Took my 6th bike ride to work for the month of February this morning. It wasn’t all that cold, and no snow anywhere except for a light frosting on some north facing slopes. But all the same, it was more winter-like out that it has been for most of this year. There was some black ice on the back roads and the park, and salt on the main roads. I was happy to be riding studded tires.
Yesterday, I took the car to work for the first time in 2012. The culprit was a combination of a slightly upset stomach and a predicted afternoon snow storm (which, of course, never materialized). Also, not that I’m superstitious or anything, but yesterday was the 1-year anniversary of my fall on ice last February that landed me in the hospital, so it’s probably better that I avoided tempting fate and riding on that day. 🙂 It’s a testament to the warm weather this winter that I made it so far into the year without having to take the car.
I am still liking the Ergon grips I put on my mountain bike last fall, after almost a full winter riding with them. It’s amazing the difference they make in comfort compared to the old generic-grip-and-bar-end combo I used to have on the bike. With the Ergons, my hands stay in a comfortable position, and I no longer have problems with numbness. The grips have small integrated bar-ends, which provide a perfect alternate grip which is particularly nice when going uphill. The only problem with them is that both grips do slip occasionally, despite being fully pushed onto the bars and tightened to spec with a torque wrench. They don’t slip during normal riding, but they’ll slip if I accidentally torque them enough. This isn’t common, but it can happen in certain cases, like when I have to swerve around something, or get the bike moving on an uphill grade in traffic, etc. It might just be that the bar is too slippery. Next time I’m doing maintenance on the bike, I might pull the grips off and rough the ends of the bars up with sandpaper, to see if that prevents it. Stay tuned.