It snowed in Mpls for the first time this season... which has put me in the mood for winter riding. I got out for a short ride this morning, but not on my fat bike. Last night I set up my Fisher GED for winter riding and wanted to take it out for a test ride.
It was nice to be out riding in the snow again; the cold air on my face, the crunch of the crusty ice, and the soft silence of riding through fresh, untracked snow. Being that it is so early in the season, the snow had turned to ice on most of the roads... I had forgotten how the challenge of staying upright turns even a short errand into a fun bike ride.
This is the bike I'll be running studded tires on for the winter. I'm hoping for good creek riding conditions this season. Last year was pretty bad. This year the dry autumn means the creek is running low and slow. Once we get consistently cold temps, it should make for some good riding. Regardless of the fact that the snow and ice will probably be gone by this weekend, it was nice to see the white stuff on the ground and the ice starting to cover the creek.
I was planning to run my DIY studded tires, but now I'm thinking of getting a pair of 45Nrth studded tires for the GED. The 45Nrth Arcwelders are a 2.1" knobby tire with 268 studs, and are less than $60 a piece... that's quite a bit less than a lot of studded tires our there. I'm guessing the studs aren't as wear resistant as some other tires, but with the amount I use this bike, and the amount of pavement it'll see, I think the Arcwelder will fit my needs just fine. I should probably just put new studs in my DIY tires, but it's tempting to try some purpose-built studded tires. We'll see...
On a side note, my welding class is about 1/3 over and I finished my first project. It is a simple, low stool made out of carbon steel tubing and plywood. Nothing fancy, but should be a nice seat for when I'm working on my bikes.
Now I'm trying to figure out what else I can make during the last few classes. I'm thinking some sort of bike stand. I'm really looking forward to when it is warm enough for me to head out to the garage and start working on some real bike projects with better tubing, brazing rod, and flux. For the time being, I'll keep practicing, acquiring tools, and sourcing supplies. Later this winter I plan to start putting together a jig for my first real bike building project.
Stopping can be as fun as riding...