Listen, the snow is falling over town…

Bands of snow squalls had been coming and going all day. While the pine trees across the road were collecting snow, the roads were still wet. Then, at around 5:00pm, after my nose had been buried in a bug for an hour, I noticed I couldn’t see much out of the office windows. I stood up and squinted–the roads around the office were now mostly covered. I weighed the benefits of waiting out the squall, but that would only mean adding darkness, which, given the current conditions, did not seem to be a positive. So I changed, packed my bag, and set off.

Listen, the snow is falling everywhere…

I couldn’t ride out of the parking lot. The short hill was completely snow-covered, and because of traffic, I would have to wait at the entrance. So I walked up, waited for a kind soul to let me enter the road. Mt. Royal was only coated with a thin layer of snow, and below the pavement was still simply wet. I tried to stay in the saddle to gain a bit more traction, and that seemed to work. Traffic was light, but the car tracks included a bit of packed, icy slush, so I stuck to the snow near the shoulder. After cresting the first hill, I kept on the brake and maintained steady back-pressure on the pedals. At this rate, I thought, it’s going to take me an hour to get home. Better late than never, though. Again, traction was good when the tires cut through snow, and I noticed some wet pavement on the approach to the next hill. I accelerated a bit on the wet pavement, but after passing through the first corner on the climb, the road was snow covered again, and I crept over the shoulder, settling back into the saddle. A driver refused to pass me, even after I was nearly in someone’s front yard. Their loss, I mumbled, and kept my pace. Finally, after traffic cleared in the other lane, the car crept past.

Over the next crest, the pavement appeared again, and I accelerated, taking the lane over the snowy shoulder. This lasted nearly a mile, until packed slush pushed me to the shoulder. I looked down and noticed a rather chunk of snow and slush creeping out from the rear mudguard. I hopped the bike quickly, and off fell clumps of snow and bits of ice. Approaching the cemetery, I had a choice–deal with the possibly clear but busy descent into Etna on Mt. Royal, or the potentially snowy but quiet backroads through the Pine Creek Valley. I picked the latter, feeling the snow was would be a bit more forgiving than the traffic.

Between Empire State Building and between Trafalgar Square…

The turn into the residential area off Mt. Royal presented a fine opportunity to fall, so I kept the speed down and tracked through the snow. The road was snow covered, but again, the pavement beneath was wet. I approached the initial descent, I hopped again, and off feel more clumps of snow. The final challenge was ahead–the short, steep approach to the valley proper. The Shaler public works department had started their salting rounds, and the road was mostly wet, except for my lane on hill. Oddly, traffic was thick, and I was stuck on the snowy shoulder, keeping the speed low and the bike under control. Finally, as the last car passed, I moved into the lane, now wet at this point, and turned left into Pine Creek Valley. The road was wet, but it was still snowing heavily. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that I was apparently just on the northern edge of the squall, as blue sky and oranged-hued clouds were behind me. Oh well.

Listen, the snow is falling everywhere…

Riding through Etna, I noticed another of thin tire tracks in the snow, probably from Brad at Dirt Rag, the only other person I knew who might actually be commuting in these parts on a night like this. I was a bit concerned about the state of the 62nd Street Bridge, but as I climbed the approach ramp, the deck was mostly wet, with just patches of snow and slush. I crossed without incident. The city, apparently, was on top of the snow, as Butler Street was wet, with fresh snow on the sides of the road. Traffic was light, but I still stuck to the snow, leaving my solitary tracks behind.

Snow dream
Snow fall
Snow fly