There's this notion that it never snows in Seattle. Let me tell you, it does. And the snow in Seattle can be especially treacherous, due to a combination of steep hills, a lack of enough snowplows, and the fact that the snow thaws and refreezes, effectively locking the city under a 2-inch thick sheet of super-slick ice. It can get dangerous.
Seattle, like most major cities in the U.S., has a thriving bike community, despite the hills, but the snow renders most non-major streets unrideable for many bikers. So Fritz Rice, who works at Dutch Bike Co., a shop in the Ballard neighborhood, employed a novel way of getting around.
The bike shop doesn't stock studded tires because it really doesn't snow enough in Seattle to warrant them; when it does snow, it's intense and brief, like my relationships. So to get around, Rice installed 62 zip ties (the kind that come 35 to a pack at any drug store) on the rims of his favorite bike. They acted the same way snow chains do, allowing an almost tank-tread-like purchase in the ice and snow.
He told me the first few rides popped a few of the ties. The two packs gave him 70 total, but he only needed 62, so he had some room for error. The trick is to get the tension of the tie to the wheel just right with a little trial and error. Once it's dialed in, it works fine. Sure, it looks kind of silly, but it seems to work. Rice was able to ride, corner, and even brake without slipping into cars. … Read more