Friday, December 7, 2007

Studded tires are back!

Yep, it's that time of year again! Thursday I drove to work, because my winter commuter was a the shop, halfway through mounting the studded tires and internal hub gear. I finished both of those up and rode in today. The trail between I-66 and downtown Vienna was mostly covered with packed snow, with only a few short clear stretches. The photo here is from just west of Gallows Road, looking west.

It looks like several other riders have been there since the snow fell, which is fun to see. I was really glad to have my studded tires (Nokian Hakkapelittas) today, as it was pretty slippery and bumpy on the trail. I'm sure with skill and patience and a serene mind, one can navigate this with regular tires, but I find the serenity of mind is much easier to come by when I know I've got a hundred-odd metal spikes per tire keeping me stuck to the trail!

Either way, be careful out there. Pick your path based on the smoothest, best packed areas, trying to avoid any serious ruts from other tire tracks. Also, it's best not to stay too close to the edges, just so you have room to manuver. And you generally have more control when pedaling, rather than coasting.

I've also included a picture of the front end of my Miyata 210 commuter, showing the studded tire, front rack and basket, and Lumotec generator-powered headlight. Now that I've switched it over to an 8 speed Shimano internal hub, it's pretty much an ideal commuter.