rain, wind, rain, rain, wind, rain, wind, wind and… rain

The correct number of bikes to own is 4

There was a time when I thought n+1 was the right number of bicycles I had to own. But as I grew older and got other things and people to spend time with and take care of, more equipment did not mean more time in the saddle.

Quite the opposite actually and I sure never really needed these two Centurion Le Mans mixte bicycles I’ve had for almost 6 years and barely used. I wanted them gone before winter and put an ad on Blocket (Sweden’s Craigslist) in October last year. I quickly realized I’d better be selling skis at that time of year though.

Centurion Le Mans Mixte, Blocket

That horse was in pretty good condition and I had just replaced both tires with brand new Schwalbe but a guy actually offered me less than half the price I was asking for to, and I quote, “help me get rid off it”. I removed the ad instead and put it back online last week: the horse was sold less than a hour later. Blocket in a nutshell.

I’ve now got 4 bikes -a commuter to display the Brooks saddle I got when I turned old, a full suspension mountain bike to jump on & off curbs in the neighborhood, a cyclocross to ride on roads and a hard-tail mountain bike to carry my kid around- and it’s about the right number.

Stockholm hasn’t had such a rainy month at this time of year for more than two centuries

Sweden hasn’t experienced such a wet May since 1962, according to meteorologists, with double the average rainfall for this time of year across much of the Nordic nation.
The capital bore the brunt of the recent downpours. In fact, Stockholm hasn’t had such a rainy month at this time of year for more than two centuries and the recent soggy weather has dampened a number of major events in the city including the annual marathon.1

According to meteorologists it’s been raining quite a lot in May. It didn’t take me complex mathematical models and insanely expensive hardware to figure that out but I guess that sort of lines are for people who never go out so keep up the good work, you’re on the right track! Now if you want cheap and accurate weather data you could also ask any daily bicycle commuter in the streets and she could tell you that. She probably wouldn’t know about two centuries ago but even if she said so you couldn’t prove otherwise.

If there’s one thing cyclists don’t like and don’t forget though, it’s wind. She could also tell you it’s been windier (last year was also windy) than all those years (at least two centuries) she’s spent in the saddle around Stockholm. So back to work weather boys, you’ve got a cyclist to catch and question!

  1. http://www.thelocal.se/20150601/may-weather-in-sweden-was-worst-since-1962 

Schwalbe CX Pro, a week later

A week ago I was mounting Schwalbe CX Pro tires on my commuting bike a few hours before the first snow falls hit Stockholm. Not sure it really was a wise choice at the time I’ve now been riding them for over 100 kilometers and I’m still in one piece.

I took it very easy during the first ride on snow as to get used to the tires and deflated them a bit for a softer steering (it was really bumpy and a bit slippery at 6.5 bars, no kidding!) and better grip after a couple of kilometers. I think I now have a pretty good setup and I’ve not found myself in a delicate situation so far.

Schwalbe CX Pro on the fixed gear bike

Those tires sure do a very good job on fresh and packed snow (no difference whatsoever with summer tires on asphalt even when breaking hard) and are pretty stable on an icier surface (but I’m more careful then as one should be riding studded tires or not).

All in all a very positive first impression and I’m looking forward to the 30 centimeters of fresh snow promised for tomorrow (according to TheLocal). Please stay tuned for more feedback on those tires later.

if every morning could be like this

This morning was the perfect mix of these little things that make me glad I ride my bike to work instead of going underground: blue sky, dry air, clean & not overcrowded paths. Sure it was -2 ℃ when I left home but it’s not that bad for mid-November up here.

Even though the weather forecast looks alright for the coming days I know it will get worse sooner or later. I probably won’t make it alive if I keep on riding slick summer tires so I got myself a second pair of wheels (I can’t be bothered to swap tires now and then through the winter, I’d rather have two sets ready and just swap wheels). I haven’t made my mind whether I’ll go for studded or non-studded cyclo-cross tires on the winter rims though. Any suggestions?