ON THOMSON RESERVOIR, NEAR CARLTON, Minn. — Hansi Johnson would love to be cross-country skiing. But conditions in the Duluth area this winter have conspired to make skiing a tough go. So Johnson and several of his friends have found another alternative.
Winter bicycling.
One Wednesday morning, Johnson and his cycling friend Todd McFadden rode their specially designed winter bikes across the frozen surface of Thomson Reservoir near Johnson’s home.
“If you get your head around the idea that ice is ridable, you can go a lot of places,” said Johnson, 41, who is Midwest regional director for the International Mountain Biking Association.
Granted, winter biking is a specialized pursuit, best done on mountain bikes with exceptionally fat tires that provide excellent flotation on snow or snow-covered ice. The riders wear insulated biking shoes and split mittens called “lobster claws” to keep their hands warm.
But they’re riding. And they’re happy.

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