Snow Biking in Japan

cycling training on snow with road racing bikes with studded tires

Mikuni Pass 9

Temperature: minus 27 degrees Celsius at the Mikuni Pass and minus 31 degrees Celsius in the KTV (katabatic valley).

It was super-cold because of the radiative cooling occurred on the Lake Taisetsu. A cold air lake was formed on the Lake Taisetsu. Diamond dust was falling from the sky. The road was covered very well compacted snow and hard ice. He had to climb against a strong katabatic wind and he had to cross the bottom of the path of katabatic wind several times during the training. The super-cold air of katabatic wind congealed the lubricant including that of the inside of cable outer sheath as the temperature was lower than its pour point. Therefore, almost all cable controls were gone. He could barely move the front brake and the front derailleur. Both levers became very heavy. The rear derailleur which has a longer outer sheath was completely frozen. This cold shut down the camera. So there was no picture during the passage at the coldest section. Approaching the summit, the temperature went up and the lubricant was fluid again. He could regain the control of the derailleurs and brakes. He did the interval training during the descent. He descended and the lubricant congealed again reentering the cold air lake.