Thursday, February 4, 2010

Snow Commute

Spent 3 days on the metro this week, on the account of the weather looking like this. I probably couldn't made it to work via bicycle, but didn't attempt as I was afraid of all the crazy drivers on the road portion of my ride.

The roads were cleared pretty quickly, and had I waited a few minutes (after this area was cleared) I could've made it to work using an all-road route. This morning I was determined to ride...temps reached 40 on yesterday, so I thought we'd have some melting. We did, but it was 29 when I headed out to work, and there were several patches of trail that looked like this picture:
For the most part, the ride in was fun. All the slush was frozen, and I had to just keep the bike moving in a straight line to keep it upright. Occasionally I rode off into the snow covered grass when I couldn't get a good line on the path. Sometimes the frozen slush was just too chunky to ride over safely.

I was doing well until I went over a bridge. On the backside, there was a good amount of ice chunks and snow on a hill. Nearer the bottom of the hill, there was some black ice. I knew that I just needed to keep the bike straight, no sudden turns or brakes and I'd safely cross the black ice. As I start down the hill, a dude rides up. I thought he'd have the good sense to yield right of way to the guy descending, which he did. Problem was, he decided to stop and wait at the edge of the black ice...bad move, as it was unavoidable for me to hit the ice, and at that point, I'm at the mercy of my wheels. Sure enough, I slam into the dude, fall over on my hip. I yell at the guy about his bad choice of waiting positions, and luckily got up and rode off without a bruise or broken bone.

Ride home was much better, as it was mainly slush. Tomorrow's Snowmageddon, with 18-24" forecasted. Luckily no work for me. Unlucky for me is that I'll be forced back on to the metro next week, unless the all-road route is cleared. The local governments have spent a lot of money on removal this year...hopefully they still have a little money. I wish I had a 4-wheeler and a plow, so I could clear the bike path.

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