Commuting - this weekend, blizzard will win
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02-23-07, 11:45 AM
So far this winter I've been off my bike three days because of extremely cold temperatures. Never because of snowfall. This weekend, however, the weather folks are anticipating blizzard conditions, with 30 to 40mph winds and 11 or more inches of snow. It's hard for me to imagine what that's going to be like, because we've been spoiled this week by unseasonably warm temperatures (much of the old snow is gone). It feels so much like spring is around the corner.
I have a commute I need to do tomorrow evening, and that's when they predict the snow will start. But it will be windy all day. Even if I choose the studded tires tomorrow, they won't help me at all with the blowing drifts that are sure to accumulate by the time I return home. Not to mention my ride into town will require the extra effort that the studded tires demand. So I can't win. If I get stranded on my return home, there's no telling if the bus system will be running on time. And then they'll find me the next morning looking like Jack Nicholson at the end of "The Shining".
02-23-07, 08:27 PM
Well, I got caught off guard. It wasn't supposed to snow until much later tonight (like around midnight). But when I rode home tonight, there was already a good three inches on the ground. I had the f/g with the 700x23 tires today. Most of my ride was fine along the MUP, through fresh snow, never a worry, until I had to negotiate some hills and felt the rear tire slip while pedaling out of the saddle.
I stopped at a friend's house first for dinner, and the other guests who were driving called and said they weren't going to make it because of the snow. Fine, more food for the rest of us. By the time I got back on my bike to go home, the snow had created an adventure for me. Riding was perfect if I was pedaling through virgin powder, but every now and then I'd hit a car tire rut, and then all bets were off. But I learned a lot tonight through being forced to ride through this stuff. The most alarming of which was I didn't feel any less stable on my f/g with skinny slicks than on my hybrid with the studded Nokians.
Tomorrow will be a different story altogether.
Have you thought about putting studs on the f/g? Just think of the possibilities! :D
Seriously, though -- if riding feels unsafe, there's no (ok... maybe a little ;)) shame in calling in sick.
02-24-07, 08:02 AM
I took the pugsley home because it was supposed to snow last night. there's about 1/16" on the ground. now I just get to work a lot harder.
02-24-07, 08:19 AM
Shovelled out my driveway this morning. About 8 inches of snow had fallen. Then decided to take the studded hybrid out for a spin on the unplowed roads. Got all of twenty feet before I realized the ruts weren't packed down enough for me to get any traction. Round two is tonight, and a blizzard warning has been issued. Last night it was merely a snowstorm warning. I don't even remember the last time a blizzard warning was issued around here.
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