Make Your Own Bike “Chains”
Does snow on the roads have you off the bike? Are you interested in trying to ride in the snow, but don’t want to shell out the money for studded tires? I came across an interesting read where someone uses zip ties to make “chains” for their bike. I don’t think I’d use this method over a long period of time, seems like it could do some real damage to both the tires and the wheels, but it’s something I’ll keep in mind if I ever get completely caught off guard again by a snow storm.
Reading through this article actually gave me an idea of something slightly more practical to try… I’ll follow up after I’ve had a chance to play around and see if my idea really works.
For those who have never tried riding in the snow or are scared to do so, I’d encourage you to give it some serious thought. A few years back, I invested in some studded tires and I have to say, they are awesome. I’ve ridden on days where you can barely walk and when riding a bike with studded tires, you wouldn’t know how slick it actually is. Riding in the snow, particularly if you are on a bike trail or off in the woods is amazing. Everything sounds different and there are far fewer people, if any.
The biggest challenge I find is when the snow gets deep. I’ve ridden up to about 6 inches, at this height it is a serious workout. Smooth packed snow is best, but good luck finding that. Anything which has been packed down is typically done so with foot traffic. This means you can be in for a pretty bumpy ride.
So the next time it snows, like tomorrow, and you find yourself with some time… give cycling a thought. Play it safe though and practice in your driveway, on a bike path, or somewhere deserted until you get a really good feel for how the bike behaves in the snow.