Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Commute WIth A Little Ice On The Side

I commuted to work on Monday, and when I left my office to head home, there were little white flakes coming down! Those of you up in the mountains or in the mid-west are probably rolling your eyes, but we don't get that much snow here, maybe a few inches a year. I've got all the layers I need to stay warm, and my slick 23's are fine in light snow. I love riding when it's snowing, until the roads turn icy that is. Since it slows down traffic, it usually means smooth sailing for cyclists.

But by the time I got rolling (after maybe 10 minutes of puttting on layers, gloves, setting up lights, etc) the pretty snow had turned to ugly freezing rain. I didn't have proper booties or QFC bags, so you can bet my feet were wet & frozen! Even the wool socks weren't really doing anything for me at that point. But I pushed on, thinking of how the current pain would somehow make me a stronger cyclist at some point in the future. If nothing else, it (suffering in the cold rain) builds mental character. Right?!

I still pedaled the 8 km or so from NE 40th St. & 148th Ave to Evergreen Pt. When I got on the bus to go across 520, my glasses were foggy as hell, but it didn't really matter. The 545 was crowded as usual, so I was just standing in the front anyway, no need to really see. I could see just enough to make out my Bianchi bouncing around on the bike rack the buses have - those things are scary to watch! You realize how little is actually holding your bike on the rack.

Today I rode back into work, and all of the roads were bare, with maybe some black ice on the shoulder, but not in my way. White snow covered the grass on the side of the roads, which added a nice touch to the ride. On the way back it was cold, maybe 36 degrees F, but once I got warmed up I felt great, and took the long way home: via I-90. I didn't see any ice or snow in Bellevue, and luckily there wasn't any ice on the I-90 trail, that had long melted away.

All in all they were pretty standard commutes, luckily no highlights like a crash caused by ice! If this snow keeps up, I'm gonna go down to the LBS and just buy a $50 used mountain bike, some some studded tires, and shred it up! So bring on the nasty weather!

My Overall Ride Stats:
Today's Distance: 40 km
Total Distance this year: 376 km

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