Today's Commute

Today was another snowy commute on the Xtracycle. I love these days. My work gives us a two hour delay, which means I have plenty of time to get ready, eat breakfast and take the long route. It also means that there aren't nearly as many cars on the road.

The photo above is of the Xtra parked right in the middle of the street in a neighborhood. It would be absurd to park my bike here and take a pic on most days. Not today, though. No one was out. Just me and the sound of my tires crunching through the snow.

It really was a great commute. I love being able to take extra time in the morning to ride. And when the snow is falling and you're wearing appropriate attire, there's nothing more peaceful.
I did, however, feel that guilty feeling about the condition of the Xtracycle again. It shifts terribly. And with the weather like this, it's even worse.

The grimy ice builds up on all the moving parts and you start to lose the ability to turn, push or pull anything but the pedals. My rear brake got so bad I just disconnected it. At the slow speeds I was moving, it wasn't an issue. I've got to do something about this thing soon. On some levels, there's not much you can do with snow and ice. But if the Xtra were in good shape to begin with, it wouldn't be so bad.

In the end, it was over an hour on the bike and lots of fun. It's a blast to get out and begin your day with something adventurous. Every bike ride makes me more and more excited about the next.

Get out there.


  1. Hi,
    THis is my first year commuting on my old schwinn MTB from childhood. I must say I've had only 2 problems: Below Zero F a free spinning hub, which I fixed by putting Mag 1 in there, and on wet, sloppy slushy days like this snow gets in my cassette and at first when I shift the snow compacts in there and the chain skips over the teeth. If I pedal lightly, it smashes (I'm assumming) the snow down and runs just fine. I've ridden down to -10 F for an hour and those are the only problems I've had. No brake problems, no shifting problems, nothing gumming up. Every lever and button has always worked. I am wondering if I'm lucky or if it's that I put it in a heated garage at 45 degrees at home and right in the building I work in at 65 degrees during the week?

  2. @ NDS - Sounds like we have similar problems. My bike is in need of lots of maintenance, so it doesn't have a lot going for it. The rear brake is very out of whack, so the snow built up and was pushing it against the rim. Wasn't worth fixing, so I just opened it up. I should give it some attention soon!

  3. I really like the shot of the Snapdeck with the ice crystals on it. I keep coming back to it for some reason.

  4. Beautiful picture! Glad I haven't had to deal with the gritty ice crystals, though.

  5. @ Doug - Thanks. I love that shot, too. I'm no photographer. In fact, 99% of the photos on the blog are from my phone. But that one seemed to capture some of the isolation and peace offered on my bike commute.

    @ Kathleen - Those ice crystals build up on everything from your bike to your eyebrows!