#12 – Sailing Over the Handlebars

…in which the weather in Manitoba warms up so much that it snows!  Also, the trails in Massachusetts get dangerous!

#11 – The Ice in Our Brakes

…in which Mike fails to go to the International Winter Cycling Congress, and Randy gets heckled for his bad taste in duct tape-covered pants.

  • More on winter storms and deep snow. For some reason, Mike starts talking about Little House on the Prairie.
  • We both want fat bikes.
  • We mentioned a documentary on the Iditasport Impossible race called A Thin White Line.
  • High-quality bikes for kids: Islabikes! Maybe even fatbikes that fit kids, from the extra-small 9:Zero:7 or the Baby Fatty.
  • More on balance bikes, training wheels, and growing kids.
  • Freezing cables and ice chunks that want to disable our brakes.

#10 – Giant Boxes of Death (and Training Wheels!)

…in which we discuss aggressive behaviour of motorists, and related exchanges of expletives, gestures, and intimidation tactics.  Then we tell stories about teaching kids to ride bikes!

#8 – Ices, Ices, We All Fall Down!

…in which Randy and Mike both re-discover the value of studded tires.

  • We each experimentally verify our hypothesis that slick tires on ice do not provide significant lateral traction when descending, and bruises are likely to result.
  • Somehow this leads to a discussion of the physics of turning and stability of bicycles (and motorcycles!).  Mike referred to research done on bicycle dynamics a few years ago, published in the journal Science, showing that neither trail nor gyroscopes are necessary to make a bicycle stable.  There are some good video demonstrations of it, and explanations of the research by both Arend Schwab and Andy Ruina.
  • Randy explains the best method of using training wheels.
  • We discuss the importance of anticipating inattentive drivers about to start their journeys.

#7 – Bunny-Hopping the Polar Vortex

…in which Randy’s goggles don’t just fog up, they get coated in ice, and Mike is schooled in the theory of curb-jumping.

  • On New Year’s Eve, Winnipeg was colder than Mars.
  • What’s worse in a balaclava — boogers or peanut butter?
  • Randy hits a milestone for the year 2013 with carefully recorded data; Mike makes a rough estimate wild guess, and comes up with the same number.
  • We make a brief reference to Freddie Hoffman, who has ridden a distance equivalent to not one, but two round trips to the moon.
  • Mike rescues a minivan with his new portable shovel.
  • Randy tries to convince Mike to have more fun in the snow.
  • We theorize that wheelies are impossible on bakfietsen, but it turns out that it can be done!
  • Randy finally gets to try riding a fat bike in the snow!

#6 – Winter Wonderland

…in which Randy finds a new route to work after a snowstorm, and Mike makes up plausible-sounding theories about why his bike is faster when the temperature goes up:

Next time: historical tidbits and a debate on the merits of blinking lights!

#5 – Deer in the Headlights

…in which Randy survives encounters with wildlife, Mike’s toes get cold, and we talk about how our tires and boots are holding up in the cold and snow, among other things:

#4 – WD-40 And Duck Tape

  • Mike explains what makes a Dutch bike.  For an even better explanation, try reading one of these articles from Clever Cycles and A View From the Cycle Path.
  • Randy almost drove to work because he was sick and it was raining, but didn’t!
  • When it’s raining, freezing, melting, freezing, raining, it’s hard to decide on tires.
  • Cleaning your chain is more important than lubing it.  But perhaps the lube cleans it?  Mike referred to some research on the efficiency of bicycle chains done at Johns Hopkins, which had some surprising findings regarding chain lube.  And no discussion of bicycle chains would be complete without referring to Sheldon Brown’s exhaustive article (heavily annotated by John Allen), which features such techniques as cleaning a chain in a soda bottle and boiling it in soap.
  • What’s in our tool bags? (Hint: mostly spare tubes and a pump).
  • Randy is excited to try out his new (Canadian) boots! Kamik – Canucks.

#3 – Dressed Like a Hobo