|What 5.4" of fresh snow looks like after yours truly had to push through it.|
Bookend commuting this week. I rode Monday and Friday only. Monday's ride home was one of the toughest if not the all time most difficult ride home ever for me. Pretty sure I hit the Angina Zone a few times. It was 11*F but it felt like 30*F because my body was producing a lot of heat. So Tuesday I drove to give the city a chance to clean up the trails. And Wednesday, too. Thursday the Weather Guessers said we were due for another 8" of snow sometime Thursday night through Saturday so once again I drove so Mary and I could raid a few grocery stores like Viking pillagers and be able to bunker down until Monday. What a shame because Thursday would have been a great day to ride to and fro work.
Friday I rode and had a great ride to work for a winter day. 19*F with a favorable cross wind to work. A bit of an interfering wind on the way home but I was going to meet friends at a local watering hole and took a great photo.
Back to the morning ride. Just a minor dusting of snow overnight. The trail was damn near perfect for what happened on Monday. I had my clothing dialed in just right. I was making good speed and very happy to be riding again. It was Friday and I was going to have a great day!
Just a jet or so over 3.5 miles from my home lies the pedestrian bridge over the Raccoon River in Water Works Park. As I approached the 90 degree right turn to cross said bridge, my lights illuminated another cyclist at the kybo. When you gotta go you gotta go I thought. We exchanged greetings and then he said "I think this was a bad idea." That was his assessment of his situation. I knew he was talking about riding his bicycle at what must have been 445 am on a trail still partially snow and ice covered and streets in worse shape. It was a mere 19*F and if he was heading east or north into the wind, well, life had to suck. "Tires, man, all about the tires," I said as I climbed to the top of the bridge.
In retrospect I should have stopped and asked if he needed help. But then again he did not ask for help. Not much I could have done for him. I could have given him some cash or made a phone call for him. I'm bare bones, riding clean. Not even bothering to put the panniers on this bike. Zero tools. No food. My water bottle probably was not frozen at that moment. No extra clothing. Time, I had none to spare. Had to get to work on time and before I started getting cold.
A half a mile later I encountered Joe Ayers on a cross bike instead of a roadie. There's snow and ice on the trail and Joe rides the appropriate bicycle. We say hello. I have not seen him all week so I actually said "Joe I presume!" "Hi Chris!" If something was amiss on the trail he would have said something. After passing I thought that Joe could help the Bad Idea Man since Joe is retired and only riding for the sake of riding.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. Once on University Ave I had to race to intersection to intersection to get off that road in case the snow plow was on my ass. There were two plows working that road, blades down but not much snow to push. They needed to drop a bit of salt and sand IMHO. But The Red Phoenix climbed that hill quite well and then picked up speed once past the peak.
The last bit of the commute has me getting on the sidewalk/sidepath at 50th on the corner of the Sheraton Hotel. There I saw my bad idea from Monday's ride home. Perfectly preserved for all to see and a reminder of my failure/struggle/hubris/sin. My tracks left from walking the bicycle when the sidepath was utterly useless. They were several feet away from the path. That's how far I had to get away from the shit the plow deposited on the trail. I stopped for a few photos. Amazingly straight for that death march. A reminder that I should have gone straight to the trail and dealt with the 4 mph condition instead trying to cheat.
|Great idea! Needed this photo for FB's Bicycle Ride&Seek. Fruit!|