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  1. #1
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    Snow--what is it?

    Not only do I commute by bicycle, which draws all sorts of awestruck attention from normal people, but I do it all year round, which draws attention from "seasonal" cyclists.

    But when I read about Minnesota, Wisconsin, Canada, Maine, Ohio, etc., cyclists riding in the snow, I have to ask:

    What is "snow?"

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  2. #2
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    It's cold, it's wet, and people fear it south of the Mason-Dixon line.
    It's usually white, but can be black or gray if it's near heavy car traffic. If it's yellow, don't go there. Someone else already has.
    It's a chancy job. It makes a man watchful ...
    and a little lonely.

  3. #3
    s9s
    s9s is offline
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    Ah Snow,

    Due to enviromental change, here in London it has not snowed (when i mean snowed, i mean snowball fights, snowmen, day off work , and ppl wrapped up looking like the Michalin man) for about 10 years! We had some last winter, couple of inches, but not the good ole knee height, days gone by? Hope not.
    Destroy all cars except Saabs!

  4. #4
    bici accumulatori pinerider's Avatar
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    Personally, I think people in general have skewed memories when it comes to past snow storms . I think people tend to remember each one and thnk there was a lot of them. No matter where you live, the rainy drizzly non snowy days don't register in the memory as being significant.
    The other skewed memory is depth of snow .When remebering childhood snowfalls, people remember snow "up to the knees", but forget that ther knees were a lot closer to the ground back then.
    ...!

  5. #5
    Member OldDog's Avatar
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    Speaking as someone who grew up in northern Wisconsin - I'll admint that snow up to my knees may not have been more than 6 inches or so when I was a little kid - but it was significant due to the fact that I was slogging through it...

    IN MY FREAKING HALLOWEEN COSTUME.

    By the end of the winter, the standing snow depth was usually about 3 feet.

    Later when I got to college in Madison, my Univega hybrid was my year-round transport, and so long as it was just snow or slush, riding was fine, if a bit messy at times (I added the fred fenders midway through the first winter - that helped a lot). The only really bad time was in late February through March - where there'd be a partial melt during the day, and then by the time I left the library at night it would have refrozen - either as slick ice which was bad, or as rock hard ruts in the now frozen slush, which was worse.

  6. #6
    Grounded Inkwolf's Avatar
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    Snow up to your KNEES? Wuss!

    The snow I remember from childhood was piled up over my head by the snowplow....we dug tunnels and caves in it. The driveway had to be shovelled several times a year, not just to keep it clean, but because the snow was too deep to actually drive through without getting stuck. This wasn't wussy pushing-the-snow-off-to-the-side with an aluminum snow shovel--those BROKE under the scoops of snow we had to pick up.

    It's still like that sometimes...the last 5 years or so have been mild, though. Last year I could actually walk my dog through the woods in January, and the year before, it was so warm in December that I was actually considering camping...we tell kids stories about the snow we had when we were kids, and they don't believe us!

  7. #7
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    I drive to snow. Enjoy it. Then drive back home. All within a day. That's the kind of snow I like. The kind that you choose to see.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by s9s
    ...Due to enviromental change, here in London it has not snowed ... for about 10 years!...
    Looks like London's snowfall has jumped all over the place beginning way back: http://www.napier.demon.co.uk/weather/bonacina.html

  9. #9
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Inkwolf
    Snow up to your KNEES? Wuss!

    ...The driveway had to be shovelled several times a year, not just to keep it clean, but because the snow was too deep to actually drive through without getting stuck...
    Hehe. "Several times a year" is WUSS. A couple of times a day is SNOW.

    (I realize this is getting a bit Monty Pythonesque... reminds me of the Four Yorkshiremen -joke).

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  10. #10
    bici accumulatori pinerider's Avatar
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    There's no snow like "Lake Effect" snow that we get around the Great Lakes. A cold wind + warm open water = Lake Effect snow on the lee side of the Great Lake. With a strong east wind, Hamilton can get a foot (300mm) of snow in a day. Buffalo, between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario usually gets snow no matter which way the wind blows - They got 6' in a week last December!!
    This lake effect snow is very concentrated and it can be snowing like crazy were you are and a few miles away the sun is shining!
    The question is... is Lake Effect snow a snow storm?
    ...!

  11. #11
    Member OldDog's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Inkwolf
    Snow up to your KNEES? Wuss!
    As I recall, it was usually deeper than that by Thanksgiving - but I still think having to trick or treat in the snow was a drag. Limits your costume choices - I'm sure that South Park costumes would have been very popular had that show been around when I was a kid

    Originally posted by Inkwolf
    The snow I remember from childhood was piled up over my head by the snowplow....we dug tunnels and caves in it. The driveway had to be shovelled several times a year, not just to keep it clean, but because the snow was too deep to actually drive through without getting stuck. This wasn't wussy pushing-the-snow-off-to-the-side with an aluminum snow shovel--those BROKE under the scoops of snow we had to pick up.

    It's still like that sometimes...the last 5 years or so have been mild, though. Last year I could actually walk my dog through the woods in January, and the year before, it was so warm in December that I was actually considering camping...we tell kids stories about the snow we had when we were kids, and they don't believe us!
    Oh man - I remember winters like that. Snowball fights with the kids across the street, each team hiding behind its 5 foot high wall of snow that had been pushed up by the plow. I used to hate having to go out and mine through the barrier the snow plow would throw up at the end of the driveway so mom and dad could get the cars out.

    Snow in Denver is wierd - if you don't want to have to ride in snow, you usually just have to wait about 3 days: We'll get a 12" dump in a storm one day, and 3 days later it'll be 60 F and all the snow will be gone. In a way its nice, but it does make advance planning of your winter outdoor activities a touch and go affair. Another 2500 - 3000 feet up the hill and you can pretty much count on snow all winter, but not down here.

  12. #12
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    Originally posted by pinerider
    There's no snow like "Lake Effect" snow that we get around the Great Lakes... ...The question is, is Lake Effect snow a snow storm?
    Yes! We get hit by lake effect snow off the great salt lake every year. I love lake effect snow. It really is amazing how it works. I remember waking up to over a foot of snow one morning, but when i got to work just 5 miles away, they didn't have a trace of snow.

  13. #13
    Mad For Marinoni !!! Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    It's what has been falling on my lawn for the last 5 days!

    Wow, it sure decided to come early this year. I am already on the rollers for the winter, although I am still commuting to work on by mountain bike through the snow until it gets to deep.
    One does not cease to play because one grows old.
    One grows old because one ceases to play.

  14. #14
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    Snow to your knees. Thats nothing. Two winters ago we had so much snow here (Newfoundland Canada) that I have pictures of me and my brother sitting on the ROOF of our house with our feet touching the snow that had piled up. Even last winter we had enough snow that we broke our snowblower at least twice. Many times we get storms that I can't drive the 4x4 around so you can pretty much forget the bike.

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