I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’ve had some snow storms here on the east coast. I love a snow day as much as the next school kid/employee, but oh, it’s ruining biking for me. I don’t bike on ice or snow, because staying upright demands not changing speed, changing direction, or braking, and those are three things I’m really in to doing when I’m on a ride. I’m happy to snuggle up with candy and television for the day, but the aftermath is terrible for anybody not in a car. T Continue reading
I woke up to icy streets and sidewalks on Monday morning, bah humbug. My Facebook bicycle club was filled with slip-sliding stories from normally “I-bike-everywhere-why-don’t-you” badasses, so I decided to leave the wheels at home and walk to S.’s place in Waverly. Continue reading
I know, I know, I could let some air out of my tires, get snow tires, ride slowly, and do fine on roads with some ice and snow remaining on them, but I could also just not ride the few days a year when there’s ice on the roads in Baltimore. Yeah, that’ll work, but I’m still not going to drive if I can help it, so I layered up and walked up and over to Waverly to meet O. and R. on Saturday. Yeah, I might rethink that decision next time, because the streets, especially the better-travelled ones, were mostly clear–wet, but not icy. The sidewalks, on the other hand, were treacherous ice sheets, glistening their evil eyes up at me as I made my way slowly and carefully, making sure of each footing before lifting another foot. The sidewalks were iced over because unlike the public property of the streets, sidewalks are the responsibility of individual homeowners, and apparently either individual homeowners don’t know that, or don’t care. The sidewalk in front of my house was iced up because I guess I was waiting for the landlord to deal with it. By the time I slid my way home that evening, though, I realized I had better remove enough ice for folks to pass easily. I chipped away, slowly but surely, and this morning it is starting to melt enough to make way. As I was chipping away, though, I wondered why we have individualized this particular collective infrastructral issue and not decided instead to spend our social wage to make easy passage for everyone, not just drivers. Because walking was truly dangerous yesterday, and how can it be that we make passage so dangerous, especially for those for whom walking is challenging in the first place? But hey, at least the roads are clear.
I woke up to snowy skies and yesterday’s wind, but I was pretty much dedicated to riding my bike to the gym to go for a swim in an attempt to get back on a schedule, so that’s what I did after some reading and writing. I layered up, put on my hat and gloves, and pulled the bike out. And the wind. Wow, it was cold, and there was a thin layer of ice everywhere in the shade. I carried my bike down the stairs, put a foot on an icy spot, almost slipped, and reconsidered my dedication to taking a bike ride. I am, however, quite stubborn, so I hopped on, tried not to brake, and was on my way. Continue reading
Well, it was bound to happen eventually, this thing where water would fall out of the sky on a day so cold it would freeze, so here you go: ice. It looked pretty this morning, but it made for a slooow walk home from brunch as I measured each step to avoid slipping and bouncing off the sidewalk like the newbie I am. I spent the day at home writing up a syllabus and watching terrible movies, but I’ve got a dinner date in Mt. Vernon, so it’s time to get on the bike. Because it’s new to me it felt treacherous as I white-knuckled my way down the hill, taking the whole lane to avoid even the faint touch of visible ice. But what about the ice you can’t see, Kate? I got off and walked the last block to the restaurant. I figure, though, that it’ll be like anything else new–I’ll do it for awhile, get more comfortable, fall, realize falling won’t kill me, and then I will just be somebody who rides in wintertime. Or not. Maybe I’ll take the bus.
I’m a total sucker for blue skies. I mean, look at that swath of brilliant blue! I took this picture on my bike ride through chilly but sunny Amherst, Massachusetts this morning. I wanted to take the Norwottoch bicycle path to Northampton at the suggestion of the family, but the thing is still covered in ice, and my rental bike has slick tires, not to mention the fact that I have absolutely no experience cycling through snow. Continue reading