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Old 12-14-08, 09:31 AM   #1
Bekologist
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Studs in Seattle

Freezing spells don't often hit the Puget Sound Lowlands.

Looking out from the front porch, the roads don't look as bad of riding conditions as last January's storm that actually sheeted the city streets with white ice. The main roads should be ice free and city crews were spreading deicer yesterday. I grew up in Upper Michigan so riding snow is no big deal, but it is significant when it happens in the Northwest.

Sometimes the snow and ice persists, this cold snap looks like a major one for the Northwest and any precip will be freezing at the surface for the next week.The cold is going to persist thru the next predicted major front, bringing more snow and freezing rain to the area.



I put the Hakkapeliittas on the CrossCheck and will be heading out in an hour for the morning commute.
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Old 12-14-08, 12:38 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're getting the same cold snap as us, only it's -30c here. I'm also from the east, I've never experienced this kind of cold before (I still prefer slicks in this though). Best of luck staying upright.
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Old 12-14-08, 05:27 PM   #3
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The Tuesday-night mountain bike ride is going to be interesting this week. I went to REI and bought some of the chemical warming packs, since my feet tend to get cold at +15F even with heavy booties over plastic bags over Specialized Defrosters, run really loose with thick wool socks. -8F is going to be new territory for me.

Over in your area, Beckologist, what would make me nervous is the number of motorists who aren't experienced at driving on ice & snow. Can you say "loose cannons"
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Old 12-14-08, 08:20 PM   #4
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Mechbgon, we'll see how they handle it later in the week... .main roads should be dry-ish until wendesday.

The streets were solidly icy this morning, solid patches of black ice and sharp white ice too.

this evening the main avenues had just spotty patches of ice, mostly dry main tire tracks while still frozen solid on the sides. The side streets still had lots of solid sheets, very snowy and icy.

Should be so//so for the next few days if bicyclists stick to the main streets. Ourside of town I'm sure it's still treacherous. Next storm will be a doozy, same if there's any precip/ frost fog in the next week or two.

This is rare for the Puget Sound lowlands. Deep freeze for the next ??? well, it's snowing again.


Here's a couple of photos from this mornings' commute and a photo of a guy's recumbent with a studded tire at the shop today.
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Old 12-18-08, 05:06 PM   #5
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Seattle did it again! after 3 days of mostly dry main roads, the streets are solid sheets of ice and packed snow except for the main arterials, which are greasy slop soon to freeze solid tonight and for the next couple of days.

The Puget Sound region becomes paralyzed in snow like this, shutting down streets, cars in a standstill causing parking lots on the interstates, buses sliding into barriers, DOT closing highways and bridges.

here's a afternoon picture on a run for groceries. the street there was two inches of solid, wet ice underneath packed snow. no big deal for all regular snow riders but here it's rare.
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Old 12-18-08, 08:43 PM   #6
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Over here, we have a new record: 17 edit: make that 19.4 inches of snow in a 24-hour period. And it didn't stop for about another 16 hours after that. The city is reeling. Even the city busses stopped running for a while (we now have 4 routes running again).

All the snow you see in the picture below is from one storm. Another one is supposed to come through on Sunday.


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Old 12-20-08, 11:04 PM   #7
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It's saturday night, and seattle's weather is the worst in 30 years. un-freakin' believable.

and the guys at the bike shop scoffed when I mounted up the studded tires last week- they're not laughing now!
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Old 12-21-08, 04:51 AM   #8
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Took my old cross tires and set them with pop rivets put through from the inside, seems to work well!
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Old 12-21-08, 07:06 PM   #9
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I've been taking the kids out on the toboggan:



Went for a ride this afternoon just solo, and my pedals basically gave out on me, too gummed up w/ ice/snow/slush to keep my feet on over any kind of incline.
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Old 12-23-08, 12:29 AM   #10
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it is still unbelievable out there - here's a pic from this morning of state highway 99!

the city has such limited snow clearing resources and doesn't believe in salt or sand, this is boilerplate white ice on a road that sees over 120,000 vehicles a day!

and this evening, the slight daytime warming only added a sheen of glaze ice atop the white ice, on the way home i saw two stuck buses abandoned at the side of the road and a semi trailer rig jacknifed on a main street.

i must be forgetting my youth in snow country, but I don't seem to remember the HIGHWAYS looking like this days after a storm....

tomorrow morning, black and white ice again as it's freezing solid once again.

so rare for Seattle!
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Old 12-23-08, 12:42 AM   #11
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The number of fender-benders must be astronomical over there right now!

We have four-foot-high berms of snow running down the middles of downtown streets. They're using front-end loaders to put it into dump trucks and hauling it off. More snow is expected Wednesday and Thursday!

I shot some video of my Friday commute: direct route to work, long route home. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfG1kjwVgi4 Tonight's commute was worse, the highway didn't get plowed out as far to the edge. But I survived.
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Old 12-23-08, 05:28 PM   #12
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I'm trying to figure the traffic implications of this; keep traffic sliding as long as they've got a place to park?

Quote:
The city agreed with the Olympia Downtown Association not to plow those streets out of fear parking stalls would be blocked, she said.
http://www.theolympian.com/672/v-pri...ry/706989.html
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Old 12-23-08, 06:04 PM   #13
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I'm trying to figure the traffic implications of this; keep traffic sliding as long as they've got a place to park?

http://www.theolympian.com/672/v-pri...ry/706989.html
Yeah, that's not making much sense...though I suppose the decision has its merits in a city where few drivers carry shovels or even scrapers. (i.e. what would you do if you were plowed into your spot?)

We didn't get any storms here in Cincinnati, but I've always been of the opinion that 3 inches of snow here is about on par with (i.e. has the same effect as) 12 inches of snow in upstate NY (where I used to live) - the same comparison is probably valid between Seattle and wherever mechbgon lives.
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Old 12-23-08, 08:42 PM   #14
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Seattle did it again! after 3 days of mostly dry main roads, the streets are solid sheets of ice and packed snow except for the main arterials, which are greasy slop soon to freeze solid tonight and for the next couple of days.

The Puget Sound region becomes paralyzed in snow like this, shutting down streets, cars in a standstill causing parking lots on the interstates, buses sliding into barriers, DOT closing highways and bridges.

here's a afternoon picture on a run for groceries. the street there was two inches of solid, wet ice underneath packed snow. no big deal for all regular snow riders but here it's rare.
Do those fenders flap in the wind? They look pretty serious.
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Old 12-23-08, 11:56 PM   #15
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no, the flaps don't flap, they are pretty stiff cowhide.

-and today, to say i did it in seattle, I skied to work! i chose skis over the bike today, the roads were getting a bit loose and sloppy and on 700c versus bigger 26" tires, wasn't getting good float over the slop, too much front wheel dive.

well, it has been great, it all reminds me of my youth in the UP, biking in the snow, skiing across town.

Seattle has more frozen precip forecast for tonight. and it's been told in todays Seattle Times, the city has an interesting plowing strategy, they don't SCRAPE the roads with metal edged plows, they PACK the snow down with rubber bladed plows, then don't use salt and very little sand.... better for the roads, better for puget sound but hell on transportation. smoothing down the ice rink with a Zamboni is what the results resemble!
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Old 12-24-08, 02:43 PM   #16
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The other day I passed a skier on my pug and got quite a ways ahead of her but then stopped to de-ice my pedals and shoes and it took long enough that she caught up to me and passed me. I could still walk/run faster than she was choosing to ski so I passed her again and never saw her after that but still I think there's a reason you hear more about Nordic skiing than Nordic biking.

Meantime, my rear-shifter/brake lever snapped in this collapse so the pug is on hold for a bit:



I could rewire the rear controls to the front lever, make the bike a 3-speed, but right now I'm just hanging out indoors.
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Old 12-24-08, 05:03 PM   #17
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Ouch!! Hope you can get things fixed up quickly....

Well, I now can explain to my better half why the bikes have to be in the living room!
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Old 12-24-08, 06:22 PM   #18
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The bikes I dug out spent the day in the kitchen, they smelled like wet dog I imagined. I did take the kids for one more toboggan spin on the 1-speed pug but a lower gear would have been nice for the hill I dragged them up. My wife's breezer seems to be toast, frame- and fork-wise anyway. Her schwinn is still buried out there along w/ our daughter's trailer.
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Old 12-24-08, 07:05 PM   #19
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That's a lot of damage - sorry you experienced this. Must have been quite a load of snow to do that. We're just getting rain, after quite a bit of snow, so roof cleaning is in order...
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Old 12-24-08, 07:08 PM   #20
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Yikes! I've taken the snow load off our rear deck twice in the past week, you just reminded me to go do it again. Hope your losses are limited (and/or insured!).
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Old 12-24-08, 07:17 PM   #21
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jeez, Hardy! hope that's the end of the damage! yijkes!

The roads just plain sucked today, whichever your choice of locomotion. gawd awful slop and 6 inch ruts and tonight, wet and 6 inches of standing water in parts, hemmed in by ice drifts and snowbanks between the lanes.
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Old 12-25-08, 01:01 AM   #22
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The bikes I dug out spent the day in the kitchen, they smelled like wet dog I imagined. I did take the kids for one more toboggan spin on the 1-speed pug but a lower gear would have been nice for the hill I dragged them up. My wife's breezer seems to be toast, frame- and fork-wise anyway. Her schwinn is still buried out there along w/ our daughter's trailer.
Man, that's a shame. I feel bad for you. It's strange--no matter how much snow we get here in northern Michigan, that kind of stuff never happens. We must have different building standards or something.
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Old 12-26-08, 10:17 AM   #23
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With about 26 inches of snow on the roof and more, wetter, heavier snow and rain in the forecast, I decided I'd better shovel the roof. It took about 6 hours, not counting dealing with the fallout below afterwards. Wow, am I sore In our front yard, I could step right off the roof onto the pile of snow.
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Old 12-26-08, 12:46 PM   #24
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We must have different building standards or something.

I was going to say nah it's just that our garage was 80-90 yrs old and its time had come but then the 30 yr old high school fell in yesterday:

http://www.theolympian.com/topstories/story/708862.html
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Old 12-27-08, 12:53 AM   #25
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I was going to say nah it's just that our garage was 80-90 yrs old and its time had come but then the 30 yr old high school fell in yesterday:

http://www.theolympian.com/topstories/story/708862.html
It's probably the most snow that's fallen in your area in 80-90 years, or certainly in 30 years. I think our buildings are constructed to take more weight, although people here do shovel their roofs sometimes, like mech was doing. I have acrophobia, so you won't even get me up there on a nice summer day! We also have sheet metal on the edges of the roof to stop the ice from damming up into the attic.

Tonight we're having a bit of a thaw. I keep hearing big boom sounds from the snow sliding off the roofs and hitting the ground.
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