Civia in the Snow

Some of my most fun and memorable bike rides have been in Austin snow. That amounts to only 3-4 times in 40 years.

Monday morning was the best time for riding your MTB until the rear derailleur freezes. But I don’t have an MTB anymore, for reasons not worth explaining.

i had to ride the snow, but on what? The Casati, the Alain Michel, little green Zeus? In my dreams.

The solution? The Civia e-Bike.

I have long argued that the Civia e-Bike is a versatile bike, perfect for commuting and errands, but also great for 30-mile road rides, mud, light cross country riding, and now, snow. I made two rides on Monday 2/15, first a 10 block neighborhood jaunt including up and down our local Telegraph Hill.

Going Turbo mode was a no-brainer. While I rode smooth as a knife through butter most of the way, I had some cyclocross moments and I lost it once, but not too badly. The snow padded my fall.

The second run late Monday afternoon was a beer run, which turned into a bit of an epic journey when I found that the local Sacky store atop Telegraph Hill was closed. The nearest gas station is half a mile beyond but Art Car IPA was at stake. So I gambled and rode. In the middle of the lane most of the time, not the bike lane. There were just a few cars out and I was riding as fast as they were.

It turned out to be zippy little ride, unlike the checkout line inside. It was like Twin Liquors on New Year’s Eve. It snaked around the aisles. And there I stood for 20 minutes holding the Civia battery and Art Car and trying to keep the Civia in sight. I had left it unlocked thinking it would be a quick in-out. But at least I wasn’t the guy who left his car running outside expecting the same in/out. He wasn’t too worried. It was a manual transmission and no one knows how to drive a stick anymore. We both got lucky.

The ride back was cruising for burgers until I got to Telegraph and stared down the slope. It snaked. The solution? Stay in turbo and don’t spare on the brakes. I ended up using my feet like training wheels.

Now it would probably have been much easier riding with knobbies, but the 27.5” wheels are dressed out with Kenda tires that are robust and have considerable and deep treads.

But what counts most in the end, is that I was riding in the snow. And having the time of my life. On an e-bike.





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