Bike Winter, for me, has got off to a bad start. Way too busy for the last six weeks to cycle. And even the few occasions I rode to buy groceries were not pleasant rides. Once was during last week’s cold snap (a week of temperatures remaining below -10C would be extreme even in January, let alone the start of December). The “thundersnow” on Friday and the subsequent freeze-over had turned most of my alley into ice. Nevertheless car tires seemed to have carved out two wide enough swathes of bare road, which I rode on till the intersection with the road. Too late, I discovered that said intersection was completely iced over. There was no way around it. For some reason I tried to ride over it anyway and of course immediately slipped and fell. Patagonia climbing pants saved me a nasty knee abrasion again.
A few days later, did a short downtown-and-back trip along the lakefront path. Very well salted and so mostly free of ice, but at some of the indents in the path near McCormick Plaza there were small strips of half-melted ice horizontally across the path. I was a bit nervous about cycling over those but they weren’t much of a problem. Had to get off and push my bike at one part where there is a significant depression in the path that collects water, and, in this case, ice. To be more precise, it consisted of large slabs of ice half floating and half jutting out of a gigantic shallow pool of water. As though someone had smashed up the layer of ice. I briefly contemplated trying to cycle in that, and was glad I didn’t decide to, because I had some difficulty keeping my bike upright while pushing it between the slabs of ice, which were not happy about being pushed out of the way. I imagine that falling onto the sharp-cornered slabs would have been far more unpleasant than my previous fall.
It crossed my mind that slabs of ice floating/jutting out of water would be a nice cyclocross obstacle.