09 February 2014

Uncle

I've been walking a lot lately.  It's a nice winter activity.

In other words, I gave up.  I haven't been on my bike in a week.  I gave up right before the most recent snowstorm: It's just too much not-fun any more.

I drove my car yesterday, and on returning home found a parking spot, but couldn't get my car into it because of the ice and crusted snow that remained.  The vehicle that had vacated it must have been a jeep or SUV, because there was no way my little hatchback was going in the spot without getting damaged.  (I tried.)

I dug out the spot to make room, throwing the ice chunks... in the bike lane.

The other alternative was the sidewalk, and that seemed worse, especially given the various elderly people who need to get out in this weather just as much as the rest of us.

During and after the previous storm, I gave it my best effort.  I learned that on my bike, the crusted ice and chunks of hardened snow and puddles of salty slush make riding treacherous.  I took one fall when a pedestrian stepped in front of me, and fortunately only got bruised.

Temperatures aren't going above freezing for long enough to melt all the crud for at least another week, so for the foreseeable future, I'm walking and taking public transit to get to work and around the city. 

I could possibly navigate in this snow if I had a different bike, probably a mountain bike with studded tires.  Or I could manage if the city did a better job clearing bike lanes: they were plowed, but not salted.

But for now, I'm slowing down and seeing my surroundings a different way.