RIDING IN/ON/THRU SNOW

It’s that time of the year again … SNOW, that is. So if you are like me and try to keep riding thru the winter months … and you live in the north where you have winter with snow …  you have a choice. You can stay home or get out there and ride in the snow. I do what I can but I readily admit I am not the winter rider I used to be when I was younger. I learned quickly that there is a difference between riding ON SNOW as compared to riding IN or THRU SNOW. I learned that a standard tadpole trike is about worthless when it comes to riding thru much snow. 2 or 3 inches is about all standard tires will roll thru and that is only if it is a light dry snow. A heavy wet snow is quite a challenge.

Snow is not as slippery as ice but it can be fairly slippery. Traction can be a problem. The resistance of the tires rolling thru the snow determines the traction. Some riders like studded tires for riding on snow. I am fine with them on ice, but to me they are not practical on snow. I don’t think they provide much traction on snow. All these studded tires shown above are knobby tires and it is the knowbby tire tread pattern which provides most of the traction … not the studs. The studs are for riding on ice.

I much prefer an aggressive knobby tire. I have one (pictured above) but haven’t used it for several years now as I have not been riding in snow deep enough to need it. I get by with my normal tires just fine. When I did use it it provided amazing traction.

That is me plowing snow with my trike in the picture above. Now if you believed that I would like to talk to you about some prime property in southern Florida. Actually that v-plow is being pushed along by a diesel powered train locomotive. At least it was until I got ahold of it.

Here where I live and ride the city is suppose to plow the snow off of the trails when there is a minimum of 3 inches depth. That helps immensely, of course. I used to remove leaves off of one of our local trails. I made up an “angled plow” to do it and it worked great. I did it for about 3 years before it broke and I never repaired it so that ended my leaf removal efforts. I thought about making up a snow plow to pull behind my trike but I never did. I don’t really want to get involved in snow removal. BTW, I could never do it or the leaf removal without having a powerful e-motor to use.

I suppose if I was really serious about winter riding I would use tire chains. However most winters anymore we don’t have the kind of weather that requires them. I would no more than install them when I would have to remove them.

I am not a fan of using plastic cable ties as they break and “litter” the earth as they fall off.

Yes, riding in the winter on snow can be fun. There is no reason to wimp out and stay home … not unless you have some really serious winter weather which is just too nasty to get out in..

This was our driveway in 2012. Needless to say, I did not go out riding at that time. I did go out riding when I took the picture below.

And I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was able to ride thru this snow as it was not deep enough to offer too much resistence to where I lost traction. Most people who talk about going out riding in winter with snow on the ground are riding “ON the SNOW” and not “IN IT” or “THRU IT”. There is a lot of difference. It is easy to ride on the snow but it can be hard to ride in it or thru it.

The velomobile video below demonstrates this. Riding on snow was not at all challenging but when he got to virgin snow and was riding in it he had to give up as he could not make any progress. He totally lost traction.

 

Here is a video I made back in 2008 when I had my homemade trike. I apologize for the poor quality of the video. Unfortunately it is a copy of a copy of a copy several times over and with each copy it lost quality and became blurred.

If you can do so I encourage you to make the effort to get out there and ride thru the winter. Even if you have to make it a shorter ride than you usually do. 

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (@gmail.com)

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