Friday, December 22, 2006

Just under the wire, snow

snowy bicycle commute
Minneapolis/St Paul finally got some snow that has a chance of staying through Christmas. If we're lucky. I can still see patchy grass in the backyard as I sit here in the living room and type. A good sunny afternoon could wipe away this slightly-white with no effort at all. It's one where I'm not even sure it's worth putting shovel to pavement. Of course, my sloth could also backfire if temps drop. I'd be stuck with a driveway full of ice until March. Still, at this point I'm willing to take my chances. Maybe the afternoon will see me in a different mindset.

The photo above was taken on the new section of the Minneapolis Greenway on last night's commute home. There was maybe an inch of snow, and that's being generous. The bike lanes were in horrendous shape, at least for someone who hasn't ridden in snow in 9 months. But the bike lane on 10th St had those irregular patches of slippery hardpack, and Portland was a slushy mess. After only a couple blocks I opted to leave Portland and side-street it over to Franklin. Franklin doesn't have a bike lane, but traffic was moving so slowly that I felt infinitely safer. Even on the good days Portland puts a little fear into me. That's the street where people are trying to go as fast as vehicularly possible to get to the next red light. Franklin, at least between 11th and Minnehaha Ave always has more of a laid back vibe, which I appreciated.

Once I made it to the Greenway it was smooth, if slow, sailing. This is the first time I've had the Raleigh out this year with the studded tires. I was amazed in the morning how much slower they feel than the 100psi cross tires that I've moved from the Raleigh to the Schwinn. And on the way home that feeling of slowness was compounded into downright sluggishness going through the snow. But I was glad to have the surefootedness. I only had one potential crappie flop, going down the hill on West River Road near Lake Street. I'm not sure what happened, but I nearly biffed it. But I recovered nicely and rode the rest of the way home without incident.

The commute felt good, but it left me overtired and cranky for the rest of the evening. The stinky Vikings didn't help matters any. But, I'm off work until January 3 so a lazy day is in order. Woo.

Date: December 21
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Raleigh
December mileage: 155
Year to date mileage: 3146


Tex69 said...

Pete, do you ride less or more when you're off from work? I find I ride less even with more personal time. No commute to get me out the door.

Pete said...

I absolutely ride less when I'm not working. Though I don't feel that I have more personal time. When I'm not working about 90% of my time is spent with the kids.