Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Cycling 2012 - Moscow & Seattle

A fellow living on Phinney Ridge in Seattle has posted the video above showing a ride in their recent heavy snow. It is in real time and his camera is bolted to his handlebars; the video is pretty bumpy. It demonstrates that as long as you don't have ice but just slush or snow that isn't too deep, a person can get around by bike. However I know from experience it's pretty tiring and ideally you maintain some speed/momentum in order to push through the stuff.

I used to live in this part of Seattle - at about 1 minute 20 seconds an apartment building appears on the right that we lived in. Beyond the stop light that can be seen at that point is the Woodlawn Park Zoo.

This video is more fun to watch than the Seattle snow video - it is not in real time but sped up four times, also he says he used some feature of YouTube to "stabilize" the images (so not so bumpy). He rides from Krasnye Vorota, somewhat northeast of the Kremlin, to Novokuznetskaia, which looks to be somewhere between four and five kilometers. Unlike Seattle, there are plenty of cars and pedestrians that he shares the road (and the sidewalks) with. Of course part of it is that it is not in real time, but he's got more courage than I have. At about 2 minutes 30 seconds he crosses a bridge over the Moscow river - he rides (as he does most, but not all the time) in road and not on the bridge pedestrian area, which seems pretty risky.

Even with fenders (and the bike isn't shown, so who knows) you would get filthy riding in these conditions - Moscow is famous for the chemical mix used on the streets in winter which contributes a dirty brown "oatmeal" consistency slush. People must be astonished to see someone riding in Moscow in winter.

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