Thursday, November 30, 2006

Iced up

Damn, the ice-riding stuff just never ends these days. I want to write a blog post about Clif Bars or cactus-needle punctures or why Cannondale gave a $5,000 mountain bike to the Moron in Chief.

Or something.

Instead, I have more photos from last weekend's Portage Glacier ride. These are the shots I screwed up and had to salvage with a little work on the computer. The quality's still sketchy, but the ride was too amazing to not post them. And before anyone fires off an e-mail accusing us of taking unnecessary risks, let me say that the photo of Melissa standing over her bike while surrounded by broken ice makes conditions look worse than they were. All those cracks had sealed up with about 12 inches of new ice. They look nasty, but they were solid.

Speaking of ice bike news, the week wouldn't be complete without an update on one of Carlos' evil plans. This Saturday he'll be staging a "Last Rider Standing " race on the Frigid Bits course at Goose Lake. Riders can choose between 10 laps and 20 laps, and pit crews are allowed. Personally, I want a crew with a pneumatic impact wrench to make loud, Indy 500-like tire-changing sounds when I pull in after every two or three laps.

The 20-lap riders will start first, and the 10-lappers will start when the 20-lap riders have 10 laps to go. The first four finishers in each division will then have 10 minutes for any necessary bike/body repairs, then compete in a five-lap sprint to determine the winners.

Confused? Not as much as you will be after seven or eight laps, trust me.

Sign-up starts at 2:15 p.m. and racing starts at 3.

Providence E.R. is open 24 hours a day.


linda-morgen said...

Your ice-riding pics are making me all excited about Winter - even though I enjoy the last warm and snow free days here.
But I'm definitely gonna hit an iced over lake this Winter... or two...
BTW, what kind of spikes do you ride? All I could get my hands on here (at a decent price) was the Continental Spike Claw (a 2,1-er with rather small spikeys)

gwadzilla said...

it is all very odd to me

Tim said...

Linda -- I use Nokian Extremes and highly recommend them. They have conical studs that really bite the ice and they're hard enough to last a long time. Schwalbe also makes some good studded tires.

Whatever you do, don't buy the cheap Innova studs. I made that mistake. Their studs are much softer than what you'll find on the more expensive tires. They wear down quickly on dry pavement, leaving you without adequate traction on ice. The Nokians cost a lot more, but they're worth it.

And Joel, if you ever get up north, you've gotta do some ice biking! I'm sure it's a different world that D.C.

tablefor4 said...

Portage Glacier is really beautiful. Here I am, living in Fairbanks,and I never really knew that people ride bikes in the winter until I saw some other UAF students riding to class. There's one guy here that rides a uni-cycle everywhere on campus; ended up being on the front page of the next semesters class catalog. That was pretty cool to see. :-) Your blog is great.

linda-morgen said...

Thanks for the info Tim!
I was pretty satisfied with the Conti Spike Claws last Winter - and it's a very fair price. But if they wind down to much I'll check out the Nokians.