Ladies and gentlemen, my winter wheels are back! After choosing not to ride on Monday due to road conditions, I set out Tuesday morning enthusiastically, but my enthusiasm was short-lived.
The edges of the streets and the bike lanes were still full of slush, forcing me to take the lane. The rising sun created massive glares on the wet roads and snow, making it hard for me to see and surely hard for drivers to see me.
I almost turned around to ride back home, but instead I turned on a shady side street with less sun but more slush. Half-way to work, I decided to drop Oma off at Dutch Bike Chicago to have her studded tires put on. The shop wasn’t open yet, so I locked her up, dropped the key through the mail slot and left them a message. Today I dropped off the studded tires and then picked up modified-Oma after work (Thanks to the shop manager Vince! You can read about his own studded tire transition here.)
Finally! My cycling confidence is back and the ride home was wonderful!
I felt totally confident on my two wheels, even riding through the icy slush. Although I likely would have been perfectly fine riding without studded tires, I am miserable the whole time if I’m stressing about slipping.
Drivers were especially careful around me, possibly afraid I would slip in front of them (they don’t know about my studs) but whatever keeps them cautious is fine with me. I smiled and laughed the whole time, in response to my Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me podcast (yay, WBEZ Chicago!). As a cherry on top, I went by a man riding something like a WorkCycles Fr8 with a kid on back and we dinged bells at each other.
This is going to be a good winter, now that I have my wheels back. Who’s with me? :)