Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The season of 10W/30

Not much going on recently. Christmas shopping, sending cards, preparations - the usual. Yesterday we were hit by just a first (miserable, so far) wave of winter. It started snowing a little but because this week temperatures oscillate around 32F, everything turned into a muddy slush pretty quickly. In fact, this is the worst type of winter weather, I think. Well, I don't even call it a winter. If it's not in the negative (degrees Celsius, of course), it isn't winter!
The reason why I dislike the zero degree (or 32F, if you prefer) winter weather is that you don't know what to expect. If the forecast says it's going to snow, it will probably rain instead. The rain may just wet the roads or freeze quickly and black ice is not something I would like to ride my bike on. Plus, riding in mud is not the way I would like to make my commute more interesting.
Nevertheless, the 10W/30 season has just begun and temperature will surely drop pretty quickly. Which means that many bikers will leave their bikes in the basement until March. And there is not much that would ever change this situation. Because "how many non-cycling Americans are going to ride to work on a bicycle in 33 degree temperatures with mist, sleet, and snow blowing in their faces in late February?"
Can't do without it. (Source: yehudamoon.com)

Not many. Fortunately, Boston's winter isn't really that bad for winter cycling. It does get cold sometimes (around 0F or -18C) but this kind of cold doesn't scare me. Right clothing takes care of it. The precipitation is definitely much more unpleasant plus there are those few days when we get a huge blizzard with 3 feet of snow. But these days are rare enough that buying a dedicated snow fat bike probably doesn't make sense. Other than that, the winter streets of Massachusetts are perfectly usable by bike as well. Just use a cheap one. You wouldn't want your custom steel Rivendell to develop a beautiful orange rust all over the place after just one winter season. The winter streets of Boston get salted more than a cod fillet.

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