January 2012 Archives

Riding snow

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Track ride 8 Jan 2012.jpg
We've had a surprisingly warm and snow-free winter so far. Just a little snow is left in the shady parts of side streets. This morning I found snow on the cemetery trails and also on the south end of the high school track. As I rode through the snow I was reminded of a few rules that I keep in mind when on the snow.

First, when transitioning from dry road to snow, I prepare myself for a surprising amount of drag on the wheel that could pitch me forward if I'm not braced for it. It's like sand.

Second, I really don't know what the snow is covering up so I need to expect anything. One of the lines I rode today had very lumpy ice under the smooth cover of light snow. One of those lumps stopped my wheel just as if I had hit a rock and I highsided, taking a pretty good tumble. Next time I'll get my weight off the seat and on my toes, ride lightly and expect roughness under the surface.

Third, where there is snow there could also be ice. I always worry about glare ice under the snow. In any ice situation I try to keep the unicycle upright and directly under me, and I avoid turning the wheel very much. It's like riding over railroad tracks...hit the ice patch square and ride straight over it.

Probably the best advice I give myself when I see show that might be covering ice is to dismount and walk. The hardest falls happen on glare ice.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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