2007/11/25

Winter commuting



Okay that's it, I've had enough of this winter! Maybe not, I like winter and I went snowboarding for the first time this season yesterday and it was good to be back on the board. But there is one thing I really dislike about winter and it's that I usually trade the bike for the subway. I prefer to leave the car alone as much as I can, less pollution, less frequent expensive fuel fills, less time lost searching for parking spots... Montreal's subway system is something though. Always too crowded, too few wagons, it's always stopping because something breaks, a door gets stuck, someone has a heart attack or jumps on the track, they give us a different reason each morning for their crappy service. So like I used to do a few years ago, I decided to go back to my bike to go to work. Using the subway for a few days was more than enough to convince me.


One last night in the warmth before months of cold

To be honest, I didn't use my bike last week because it wasn't winterproof more than anything else. I had slick tires, a dead rear rim and rear hub, no rear brake... could have made for sketchy situations on the streets of Montreal where car drivers don't really care about cyclists to begin with... but now, it's ready! The single speed stole a wheelset from an unused bike I had, disc wheels with knobbies and today, I installed the cheapest disc brakes I could find, Avid BB5. Speaking of those brakes, I really dislike the Avid mounting/aligning system. It's very easy to disalign the calipers while torquing them down so go easy on the mounting bolts, no wonder so many Avid users are complaining of vibrations, noise, pulsing and what not, they are much harder to align perfectly than good old IS mount calipers.


Very ghetto single speed installation and semi theft-proof skewers

For those living in snow covered area but that have never pedaled all year long, you need to be ready if you want to make it all the way through the cold months. You need to be properly dressed and so does your bike. Mountain Equipment Co-op have almost everything you need to face the cold season and they even have a few worthy tips, available in english ou en français. Happy winter!

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