This year I am set up to ride through the worst the winter has to offer, as far as the weather is concerned. Yesterday, I encountered a new man-made foe. Snowplow trucks.
I have two options for my commute: 1) A 40mph road with a shoulder wide enough to be a second lane. 2) Slower, hillier residential roads with no shoulder.
On the 40mph road, the town snowplow trucks work in pairs, clearing the travel lane and the shoulder at about 30mph. As this road has long stretches between intersections and side roads, there is no escape from the plows other than riding off the shoulder and down an embankment. This would lead to a crash getting buried in snow.
On the residential streets, I figure I can duck into driveways when I hear a plow coming. On these streets, I will have to take the lane for my entire commute. Even after plowing, there is not enough room for a car and bike to share the lane. I'm OK with taking the lane under normal conditions, but wonder about the safety of doing so while it is actively snowing on winding roads that don't always offer long lines of sight. Will motorists even consider that a biker might be on the road?
So, my question: For those of you who commute over similar roads, how do you deal with motor traffic, especially snowplow trucks?