|Water Works Bridge over the Raccoon River|
February 8, 2017, Des Moines, Iowa. The Weather Announcers had been touting it for half a week. 1 to 3" of snow Tuesday night into Wednesday. before going to bed I checked the radar and saw that the system was still in Nebraska. Hoping that it would miss I went to bed. But before I closed my eyes for the day I brought the Red Phoenix inside. The front tire needed air and the chain needed oil. I did not bother transferring bags to this bike. I raided the grocery store and had about 3 meals planned out. I also had ferried a few days of work clothing to my place of employment and would not need to bring any more this week. Panniers were not essential. If the forecast was right I could take a road bike to work on Monday. I was prepared for the snow.
It came as a shock when I let my dog out at 4 am. Yep, a few inches of fresh snow. A dry snow and it was still falling. The backyard looked nice. A rabbit visited at some point and left tracks. Time to finish dressing. Under Armor, three layers of socks, black pants and sweat pants on top of those for extra insulation, two warmth layers for the torso, thick face mask and hat and the Performance Gore-Tex gloves. Insulated and waterproof boots for my feet. It was cold. 17 F if I recall correctly. Head wind of 10 mph. Time to roll.
If you read my last post you would know that I am not at 100% health. Namely, my left leg is sore from compensating for a gout attack on my ankle and big toe. Yet I noticed that the first pedal stroke did not have me wanting to scream until the leg warmed up. I must be getting better.
Our street had yet to be plowed. I stayed to the right and left fresh tracks. SE 1st was plowed and I increased speed. The trail starting at Mullets was not plowed and I got the honor of soiling virgin snow. With the exception of deer, rabbit and fox tracks the trail was pristine. By SW 30th a jogger/runner had left their prints all the way to Water Works Bridge over the Raccoon River. Then the trail was mine again.
|The bridge over Walnut Creek, Clive Greenbelt. Of note is how much the trail had been used after the snowfall.|
Although it was beautiful and I had no traction issues, the snow slowed me down quite a bit. No sense in worrying about it. Keep on riding. 7.5 miles of trail gives way to Buffalo Rd and I will make up time on it, assuming it is plowed. Sure enough, I also climbed the hill faster than I rode on the trail. Westown Pkwy was clear too but I took the side path over the interstate just in case the wind blew me into traffic. Did I mention it was windy?? I got to work about a half an hour later than usual. But I got there safely and I was warm. Zero issues with slick roads. Later, I received a text from a friend who commutes from Norwalk to Des Moines. He said he it took him a half hour longer than normal. I felt better about my time after reading that.
Of course everyone asked me if I rode a bicycle to work today. Yes. They thought the roads were bad. A co-worker was very late because of it. I smile and tell them that my tires say "Klondike." My bicycle is specifically built for days like this.
|Looking forward to finding a clean line.|
After work I headed into the wind to reach the Clive Greenbelt Trail. To my disappointment it had not been plowed and was covered with many foot prints and fatbike tracks. The ride was a bit slow and I got off on Swanson Ave to make up time. One stop to visit Anders.
Anders store, the Rookie, is on Swanson. Just a friendly visit. he rode his fatbike. Said that he had issues related to neglect, a rusty chain from the look at it. His rear wheel did not want to move on its own. Rode hard and put away wet. Now he needs it. Lessons in maintenance are sometimes the hardest lessons in life. He'll figure it out. Tri-Flow!
|Anders' Fattie, he bikes to work every day.|
I took Swanson all the way into Windsor Heights and got on the trail I rode this morning. It was plowed and I made good time. But after departing the dog park area the trail was not plowed. But near the Waterbury neighborhood turn the plowing resumed. Weird. Des Moines skipped a section. I lived and the trail was plowed the rest of the way home. By tomorrow afternoon all the trails that get cleared will be clear. Just got to be ready for the icy bits tomorrow and Friday morning. The Weather People are promising 50s Friday and Saturday. Hopefully, they will be right.