Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Today was the most physically difficult commute I have had since I started this year-long challenge, including the 40 mph headwind days. The snow, which I referred to as mashed potatoes, yesterday, firmed up during the night and took on the characteristics of damp sand.

Riding in it was a combination of fishtailing, wheelspinning and and cussing, just like the long sand stretches of Poison Spider Mesa, in Moab. About halfway to work, I was thinking to myself that, at least, I was comfortable, temperature-wise. It was in the low 20s F, and I was dressed just right. Then, I wondered, since I was dressed in the same clothes I always dress in for those temps, why wasn't I overheating from the extra effort I was putting out? I reached up, touched my head, and realized...I had left my helmet at home!

So, there I was, riding in a snowstorm with little visibility, in the dark, barely able to remain upright, and I was missing the old brain-bucket.

I just kept riding. The last time I did this was in 1994, and I had the same realization that I was sans chapeau as I was bombing down Hilltop Road , on the way to work at the bike shop. On that day, I slowed down and rode much more carefully than I would have with a helmet.

Today, I couldn't slow down without falling over, and I was already on high-alert at intersections, carefully scanning for cars approaching. Regardless of who had the stop sign, I was making sure that the drivers weren't planning on just rolling through without stopping. At 6:00 AM on neighborhood streets, in slick conditions, that's what I would do.

So, I continued on, enjoying the snow which was falling, and fighting that which was on the road. Fifty-five minutes after I left the house, I was at work.

On the trip home, under blue skies and sunshine, the roads were harder to ride than they had been this morning. With the exception of a couple of short dry stretches (maybe two blocks, total), I was fighting my way through the kitty litter like a kitten with a gut full of prunes.

I finally got home after a solid hour of hard effort, and shoveled the walk and drive. As I did, I could only hope that the cold overnight temps would consolidate the snow on the road, somewhat, and make it a little easier to roll through in the morning.

We'll see.



At 9:09 PM , Anonymous Red Light Green Light said...

I took a bad spill on the small section of Park Ave West (that I have to travel to hit the bike lane that I like downtown) this morning and was frustrated by how much ice was under the (sandy textured) snow.
Although I hit the ground hard, I didn't even end up w/ so much as a bruise and my faithful old Cannondale MTB/storm bike was just fine ecept for the plastic toe strap that snapped clean off upon impact.
I'm now wondering if I should maybe ride foul, frigid weather without my toe straps...??

At 6:47 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Well, I'm a big fan of the big shin-biter style of BMX pedals for commuting, myself.


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