Friday, December 01, 2006


We're getting about 2 or 3 inches of the big snowstorm that's hitting Chicago right now. So of course, I rode:

Saw a guy on a bike fall down on the street adjacent to a bus stop—a combination of a steeply-crowned Jenifer street and an ice patch created by bus tires. Had to wait for a dual-unit, 30-car Wisconsin and Southern southbound freight to cross North Shore Drive, then rode sorta parallel to it as it faded gray into a wall of driving snow. Turned off North Shore into what seemed like a gale-force westwind. Sirens echoed throughout downtown as emergency vehicles responded to crashes. Watched a huge pickup truck pulling a skidloader on a trailer burn a half a gallon of unleaded spinning its way up a tiny hill, leaving a blue cloud of burnt rubber-smelling smoke in its .0005 mph wake. The Ford Escort behind it couldn't make it up the hill either. Long lines of single-occupant motor vehicles just about everywhere I went. Rode faster than many of them, even on the unplowed bike routes.

Typical snowstorm.

Shirley the Woodpecker performed swimmingly in his/her maiden snow voyage. A little squirrely, but confident overall. The only problem was Tokay hill number three, where I couldn't stand up to pedal because I'd lose traction out back. Had to sit and grind it out, which was fine today, but might become a problem on days when I'm not feeling quite as studly.


theboy said...

Sounds like a fun ride. Snow makes a daily commute special.

You might want to try some studded tires. A friend gave me a pair of Nashbar studs last winter, and I love them. Quite surprising how well they work.

Here there's snow on the ground, but the morning was spectacularly sunny.

Mauricio Babilonia said...

I have a set of Nokians for this bike, but I haven't put them on yet. You're absolutely right—they're excellent.

Also, so nice to have a visit from a fellow Wendell Berry fan...

Tex69 said...

Shirley sure is purty. and peterwhite has several studded tires in stock.

Jeff said...

I dig those bars on your cross check!

Mauricio Babilonia said...

Heh, thanks Jeff, they're my faves. Got them from Rivendell. More pics of the bike here.