A Bike Commuter’s Test


I try not to let mother nature stand in the way of my daily bike commute. My commute is short, and with the right gear even riding in a heavy downpour can be fun. What will stop me, however, is heavy snow or ice. The hilly conditions around me are part of it – riding singlespeed uphill in ice or snow is super-difficult, as you can’t really modulate the amount of spin on the rear wheel (which makes cornering while climbing particularly challenging, as I found out the hard way while making an early morning grocery run on Thanksgiving 2011).

The bigger problem, however, is all of the drivers. It gets crazy here when the snow accumulates – Seattle drivers just aren’t used to it. Combine that with hills and narrow roads and it makes even the sidewalks feel unsafe.

So this morning felt like an edge case, with a few inches falling overnight. But I rode in through a few flakes and a lot of rain, going slow on the uphill corners and betting on warmer hours ahead and clear roads. And I’m glad I did. I may have to walk home if things freeze up, but it always feels good to overcome the elements and get a ride in.

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