Totcycle | Family Biking

Tots on bikes, kids as cargo, family cycling, and other high-occupancy velo goodness.

Not caring how much our bikes weigh since 2008.

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totcycle snowman#snOMG! Snowpocalypse 2.0! 747's sliding off runways! Metro Buses stuck on hills! Aurora's closed and drivers are abandoning vehicles on I-5! Severe weather advisory: drivers advised to stay home!

And so it goes when it snows in Seattle.

In our defense, it's not so much the 2-3 inches of snow, but rather the sheets of black ice on steep hills that freaks us all out.

But me, I love my snowy bike commute. Most of it is not shared with cars, thanks be. And this years chosen ride for snow and ice is a 2-wheel-drive sport-utility-bicycle. The new xtracycle has the front electric hub until some MADSEN fork/disc brake/e-hub compatibility issues are worked out.

I'm running Fat Franks (balloon tires) at lowish pressures, which lets them float over snow and have a larger contact patch on ice. Studded tires would be nice but not really justifiable where I live. Saddle is really low for Fred Flintstone stops with both feet as outriggers on the ice.

And the front e-hub assist (from Clean Republic) is SO nice to have. Having both wheels powered, and a nice steady torque up front helps in sketchy situations, powering through crud, and lets me keep my speed up on hills and with vicious headwinds that would otherwise break my spirit. I have a balaclava but my glasses weren't enough coverage for my eyes, so borrowed some procedure glasses from the clinic for the ride home yesterday.

Wiped out once on the ride home, on icy brick taking a corner too fast on Ballard Ave. No harm to me or bike. Just a mildly hurty wrist today.

Went out for SNOW BEERS! with friends last night, were amused that we could pass cars going up 24th, en route to SNOW AQUAVIT! And made it to work with proper ski gloves and goggles today, in about the time it would have taken to drive. Did have to space heater the rear wheel, to thaw the packed snow under the fender and drivetrain. Still ended up with about half a cassette due to icing, but the e-hub made that a non-issue.

Given the choice between my '89 Honda Civic, bald tires and all, and a 2010 2WD SUB, it's going to be the xtracycle every time.

snowpocalypse 2.0!

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Reader Comments (1)

winter commuting has begun!!! i'd love to see some pictures of the 2-wheel-drive sport-utility-bicycle.

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdavid p.

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