skidding a fixed gear bike

Helsinki had a decent dump of snow towards the end of November last year and another one of two after that, there’s not been anywhere near as much as I was expecting but due to the constant sub zero temperature and regular light top ups the whole place stayed white for about two months.

For the last couple of weeks we’ve been experiencing a bit of a heatwave with the mercury climbing all the way up to as high as +3 on a daily basis, which has resulted in most of the snow melting away, especially on all the roads and pavements.

The period between the snow melting and actually being able to see the ground has been frustrating to say the least, the city centre was ok but the suburbs were like a giant ice rink. The locals went about their daily business with minimal fuss but this poor foreigner (and many others) couldn’t manage more than a snails pace on foot and riding wasn’t even a consideration.

But there was a pot of gold at the end of the icy rainbow – grit! If you have a healthy disregard for your tyres, and as a fixed gear rider you should, then the whole city is now a giant playground. Skids go on for ever with this much grit on the ground and there are few things more exciting than a nice long skid, or 50!

It’s not all fun and games though, urgh…

dirty winter fixed gear drivetrain