I can't believe it's been a month since I commuted for real, but thems the facts. I think the longest ride I've been on in the last month was a 12 mile trail ride.
The combination of snow and routing has kept my daily commute restricted to the 5 or so mile-roundtrip between our house and the bus stop. Luckily, there's about 400 feet of climbing on the way home, so I've not completely atrophied, but I'm feeling pretty turdy.
My winter strategy in routing a way home from Cheney is to find the right balance between low-traffic roads and distance. If the Fish Lake Trail was plowed, I'd be on it, but it's under about 18" of snow at the moment, and even with a fat bike, it would be a sucky slog.
|That would be the FLT down there. If I was super awesome, I'd x-country ski my way home.|
Since the bus route from Cheney to Spokane is mostly on I-90, there's no reasonable route that allows the bus-bailout option. I guess a guy could take some back roads into Medical Lake then board from there, but that's a long way out of the way if you don't want to bail.
The Rawland is rocking it. Conditions today were packed snow with sections of non-packed, shifty snow. The fat knob tires on the Rawland were just perfect. Although there are ice patches mixed with snow, studs really don't provide enough benefit to warrant their sloggy weighty turdiness for this kind of riding. I figure my winter route, which plan on taking every Tues/Thurs this quarter, is about 25 miles. I'll track it on Thursday.
|Going with platform pedals on the Rawland. I'm very happy with this set up. These are your basic Gortex lined leather boots. All in all: a fantastic set up. No cold toes and I can wear these boots in my daily life.|
I don't clean off my bike when I'm done with this kind of riding. It sits in the garage, which is about 45 F for Tiger the Killer Cat. So all this crud melts off. The extent of my maintenance is to check the the chain length once a month or so and to put some Boeshield on it when it starts to squeak or turn orange.