Saturday, December 6, 2008

Winter Cycling

As you may have seen outside, if you live in Milwaukee there's a bunch of snow on the ground. This happened prior to it falling out of the sky making for some pretty nasty conditions on the roads... If there is one thing that is more important than anything else about being a bike messenger in a snowstorm its keeping your feet dry and not letting the salt and other crap on the roads literally eat yourself and your bike alive. Its funny, when I deliver many of my packages, the clients sometimes ask, don't they let you drive your car in this weather? The answer is always well uh... I don't have a car so... yeah...

Anyway, after watching in horror as the salt and snow ate my nice Campy parts alway in the sea of white death, I decided that something had to be done, so much to my resistance, but out of pure practically, I now have my first single speed. The Univega after a few hours in the workstand finished up with no derauilers to destroy and a simple easy single speed design which should prove to be (1) Inconvient and (2) Milwaukee winterproof.

Heres the finished product, Univega ready for winter battle.

I also thought that I would stick this on the blog, I remember seeing it at the 2007 Bicycle Film festival, but for all of you who missed it, it's a pretty cool courier video!


Elizabeth said...

1) You do too have a car!!! Only not with you!

2) Inconvenient? cause you can't shift?

Jon Royal said...

1. Your right, but you have it.
2. Inconvenient... yes because you can't shift

Shawn Small said...

Single speed super commuting is the only way to do it

peter royal said...

with the crappy traction in the snow, would a fixed-gear bike not give you more control? (i have a friend here that only rides his fixie in the wet season for that reason). of course, i have no idea how many hills you may have that necessitate gears :)

Jon Royal said...


When I was working as a messenger I was the only one that didn't have a fixed gear. They are super convient especially when your trying to haul a really large box on your handlebars and your arms don't quite reach the brakes.

However, I've found them to really hurt my knees when trying to stop fast. (I imagine that its much more tuff in a city like San Francisco where there are so many hills)

Maybe I'm just a lazy guy, but I'm a big fan of gears on my bike, the single speed was more of a concession in the nasty winter to not destroy my derailers.

BTW how are you doing! My apologies for responding so late, I didn't even see your post until today.

peter royal said...

heh, the fixie riders here are all in the flat portions of the city. while they may be okay for climbing, flying down the hills is the payoff for going up!

we're doing great. in the middle of planning to move back to NYC, we're done with the west coast for now :)