Thursday, December 25, 2008

Knowing My Limits

Rugged week on the commuting front. I consider myself fairly tough (or stubborn, or stupid) when it comes to riding in cruddy weather, but the sub-zero temps and 20- to 30-below wind chills on Monday put me in the car. I kind of like having all ten fingers and all ten toes attached, thanks. Tuesday was OK for riding, since the temps came up and we weren't barraged by any more of that silly frozen precipitation.

Yesterday morning, we had fresh snow (AGAIN), but when I got up, our block had already been plowed. Now, I'm not all that critical of Des Moines municipal services (the new single-stream recycling rocks my world in a nerdy environmental way), but after most storms, our little block of Iowa heaven is the last one to feel the scrape of a plow blade. Former neighbor, driveway sharer, and frequent blog-commenter Steve F. can probably attest to that (Aside to Steve: Any time you, Kathy, and Conor want to shovel your former driveway for old time's sake, c'mon over.) So when I saw that our street was scraped down to a studded-tire-friendly layer of hardpack, I figured I was golden for the commute.

Not so. The street at the end of our block? Miserable squished powder, like riding through sand. So I jogged over to a semi-main artery into downtown, one that's almost guaranteed to be plowed. No such luck. I was fighting to keep my line through the slop the whole way in, crawling along at single-digit speeds in the single-digit temps. Insult to injury? As I was starting up after waiting out a red light, another biker absolutely FLEW past me -- ruining my delusions of bad-arse grandeur: "This sucks, but I'm out here doing it, unlike the rest of those wimps."

Is it April yet?

1 comment:

Steve Fuller said...

I wonder if Jack plowed the street out? He's been known to drop the blade of his truck and clear a path down the street since we're one of the last places the city normally gets to. I should mention that I'm generally out of the shoveling business now. Conor is big enough to handle that on his own.

I would like to see the new recycling program get put in place out here soon, but I'm not holding my breath. Those green tubs suck.