Finished reading the New York Times Saturday morning article on Riding Through Winter only to be once again disappointed with media coverage of bicycling in the winter. The writer of the article Sean Patrick Farrell has misplaced perceptions and facts about winter conditions, bicycle tires and bicycle technology. First, a bit of misinformation Farrell presents with apparently no fact checking is that the Surly Pugsley debut was in 2005 not last year.
Farrell also condones a perception that bike tires have to be special to handle snow, ice and slush which is also wrong. Any type of tire can be used in the winter for bike riding since any type of road or trail condition is changing constantly with each passing day. Studded tires are readily available if a bike rider needs them for extrem icy conditions. I know the article is about Mountain Biking indoors but, the fact is the article is virtually a consumerist ad for Ray’s indoor Mountain Bike Park which is owned by Trek bicycles. Based on the industry myopic view that bike riding is a three season sport, Rays is only open 7 months of the year. Silly indoor bike riding on rollers or in a Mountain Bike park does very little to address bike riding in the winter as akin to normal. This winter of sub freezing temperatures is proof that when the weather changes people continue to bike ride and I emphasize “Outdoors”.
If we could imagine what it would be like if biking indoors on a track was a spectator sport we would have crowds of brawling beer guzzling fans rooting for their guy or team and that would be a normal American activity. So what’s say Trek? There is plenty of old retail space, ie dead mall, abandoned factories and bankrupt big box stores to make indoor biking another diversion for the rest of us.