White Flag

I awoke this morning to the sound of muffled tires on pavement. This meant only thing–snow. This little burst of winter has caught me out a bit–I don’t have a winter bike build up yet, and I’ve been considering just using the Surly all winter. So off I went into the snow, our street already covered with a fine coating of powder. Lesson number one: the bottle dynamo doesn’t work in the snow. Within a block it was covered with slush and not really spinning at all. A few blocks later, traffic was backing up on Jancey, and peering down Hampton, I decided to skip the short hill, which, at this point was completely snow covered. Approaching Stanton, I looked up the hill to see an endless line of traffic. The road conditions were a bit worse, too, with some of the snow now packed into slick pseudo-ice. This led to lesson number two: the 28mm tires on the Surly are not cut out for these conditions, especially when the front wheel is loaded with weight.

Enough, I thought. I pointed the bike up Stanton, rode up one block, then went down Morningside Avenue, which was, in spots, very icy. Good choice to turn around, I think. Now I’m working comfortably in our office, surrounded by boxes of Christmas stuff recently removed from the attic. I don’t feel terribly bad for skipping the commute today, though part of feels that I had I been better prepared, I could have stuck with it. I’m seriously considering finding a used mountain bike for just such an emergency.