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What to do when you hit ice. What I did didn't work.(21 posts)

What to do when you hit ice. What I did didn't work.Cartman
Dec 16, 2001 12:21 PM
It was 30 degrees when I left for a ride today. The wind was a bit brisk, so I decided to stay off main roads, and explore the back roads to seek shelter from the open highway. I was climbing a slight incline, when I saw the road was wet. I thought that the sun would have melted any ice, so I pushed on. When I got closer, I realized that the incline was covered w/ ice. I slowed, and thought if I went slow and steady, I'd be able to cross a 4 footsection of ice. I didn't 1/2 way through, my rear wheel kicked out as I petaled, and I went down. A nice bruise on my ass and a scuffed rear derailer is all that was sufered. I began thinking that I would hav ebeen better to get off and walk, or to try to coast over the ice, and not apply power. Your thoughts?
stay home, fool (nm)duh
Dec 16, 2001 12:50 PM
re: What to do when you hit ice. What I did didn't work.John-d
Dec 16, 2001 1:33 PM
The same as when in a car, high gear, slow speed. Keep straight as possible, don't lean in fact relax and don't move apart from the pedaling action.

Mind you the advice above isn't all bad.

Ride carefully

re: What to do when you hit ice. What I did didn't work.bladecycling
Dec 16, 2001 1:34 PM
You should have rode rte. 140 or 12 no problems at all with ice. Hope your not hurt to bad, get off and walk if you can't go around. Give me a buzz if you want to roll next weekend.
Don't ride on it.look271
Dec 16, 2001 1:45 PM
Walk. I am not an especially cautious person ,but ice is one of the 2 reasons I'll get off my bike and walk, the other being wet metal-grate bridges. What do possibly is there to gain by riding over it? Sure, you might make it, but chances are you won't. Some things just aren't worth it!
re: What to do when you hit ice. What I did didn't work.Coluber
Dec 16, 2001 1:52 PM
Ice sucks. If it's on a hill, I'd recommend walking over it if possible. If you ride over it, don't apply power while going over it, or if you do, do so very slowly and in a very low gear. This is not always possible uphill if it's a long-ish stretch and you don't have the momentum to get past it. Also, avoid making sudden movements or turning while going over ice. As long as you do nothing to change your momentum or direction, you will be fine. If there is a lot of ice and snow, it is probably better to stick to roads with traffic, as most of it will probably be melted. Hmm, a list of things I found out the hard way... don't make sharp turns at high speed over ice, don't ride a road bike in freezing rain, don't ride uphill in freezing rain, bridges really do freeze before the roads, wet or icey metal plates, manhole covers, bridge expansion joints, and such REALLY SUCK, when freezing rain falls there will often be a layer of ice covered with a layer of water, which looks just like wet pavement but is quite a bit slicker, to the point where it can be very difficult to stand up on without falling down again.... :-P
do you ride rollers?Dog
Dec 16, 2001 3:00 PM
Sort of the same thing. I think rollers and ice are similar. Steer with your whole body, but with tiny inputs. No braking, very little steering, and smooth power. A slick road is a whole less predictable than rollers, though.

If you don't roller, it might help. Builds smoothness and balance.

Biking on icecoonass
Dec 16, 2001 3:53 PM
is God's way of weeding out the idiots from Society......
I hope you don't have a driver's license; if you do, please don't wear your helmet the next time you try biking on ice....
Biking on icepnk
Dec 16, 2001 4:37 PM
I rode my cross bike (little knobbies were of no value) on hardpacked icy trials for several weeks last year in N. Virginia. Hanging slightly off the back of the saddle while pinching it with my thighs worked quite well. Kind of like skiing with the bike. Trouble was that position is very tiring and once you start inching forward to a more normal position the back end kicks out. I don't think I'd ride the roads though, because the 10% of the time it didn't work I was down before I knew what happened!
Coast in a straight lineKerry Irons
Dec 16, 2001 5:30 PM
You can't exectute any kind of a turn on ice, and trying to apply power to the pedals is a path to just what happened to you. If you are trying to go uphill on ice, you're not likely to be able to do it any other way than on foot.
Coast in a straight linepnk
Dec 17, 2001 3:02 AM
You are right about turning-only if you luck out and go over a snowy or broken up portion. Uphill is actually easy,because your weight is way back and you can pedal - I've done many 50 foot hills that way. But coming down the other side...!
I always have my goalie equipment on when I hit the ice.nigel
Dec 16, 2001 6:19 PM
That way, I damage neither myself nor my bike.

Sorry; couldn't help myself. I just got home from an on-ice victory a little while ago.

Be careful out there. I agree that one should coast over ice, feet at 3:00 and 9:00 (pedal positions), and be ready to unclip one's primary foot in case of necessary bailout.

slightly off topic, but another perspective on ice ridingLuis
Dec 16, 2001 10:07 PM
Early last winter we got freezing rain rather than snow and the local bike trails were sheets of ice. I put Nokian WCX 300 studded tires on my mountain bike and opened up a whole new world of riding.

After a tentative fifteen minutes I discovered that riding studded tires on ice is a blast. You can use both brakes and turn normally, though I never rode aggressively. The only real trick was to learn that you couldn't stop and get off the bike on the ice, for that you had to ride off onto the snow. I also used platform pedals and warm boots--no cleats.

They worked just as well when it warmed up a little and we got a film of water on top of the ice. This year we have snow, but when a week went by with no new snow and the ski trails were polished hardpack, riding on these tires was great.

They make a studded tire that would fit a road bike, but I've never talked with anyone using it.

Here's a web site about icebiking:
Roadie Studded tiresRay Sachs
Dec 17, 2001 6:02 AM
"They make a studded tire that would fit a road bike, but I've never talked with anyone using it."

Its a 700x35 and won't fit on many road bikes. I have a set that fits on my cross bike and will commute on 'em this winter when the ice kicks in. They'd also work on a lot of touring bikes. I'll probably also take 'em off-road when there's snow and ice on the trails. Wouldn't take 'em for much of a road ride though - they ride like hell on dry sections. Incredibly heavy and ponderous tires on dry pavement - no fun at all.

I just ride with 700x28 tires in the winter months, which do much better on slick surfaces than 700x23. But when it's bad enough, you just have to walk sometimes.

www.icebike.comDuane Gran
Dec 17, 2001 4:53 AM
...if it isn't on the internet it doesn't exist...
It's Clark
Dec 17, 2001 8:06 AM
I'm no expert on ice, but...mr_spin
Dec 17, 2001 8:11 AM
I don't seek out ice, but I occassionally hit a patch. The only advice I can give is don't panic. Keep it straight and especially keep it balanced. Don't brake--don't even touch the brakes. You'll instantly lose control if you do.

If the ice is in a turn, there's no way you are going to survive. If you see it coming with enough time, stop and walk. If you don't see it in time, the only advice I can give here is that if you slide off a cliff and have a long way to fall, a funny thing to do is to pretend you are swimming. People down below will be laughing their heads off, until your body crashes into the rocks below.

Oh, and personally, I would have stayed home in those conditions!
Uphill, no studs, no wayRich Clark
Dec 17, 2001 8:13 AM
If you approach sheet ice on pavement, unclip and coast. Unclip because you may go down anyway. If it's uphill and you don't have enough velocity to coast across the ice, try to stop. You can't climb sheet ice on a bike without studded tires.

If you approach sheet ice going downhill, do what it takes to stop. If you have studded tired, you may make it if you're careful and slow.

In the situation you describe (a 4-foot frozen section) I would probably have unclipped and coasted. Never try to pedal when you don't have traction.

re: What to do when you hit ice. What I did didn't work.David Feldman
Dec 17, 2001 8:42 AM
Don't. Rideable ice is a fiction and a fantasy,
sort of like the idea that enough freeway space prevents
gridlock or teen chastity.
Riding ice separates the men from the boys...PT
Dec 17, 2001 9:43 AM
If I don't ride ice, I don't ride for at least four months of the year. The big thing is to not over-comit -- no leaning through turns, no hard braking, no quick acceleration. If there's the occassional patch of ice, coast straight through. If the ice covered sections are extensive, keep your weight back and pedal smoothly and easily. The whole goal of successfully negotiating ice is to keep your front wheel from slipping -- you lose your front end, you're down.
I usually just fall on my ass, but I wouldn't recommend it.allervite
Dec 18, 2001 11:02 PM