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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
IIm a cyclist in New England (Fairfield County) and do not ride my road bike in winter, opting to mountain bike if the conditions permit. My biggest hang-up with winter riding is the sand on the roads. Is it a big factor, b/c I'm jonesing to get out and it should be nice this weekend. There is still a ton of sand pushed to the side of most roadways.
 

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Unrepentant Mountainbiker
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Sand is bad stuff, but you can ride it

I started riding in Eastern NC, in the Sandhills, and they are called that for a reason. You can ride in the sand, but just be sure to take into account the reduced traction.

The real issue is the cleanup. Sand gets into everthing on a bike. You will want to rinse the bike off with water as soon as possible after your ride. Pay attention to anything that moves. Cycle your brakes and shifters and listen for any grinding noises or stiff cable action. Rotate your wheels and listen. Turn the bars and listen. Any grinding noises mean you have a more in-depth cleaning job ahead.
 

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Just watch it in the turns

I lived in Fairfield/Westport for years and rode during the winter. Just be careful going into turns and don't get intimidated by the traffic into riding into the pushed over sand. Personally, I think it's worse when they oil and gravel the roads, and it's the only way to get where you're going.
 

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It's a Sledgehammer
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547 Posts
I feel your pain

I live in CNY and like you I don't get out much in the winter. The roads here suck at this time of year. There is a ton of sand and salt on the sides and at intersections not to mention 3 months worth of garbage. The other thing is that the roads get some serious damage from plowing so there is alot of potholes and general deterioration. I've learned not to take my better bikes out too soon - as tempting as it is. These conditions increase the chance of a crash, and really beat the bike. Salt and sand get everywhere, and it's hell to get rid of. I have an old C'dale hybrid, bigger tires, fenders and I'm not too concerned if it gets in trouble that I ride in the "transition" time. Just makes me appreciate my good rides even more.
 
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