently Morrison's don't grit their bike parking like Sainsbury's do :rolleyes:

    That said, there were still plenty of people out on the usual town bikes, riding over stuff I probably wouldn't without spikes and I didn't see anyone fall. I doubt the tyres they were using were winter ones either. Most were steering gingerly and, as usual, had tyres flatter than I would.

    The MTB is far too small for me and sometimes it's being used on icy days when I want to go out, so I've ordered studded tyres for my old hybrid.
    sotkayak, simon.r and dave r like this.
  2. simon.r

    simon.r Person


    A typical short ride to my local shops would be 2 miles on ungritted roads and cycle paths and 2 miles on very well gritted roads. Are studded tyres OK on non-icy roads? I have no experience with them.

    If they are I think I may well do something similar to you and fit an underused bike with studded tyres, solely for use in conditions when I’m just not comfortable riding on normal tyres.

    (I’ve resorted to driving very short distances a couple of times in the last few days and felt incredibly guilty!)
  3. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    They grrrrRRRRrrrrRRRRrrrreat(!) Seriously, they're OK on non-icy roads but slower than hell and noisy with minor vibrations as a result of the studs (hence the rrrrRRRRrrrr quip). Schwalbe even say to ride them in on dry roads for 25 miles to bed the studs in before any hard braking or turning, but I'm probably not going to manage that with my new ones before it freezes again.

    Here's a demo someone posted in another group. Not the greatest picture quality but good enough to see it goes over icy and non-icy and you can hear the sizzling-bacon-style tyre noise:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihyyAlASyo0&app=desktop

    I wouldn't feel guilty. I'd feel scared. I think they're driving like nutters out there and motorists didn't seem to be even slowing for the ice patches I could see. So I did almost all of my 9 miles yesterday on ungritted roads and kerb/verge-protected cycleways - even bits where I wouldn't usually use the cycleway because the surface is a bit rubbish... but the ice had even smoothed out the potholes!

    But it still means I can get out and ride on days where I doubt I'd be able to walk to the nearby bus stop without sliding over (if the buses are even running...)
    sotkayak and simon.r like this.
  4. simon.r

    simon.r Person

  5. simon.r

    simon.r Person

    First proper outing on the Pronto this morning. Two large bags of shopping, a box of beer and a pair of shoes transported easily, with room for plenty more.


    As an added bonus I avoided the traffic jams caused by the volume of cars trying to get into Sainsbury’s car park and had a nice potter home through the local park.
  6. bigjim

    bigjim Guru

    Manchester. UK
    That reminds me of those TNT bikes when they tried to use them for post delivery.
    Threevok likes this.
  7. simon.r

    simon.r Person

    That’s because it is an ex TNT / Whistl bike!
    sotkayak likes this.
  8. bigjim

    bigjim Guru

    Manchester. UK
    Ahhh. Interesting. Where did you find it. Useful bit of kit.
  9. simon.r

    simon.r Person

    From someone local to me: http://www.plantpedalpower.com/

    These people get favourable mentions fairly often: https://elephantbike.co.uk/

    And there are always a few on eBay and Gumtree.
    Last edited: 16 Dec 2017
  10. Slippery this morning for my ride to work.
  11. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Similar for my early-morning ride to do some Christmast shopping. I wanted to take the studded tyres out again anyway, to complete their 25 miles bedding in, but I got about half a mile, tyre was starting to pop off the rim. Stop, deflate, reseat, inflate, ride on and hope... but it held in place. I'll eye it warily before the next ride. I may have trapped the tube when fitting the tyres in a hurry yesterday... but I got away with it :thumbsup:

    A transit close-passed me (no doubt that that one was close enough to report), but low sun resulted in an unreadable number plate on the camera image. Ho hum. Oh and yet again, shop estate managers are gritting the roadways in the parking, but not the footpaths from it to the shops. I've got studded tyres but not studded shoes... but I realised this time before I started skating and walked along the roadway instead.
    Hugh Manatee likes this.
  12. Hugh Manatee

    Hugh Manatee Veteran

    Exhaustion! Pain! Aching legs! Four miles on the Hercules folder and it's all over for me. I needed a car in Brewood so that my daughter and I can walk in along the canal towpath. Only having the Merc on the drive with its small boot, the folder seemed ideal. All three gears work and the brakes slow it down but, oh my, that is hard work. I feel worse than I do after my regular 25 miler!

    Now for that walk!
  13. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Another slippery utility ride to mention. This time actual snow on the ground. I set off in -2°c along cycleways, a salted road and a couple of iced-over roads to the doctor's and back. Usually about 20 minutes, but 25 on the spiked bike, plus I still don't feel confident that it's going to grip on everything, so I'm cornering a bit more slowly to try to keep both rows of studs on the floor.

    The most hazardous bits were trying not to put a foot down on the ice before crossing a road and walking from the cycle park to the doctor's door at the end... the doctor's has a grit bin outside but there's no shovel in it to get any grit out! Next time I'll try to remember to take a trowel...

    Picture is the cycleway bridge over Straight Drain, Tottenhill, Norfolk. The only non-animal tracks seem to be mine from the outbound journey an hour before!
    burntoutbanger, simon.r and Effyb4 like this.
  14. The Bystander

    The Bystander Über Member

    Just 3 and a half miles into town to get a replacement battery for the kitchen scales but an inexplicable 17 miles to get home again. Not once, but twice I managed to take a turning that extended my journey, it was almost as if I was enjoying being out on my bike in the winter sunshine...^_^
  15. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Well that was hell!

    I ducked onto the carriageway around the A10/A149/A47 interchange (it's faster northbound, plus there was oncoming traffic on the half-orbital cycleway) and in return, suffered a double puncture and it was two in the front, which is just annoying as you find and fix one, then try to reinflate and it doesn't work so you wonder if you botched the fix but no, it's bubbling from another sharp about a quarter-revolution away :cursing:

    It got me to town though, so I went in the nearest multi-storey cycle park (which is now usually empty because the one closest to the shops is open again) and fixed it under cover. Continued to the shops, then returned to work by the shortest route.

    Can motorists please stop crashing into each other and covering the roads with shoot? TIA!
    Elysian_Roads likes this.
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