Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Where Did All Of This Damn Snow Come From?

I forgot to set my alarm this morning and had to rush in order to get on the road in a timely manner. I knew there was going to be light snow the night before but there must have been two inches on the ground. This winter seems like it is going to last until May!

The roads were wet and slushy but not too hazardous. All the moisture created unseen hazards though. What look like mere puddles can end up being deep potholes. I managed to avoid many of these traps until just north of Howard I plonked right through one and jarred my GPS from its housing. I saw it skid along the pavement and feared I’d damaged my front wheel as well. After retrieving the GPS and continuing on I figured neither it nor the wheel sustained noticeable damage.

The surface of the north end of the Lakefront Trail was like gooey donut icing. The Chicago Park District did a pretty good job of clearing away all the new snow but the biking path was still soft, slushy, and slippery. I kept to a slower than normal pace and managed through it without much trouble. Just past the Totem Pole at Addison the path wasn’t clear at all. I guess the crew that clears the section from here to Navy Pier must not have set their alarm clocks either. But this wasn’t a major problem; the path was snowy and also bumpy in some spots but still passable.

I decided to detour away from what I’ll call the Fullerton Ice Shelf. I took the high path in an effort to avoid cracking up on what might be hidden sheets of ice. But I ran into an unseen ditch crossing the path and was really jarred. Again my GPS went flying and I also jettisoned my water bottle. I couldn’t get my GPS back on and I fear it sustained permanent damage.

The snow provided more traction over all the icy chunks along the Oak Street curve and I managed to gingerly bike almost all the way through to clearer surface. But at the end I fishtailed on a really smooth section and had to walk the rest of the way out. I stayed high on the banked path as I biked through the slippery snow. There were tracks on the level portion closer to the water but I figured I’d have a better chance of avoiding a swim if I stayed where I was.

Just south of Wacker I passed another bike commuter traveling north. I’ve seen him quite frequently in the past month and I grunt out a greeting or smile. I always get nothing in return though. Oh well. Maybe my approach is too subtle.

Roosevelt Road was a blast. Traffic snarls created a virtual bike lane through stopped cars. Tailwinds and traffic lights were in my favor and I figured I made this last leg of my commute in record time. Too bad my GPS was busted. Otherwise I would have been able to verify this.

Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 2115.7 miles
Price of gas: $2.64

1 comment:

Core said...

I know what you mean! I was definitely not expecting a substantial snowfall over the evening. I am SO over this winter.

That being said, is the lakefront clearer today? I haven't been down there in quite a while thanks to the snowdrifts, ice slicks, and other wintry hazards. I hope to grab a lot of miles on it this weekend.