Winter Cycling - All this snow; now the rack is covered
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01-13-11, 06:15 PM
(Not sure if I should of posted this in the commuting section, or here.)
We were hit with a huge snow storm yesterday that dumped anywhere from 15-22" depending where you live. It's definitely the most snow I've ever seen during one storm. I made a trip to my college campus to take care of some scheduling issues today. I drove my car because I was short on time. While on campus, I looked to where the bike rack is and it's pretty buried. It's not completely covered, but over 50% of it is, and there's a huge snow pile right by it.
Classes start Jan 24th, and I plan to be a full-time bike commuter. I might be able to lock it to the rack, but to do so, I would have to walk through about foot deep snow to get to it. Sadly there's little to no bike commuters now as I was the only one toward the end of the Fall semester.
I know a lot can change in a little over a week in regards to how much snow is on the ground. The storm coming this weekend has a chance of being rain and could melt it all. On the other hand, it could be snow and just add to what's already there.
What should I do about the condition of the bike rack? What options do I have?
Grab a shovel and dig in. I know it's not fair but if you wish to use it something must be done. Perhaps someone will see you and either pitch in or know who to call to get it taken care of. Either way it will be accessible.
01-13-11, 08:10 PM
What about politely asking campus services/maintenance if they could clear it, or if there's another rack somewhere they do keep clear?
Ask a maintenance worker about clearing it. Are there other bikes on the rack? My school put up a covered rack and do pretty well about not piling snow in that area. Unfortunately it doesn't matter much since 11 of the 22 racks have bikes locked up that haven't moved all semester.
How long will you be leaving your bike on campus? We have bikes locked up around trees, benches, gates, and whatever else that can be used. At the end of the semester they are supposed to be removed. Right now we have a wheel locked to a tree (with no bike) and a bike locked to a pole (missing one wheel).
01-15-11, 10:29 AM
Thanks a lot everyone. The Friday before classes start, I'll go there with a shovel and clear it myself. After that, I'll ask the maintenance worker about clearing it next time there is a snow storm. As far as I know, there's only one bike rack on campus.
...Are there other bikes on the rack?...How long will you be leaving your bike on campus? We have bikes locked up around trees, benches, gates, and whatever else that can be used. At the end of the semester they are supposed to be removed. Right now we have a wheel locked to a tree (with no bike) and a bike locked to a pole (missing one wheel).
The bike rack is free of bikes right now. I have mine locked up there during my classes for a max of up to 6 hrs. I'll probably be the only one there, at least till it warms up and all the fair weather commuters show back up.
I do know there was one bike buried in snow attached to the railing right by the library when I went there the other day.
01-15-11, 11:42 AM
You are off the radar of whoever is doing the plowing that mounded snow up around the bike rack. They won't likely notice that you have shoveled a path when they are back at it following the next snowfall. The rack is probably in the place where it is most convenient to push the snow.
I am concerned about them plowing the next snowfall over the top of your bike since they may assume that it was abandoned there for the winter. Both of those things (bikes abandoned and plowing over the top of them) happen at my school. If you can't speak with the person who does the plowing, speak with the supervisor of facilities management, buildings and grounds, or the similarly named department you have on campus. I would tell them about your customary rack being burried by the recent snow, and ask: Is this the only bike rack on campus? If it is, ask: Where would you suggest securing my bike this time of year? Many students have no access to a car, so even though you haven't seen many others, over their career, they know other students will or have ridden bikes through the Winter and need a place to put them where they won't be stolen or damaged. Good luck.
Remember if you do dig a path other bikes are free to park there as well. Your best bet is talk to the grounds supervisor. You don't want to assume no one will use the path you plow for your bike.
If that doesn't work talk to your schools newspaper about your efforts to "go green" or "reduce your carbon footprint" or whatever else you think will get an article printed. College students will get behind a cause just because. The last thing the administration wants is bad publicity and sentiments of not caring about its students.
01-15-11, 08:58 PM
I bike to a hospital complex and guilt the administrators into encouraging staff to keep the racks clean. The administrator had the rack moved under an overhang to prevent snow building up. "How am I suppose to stay physically fit, if I can't have a safe place to put my bike?", I said, indignantly!!!:cry:
You are a lot nicer than I. For what you are paying for tuition, I think you should be able to find somebody to listen to your concerns. Considering you are riding to a college campus which is normally one of the most liberal places in America, you should be able to make enough noise to get some action. If you were riding to a Tea Party rally you might have different luck.
01-16-11, 06:19 PM
There is normally a student association which has the sole purpose of making life easier for students. I believe they are the ones that also put out the daily school newspapers. I would talk to them.
01-24-11, 01:15 AM
Be a mensch and dig the rack out. It'll take you a couple hours and you'll get to feel a little smug, which is not to be sneezed at.
My problem is thatI keep my bike outside my apartment, locked to a streetsign pole. I dug out a little parking area for it, about 3' deep front to back, maybe 7' wide and about 4' tall (deep? thick?). And the tchotchbag who powerbrushes the parking lot for the building next door uses my parking area as a spot for him to shove his first pass into. I think next snowfall i'm going to be standing in my parking spot holding an axe and a baseball bat, he's filled up my little part of the world 4 times now and I'm getting tired of it.
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