Snow began falling this morning and quickly began covering the road. No snowflakes in the beginning, just small round pellets. Dry snow on dry pavement. This is the stuff that looks bad but does little to impede traction. There’s a small window of time before flakes fall and things get more slippery. I don’t understand the physics but I’ve had enough experience to know the effect.
With the road in this condition the traction is surprisingly good. You won’t slip and fall walking on this road and it’s unlikely that the Vespa will go down either. At least not without a lot of help from bad choices.
I had nowhere to be or go, just wanted to be out in the world for a bit and take in the first real snowstorm of the season. Wandering down a gravel road offered a few lessons. As gritty as the surface looked the fresh snow covered a lot of smooth, hard ice. No way of knowing lest a rider gets off the scooter and pushes their boot around. Not a problem when engaged in frequent stops for photos.
Roads into Boalsburg were completely snow covered and had become slippery. Braking, motion and movement had to be carefully considered. The Heidenau snow tires make a difference.
No one was at Ken’s Moto Hang Lounge — home of the Piston and Pints events. In fact, I didn’t see another scooter or motorcycle the entire time I was out.
I have a good idea of my limits — skills and experience. With the snow continuing to fall I decided to head towards home with a short stop at the Pump Station for breakfast. The trip home from there is short though uphill.
The First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket has little protection from moisture and performs more like a dish cloth than raingear. I need to apply a coat of Nik Wax or something soon. Walk inside someplace warm forgetting to brush off the snow first and things get wet fast.
Riding up the hill went fine though a few times the rear wheel broke free. Seems as if the car that made these tracks had a similar issue.
The winter tires definitely help. Aggressive tread, soft rubber, embedded micro-crystalline silica all work together to increase traction. Not magic but a little edge.
Snow isn’t a rider’s friend. In almost every case a reason to not ride. Same with me. But some are happy with the snow.
Junior loves the snow and after the Vespa was put away he needed an adventure of his own. An hour of running around at the park and we were both ready for a bowl of food and a warm house.
Still snowing outside and I doubt I’ll be riding anymore today. Junior, Kim and I will cozy up and let the world disappear under a blanket of white.