The First 88.8

2015 was easily the best year I have had in cycling in my entire life. At one point during March, I decided that I was completely and absolutely fed up of the subway, and hit the streets in my all-season tires. I also fell down twice in the first week due to small patches of ice and snow, but much fun was had.

This year I went out with my bicycle for the first time last Sunday, and started commuting to work this very Monday with a lovely windchilling -28 degrees. It was an experience, and definitely a baptism of ice to what this year will be in cycling. Today I managed to complete the first 88.8 cycling commute kilometers of this year, and I can truly say that I am exhausted after the first week.

For winter cycling we decided to take the safe bet that tires with studs are. My fixed gear is currently equipped with 700c x 30 mm Schwalbe Winter. These are tires made to have a very good amount of traction on ice, and possibly the tires with the most rolling resistance I have ever ridden. After falling on ice and snow two years in a row, I decided that it was time to do something about it, and went for overkill (though I could have gotten Marathon Winters instead and have twice the amount of studs). No regrets have been had.

Something that went unplanned when these tires were first acquired was that my bottom bracket would break near the end of December, which led to a change of bottom bracket and a crankset upgrade. Then the winter tires came on and 2 realizations came to be…

First, the rolling resistance of the tires made me unbelievably slow when the tires were at their lowest pressure (earlier this week, as everything was covered in snow). Second, the crank upgrade came with a greater radio in the front… which I did not try at first when I set the studs in during fall. The result? A bicycle made to go faster with tires that make it go slower. A tank that can go as fast as I want it to go so long as I pour my soul into it. And it burns it real well.

All in all this was a good week and an excellent beginning to the year workout wise. Definitely looking forward to how winter evolves, and to the moment where we go back to our normal tires and to incredibly fast speeds.

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