Saturday, January 9, 2010

What all the Fashionable Cyclists will be Wearing this Winter

Remember when the roads were clean?

There are many ideas as to what works right as well as what looks good. There are as many different fashions as there are riders. One persons "good look" is another riders idea of a "Clown Suit" I can hear my friend Chris saying, "This jacket comes with the big shoes and the red rubber nose!"
The one thing that every cyclist has in common and will be wearing if they ride at this time of year is that thing as cyclists we love as well as hate.
Road Salt is something you cant avoid at this time of year and as I lay in bed and hear the first truck of the Winter Season dump the first load that hits the wall of the house, I know its time to park the good bikes and roll out my Winter Ride.
Road Salt ruins Ice. It also ruins Lycra, Rubber, Ponds, Streams, Rivers, Trees and Bicycles. Road salt gets everywhere. It gets on your bike, shoes, tights, jacket, it Even gets in your mouth.
I found that a 10% salt solution to ice will cause water to freeze at 20 degrees, and a 20% solution at 2 degrees. We dump 11 million tons of salt on the roads here in the US each year and usage has increased 8 fold since 1960. That was when everything was closed on Sunday.
I found out that Salt is neather an Acid or a Base. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) + Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) = Sodium chloride (NaCl) + Water (H2O) Hmmmmmm,,?
Highly soluble, Sodium Chloride will run into ground water and over the year leach into streams and cause problems with fish and plant life. If you look, you can see tree damage on the sides of the road that dosent show up in old photos of New England.
There are safer ways of melting ice on the road like calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride, but are both cost prohibitive.
Although salt is an important part of our diet, as Americans we consume 10 times whats needed for our body's to work right.
The problems of salt on clothing can be solved by rinsing with water. This is hard when water freezes and bicycles don't work well frozen. Winter cycling boots can be washed but take days to dry correctly. Its important to have at least two pair.
With a little time this will all be over and we will enjoy warm days and ice free roads again. We will just need to deal or get on the trainer

That not going to happen!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Locations of visitors to this page

Free Blog Counter