It’s hard to believe we’ve already moved from January into February. Time seems to be flying by. I wanted to share my results for January with you in case, like me, you ride through the winter and would find a little motivation to keep moving forward helpful.
I know that January was warmer than average across much of the United States, but here in Utah and across the Intermountain West the word that best describes the month is “epic” as in epic snowfall. Here in Ogden we had measurable snowfall 17 out of 31 days, and some of those snow events were quite significant. The month started with the old timers telling stories about winters past and how this was normal. It ended with them saying they’d never seen anything like it. We had a little rain mixed in here and there or it would have been worse. We didn’t get much in the way of bitter cold, but it was sloppy and challenging to cycle for much of the month.
I managed to cycle every day. It wasn’t always easy. My shortest day was Sunday, January 8 when I logged just under 7 miles. I wouldn’t have gotten out at all except for a snowplow that passed and graciously cleared a path just for me. Even after the plow it was quite slippery. Cars couldn’t get up the hills in my neighborhood, but my Surly Instigator rolled on. People were looking at me like I was nuts, but I was moving forward and they weren’t.
As a result of my January adventures, I decided to get a fat bike. I test rode a Surly Ice Cream Truck (expensive) and a Salsa Beargrease X5 (less so). Both were interesting. The Ice Cream Truck had massive 4.8 inch wide tires while the Beargrease’s were “only” 4.0s. The ICT probably is a great trail bike but it felt like a clown car on the road. The Beargrease felt about right, but the tires it comes with aren’t the best for snow, and so I opted for a Surly Wednesday instead. I take delivery next week and am looking forward to having it for those slick, sloppy days that are sure to come before spring finally arrives in these parts.
All things considered, it was a great month. I cycled 683 miles (personal best for a winter month), drove 75 and used transit for the other 42. That means 85% of all of my getting around was by bicycle. Only 9% was by car. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) a more temperate February and will plan to report back at the end of the month. Happy trails!