Thursday, September 10, 2009

Planning to Cycle the Rural New England Winter

My summer cycling in Maine was nearly ruined by the wettest July and August in recent memory. Of course I got out, but my weekly miles are considerably lower than I would like them to be. In the coming weeks, I'm going to start saving money to buy the necessary gear to equip my bike for commuting in inclement weather. Already the temperature is dropping in the mornings and evenings. Thus, here is the beginning of my planning for cycling on ice and snow!

Studded tires or inverted fat tires: according to most sources, studded tires are necessary when roads become icy. According to NOA, New England's winter is supposed to "mild" while the Farmer's Almanac predicts painfully cold months ahead. Which wins? What is the happy medium between the two winter tire options?

Mud flaps: kind of a no brainer. My cross-bike is practically designed to handle fenders and rain-friendly alterations.

Base layers: think of these as thermal layers for cyclists.

Lubricants: if it gets so cold that my chain freezes up, what do I do? I've heard recommendations for teflon, to sub zero oil based lubricants. I must admit that I'm at a loss when it comes to this one.

Lighting System: My cateye lights just won't do once I'm cycling in rural Maine after I teach. I've currently got my eye on a generator lighting system that powers itself as you pedal.

Any suggestions?