Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Season Approaches...

Bicycles are meant to be ridden. I do not believe in just displaying them and then letting them sit. I think the real spirit of the machine is in how it functions, and how it rides. Each bicycle has certain characteristics that only emerge on the road.

With that in mind, I did not ride much at all this winter. I learned a few hard lessons over the past couple of winters. First, never ride while any amount of road salt or brine is left on the road. These chemicals are fine for preventing ice, but are hell on steel. I recall riding a couple of winters ago with just a little salt on the road, and within days I had rust emerging on the fender wells of the bike I had taken out. Second,  winter roads have more debris. A lot of junk ends up in the snow, and when the snow melts, the debris ends up in the road. This is particularly true when the state uses unfiltered sand, which contains numerous stones.

The result this winter is that this weekend is the first riding weekend of 2016. We recently had a great deal of rain, washing away much of the debris on the road. We do have some potholes still, but you can avoid them if you are careful. Today the temperature reached almost 50 degrees, and tomorrow it will be 65. These are good conditions to ride, considering we are still at the end of February. However, I am hopeful we're headed toward spring. The official start of spring is now only about three weeks away, and some of the small plants are starting to poke up through the soil.