Icebike Report From Montreal, Thursday December 18th

This is an account of my first real icebike experience. I've biked long distances in cold weather, but not on icy roads. I've biked on icy roads, but not long distances. I biked from the suburb of Beaconsfield to downtown Montreal, a 30-35 km distance.

The roads were icy with somewhat compacted snow on them. Riding on my normal hybrid tires at 65 psi. Every patch of snow was a delicate tightrope dance. There was no room for overthinking. Any sudden move that wasn't smooth and I'd go down. Had to be real loose and limber. I did so much slipping and sliding, that I still felt a bit dizzy 6 hours later.

45 km wind (with 60 km gusts) at my back the whole way. On clear pavement I was going faster than what I do in summer. On one particular downhill I really surprised a cager. He was trying to edge ahead of me, but I was incredibly fast. At first he must have thought that I was trying to outrace him. But as he got dangerously close he realized:

a) The light at the bottom of the hill was red.
b) I wasn't pedalling.
c) I was breaking.
d) I was probably going over the speed limit.

He did a double take and backed off. Then the light turned green and I shifted into my top gear and blasted away at a truly mindboggling speed.

I did fall a couple of times (ok 3 times). First after a couple of kids darted into the middle of the street. I panicked and slammed the brakes and skidded the bike. Another time I had to stop for a red light and the same thing happened. Last time I was almost there, I saw a red light ahead, slowed down in time, then put my foot down on an icy patch and slipped.

All things considered it was pretty amazing!

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