28 February 2013

The disdain of winter biking

This is one of those things I don't look forward to in the winter.
Snow banks.
For the ice biker this means one thing- portage.
My workplace is hemmed in by snowbanks which requires me to carry my bike from the closest access- in this case a sidewalk- across the parking lot and them up on a mount of snow lock up the bike. The irritating thing is the public sidewalk that leads to the sidewalk over the freeway- has not r weeks. If it was then my portaging would be lessened.

Another note the sidewalk thing, In winter the roads lose about 3 feet of width on both sides. Sure I can ride in the road but my reasons are for sanity-sake- what good does a biker do when you are in essence creating a bottleneck since there is limited room for cars to pass. It does little to bring goodwill to icebikers. I just avoid the busiest streets in winter. But this sidewalk/street debate will rage on.

I have been thinking about those Surly pugsley bikes that are catching on for winter biking. Really fat tires Probably very stable. But that also means really big rims. So I suspect they are bit tough to start pedaling. If the region was noted for just  a bit of snow I'd say the are ideal. But because of the snow banks-man those ride will be hard to pedal.   

19 February 2013

Stormy Weather

So many great gobs of snow fell last week- they closed highways and schools and work and even my neighborhood BBQ succumbed to the flurries. We knew it was coming. In fact I did some pre-shoveling to keep up with all the snow that piled up. Our driveway was clear but the street we lived on was full of about 2 feet of unplowed snow. Unless we had some kind of truck we could not get out. The plows came in the afternoon.
However, I walked to work that day. It was a streneous trek through snowclad streets and sidewalks. What I needed was snowshoes.
Typically it takes the city about 4 days to fully pull itself out of the snow. The sidewalks near work were cleared 3 days later. But I still biked most of week. But I disdain having to get off my bike and walk it across the 94 bridge through 3 foot snowdrifts. All my time in Fargo this bridge's walkway is usually never cleared until the 3rd or 4th day after the storm. It is a vital link to North/South ped traffic. Again, I should get a pair of snow shoes.


tunnel from Echo Base
Then this week the wind picked up, churning a blizzard and then it threw us back into the icebox. My normal thought is that after mid-Feburary winter calms down and we get some more pleasant temps. But not this year. This year I needed to travel through the Hoth tunnel to get to work with nary a tauntaun to help.