Types Of Snow (Prize Give Away)

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 06

This winter I have felt like a native of the northern reaches, developing dozens of words for snow. Here are a few:

Play-dough: When the snow has been thoroughly mixed with road salt, but its just too damn cold to melt, you get play-dough snow.  Has the feel of clay, and squirts out from between your front fork like a play-dough fun factory.

Rump Braille: When the snow hardens to the ground in little archipelagos of solid ice.  These seem to form when the snow has been packed down by cars, and then it warms up real fast and rivulets of water run through the snow only to freeze again real fast,  leaving little islands of solid ice.  So named because of the feeling on your ass as you roll over them.   If only I could read their secret language.

Solid Water: A type of snow that for all intents looks totally solid, until you hit it with your front wheel and it explodes into water.  MAGIC!  I would imagine that there are just enough ice crystals in the slush to keep it solid until impact.  This snow can be cause brown shorts, as you think you are about to hit a giant ice ball and crash only to have it splatter harmlessly all over the road.

The Good Stuff: Crunchy for traction, but light and fluffy enough not to stick to your bike.  This is the snow we all dream about riding on.  Makes a satisfying “Crrrrssshhhh” as you ride on it.

Road Boogers: Much like ancient boulders left behind when the glaciers retreated, these mounds of snow are left after the plow comes through.  Ranging in size from “golf ball” to “holy shit I’m going to die!”  These clumps are usually not attached to the road, and therefor wander about as cars and pedestrians paw at them.  Avoid the big ones and you should be ok.

Salt Lick: Not snow at all, but looks like snow.  Its when the plow trucks lay down so much salt that it appears in heaps like snow on the ground.  Usually solid, but sometimes like a big pile of sand.  Avoid.

Trails of our Ancestors: When you ride on snow that many other cyclists have already ridden over.  You can see the tracks of all the wheels that have come before you, giving you a sense of security knowing its a good route, as well as letting you know that you are not the only one braving the storm.  Gives you sense of camaraderie even if no one else is around.

These are but a few of the many names that could be applied to biking snow.  What are some you have thought of?

The first 3 people to leave good snow names + definitions in the comments will get cycling books sent to them free in the mail. (I will decided which ones are good)

If there are more than 3 good ones, I might go find some more cycling stuff and mail that out as prizes as well.




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Posted in Commuting, fun | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Types Of Snow (Prize Give Away)”

  1. By Brown Sugar on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    Brown Sugar Snow: the brown sugar colored slush crud you get when snow, salt, road grime, slightly warmer temperatures, and cars mix. Your wheel cuts right through it like whipped cream, but be careful as it’s surprisingly sick and it’s easy to lose traction when braking or turning.

  2. By Dan on Feb 7, 2014 | Reply

    Icecognito: the layer of seductively pristine snow that disguises an ice slick

  3. By Lee Hollenbeck on Feb 12, 2014 | Reply

    Brown snot, similar to play-dough but mixed with salt and sand. Zero traction and does not stick together, at all. Terrible and unpredictable to ride in.

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