Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 15th, 2008 at 10:52 am
Now that was a bit scary.
I just arrived at our office in the Central Eastside after a challenging and harrowing ride from North Portland. I consider myself a pretty skilled rider, but with many streets covered in a sheet of ice, there’s really no chance of staying upright.
I was doing fine until about the Rose Garden; then I had a major slide-out. Luckily, I managed to keep myself and my bike within the bike lane (there were cars just a few feet away). After my fall, I got up, and then fell right back on my rear end!
The rest of the way to work, I either walked or rode cautiously on the sidewalk.
I only saw two other riders — and one, riding down SE Salmon was flying over his handlebars.
While riding, I thought of a few ice biking tips that you might find useful:
- Use the widest tires possible, and consider lowering the air pressure a bit for better traction.
- Begin to think about stopping long before the intersection.
- Don’t (!) rely on your brakes. I found dragging my foot on the ground to be more reliable.
- Keep equal and constant pressure on your pedals — don’t accelerate suddenly.
- Try to keep your body weight centered over your wheels.
- Ride as smoothly as possible. Gently lean into turns instead of turning your bars.
- On roads, ride in the parking lane if possible (less ice).
- When possible, ride on the sidewalk.
- When in doubt, walk or just stay home.
The freezing temps are expected to be here all week. I would really advise caution and consider not riding on the ice at all if you can avoid it.
Did you ride today? How was your ice-biking experience? Share your tips/mishaps/adventures below…