Today we had our first snow post installation of the ‘snow studs‘. And wow are they loud when on pavement. Think of a radial-engine aircraft, a swarm of wasps with vacuum cleaners. But…  and this is early because we didn’t have a ton of snow and it was only modestly icy… Great success!

The tires have studs well into the sidewall (camber) for gripping as you lean. And they seem to make it easier for sure to keep the wheel’s down / seat-up orientation that is more comfortable than the inverse 🙂

So I would say, so far, the investment seems a winner. Not sure how long the studs will last, and it would be a real pain to replace them (258 per tire). But, there’s more snow ahead to try them on.

I know what you are thinking… what kind of a fool would make snow tires for a bike? And what kind of a fool would buy them? Wonder no more!

Here we have a shiny new, rubbery-smelling, pair of 45Nrth Dillinger 5. 258 steel-carbide studs per tire of softish compound for traction galore. Acquired from ‘‘, shipped from Bracebridge, and soon to be installed for ‘mad traction’ and a ‘dramatic reduction in incidents involving pavement and pain’.


The naysayers about the ‘valve-stem lights’ were wrong: they are still working!

But, time goes on, and, well, nobody can really tell what those things say and there’s no obvious way to update the firmware. (Yes, bike valve-stem firmware, its a thing, get over it).

So enter this. Its *much* brighter (driven by an 18650 battery), bigger, and, they say, can do real images and animations. So sayeth the video.

But even better, the device has open source firmware on github. Its some sort of 8251-derivative processor, so its not exactly a super-computer, but it seems to be able to do some decent effects. Here it is installed on my tire, and below the promo video showing it in its glorious rubik’s cube action.

I didn’t take a photo of this (I was laughing too hard and it seemed a bit rude so I held off), so picture it in your mind.

Waterloo Park. Its got a ‘lake’ in it (silver lake). And the lake is inhabited by ~30 mallard ducks and between 0 and 50 Canada Geese (and many squirrels, ground hogs… you get the picture). This is not the part of the park with the llama and donkeys in the petting zoo, its more typical urban wildlife.

Its fairly common for people to feed the ducks. As a consequence the ducks are extremely tame. I have seen a person sitting at a picnic table with a duck on her lap, like a cat!

So I’m booting through the park yesterday afternoon. Its not a terrible fall day. And these two parents have their young child out. The kid is maybe 2, walking, but unsteady. And they have given the child a cup full of some sort of duck ‘crack cocaine’ which he is doling out. Eventually the ducks decide this is going too slowly and decide that a full-court-press is in order, @ which time the poor child falls down and spills the seed all over himself. At which time there is a flurry of duck action and he is *covered* in ducks. And a couple of squirrels jump into the fray. All you can see is beaks and fluffy tails and hear the anguished cries of the poor kid. His parents were unsure what to do, stand and laugh, or dive in and de-duck the situation. After a moment of indecision they choose the latter, yanking a very confused toddler from a fracas of quacking.

And that is why I looked up ‘Anatidaephobia‘. I hope the therapy is not too expensive!