Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sometimes dismounts just happen

Six days ago, we got our first "for reals" snow of the year, followed by days of thoroughly iced, utterly scary roads.

I was not hardcore enough to bike these roads. I saw other people biking these roads and I celebrated them in passing, thumbs-upping if we caught each others eyes.

Four days later I decided to try out the roads. I mounted up, made it two blocks, turned around, went right back home, and put my bike away. Still not hardcore enough.

Funnily enough, an Internet Cohort of mine successfully completed a ride that same morning, but he did declare it to be scary in the "holy crap" levels.

click through

So this morning I decided to try out the roads again.

And here, in an unsorted list, are some reasons that it was still too soon to brave the roads!

  • I fell off my bike!

    It happened really fast. The road looked clear, but apparently there was a well placed patch of ice that kicked my bike right out from under me. I was instantly put down, gently, on my side on the road, and I think I even continued to pedal air for a second before I realized I was no longer upright, much less no longer on my bike, which lay about a foot to my left.

  • A truck slid towards me on the ice!

    The truck approaching from my right was going slowly and only slid probably six inches, and successfully stopped at its stop sign as I continued through the intersection. Still, I think that's one of the most nerve-wracking things you can see while on a bike.

  • The bike lanes were full of slush and unrideable!

    This was the first time I noticed how badly the city bus tears up the bike lane! At nearly every bus stop, a wide pile of slush and ice had been smeared and frozen across the lane where the bus had pulled back out into traffic.

    I eventually settled into a pattern of riding mostly in the traffic lane, and periodically sliding over into the odd patch of clear bike lane to let traffic pass.

Over all, the ride was manageable. I'll probably keep doing it and am glad I'll be able to get some riding in until the next time it snows and freezes. After two or three days in a row, I just get to feeling uncomfortable being boxed into having to use the car.

1 comment:

Mike said...

This morning was the best conditions so far this week. Monday I was cursing myself for being out on my bike, yesterday my face was freezing off, but today things were actually semi-decent. I've learned this week that normal routes are off-limits for a week after a big storm, and that I need a Pugsley.