Monday, October 24, 2011

Studly

We did a lot of snow riding, back in the day.  We would drive up to the Forest Service gate on Jackson Creek Road, park the car, and then ride the bikes up to the Devil's Head area.  Snowmobiles kept the snow packed, pretty well, and as long as you stayed on their route it was possible to ride.  If you got off of the snowmobile trail, the snow was so deep as to be impassable.

Often, the snow would be a little icy, and it was difficult to make the turns without falling.  Plus, spinning out on the climbs was a pretty big problem.  I had snow chains for my tires, but none of the other guys did.

Ilmars got the bright idea to stud some tires, and he asked me what I thought about it.  I thought it was cool, so he brought a big box of self-tapping screws in, and we set the drill up with a nut driver to run the screws into the tire.

If you have ever looked at studded tires, you might have noticed that they are typically studded at every third or fourth knob.  Ilmars decided that if a few screw-studs was good, a bunch would be better.  He spent the greater part of a day in the service area, running screws into his tires;  one screw in every knob on the tire.

Then, he lined the inside of the tire with duct tape and made a secondary liner out of an old tube.

Once he had everything put together, the tires weighed about 5 pounds each.  Traction was great, but the tires were so hard to accelerate that the ride was pretty miserable.

I'm glad that commercially-produced studded tires for bicycles came onto the market.

x

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