Monday, December 24, 2007

Initiated to the ice commuter clan

Finally. It took God knows how many days of riding on ice and snow, but I had my first real slip-n-fall. Fortunately, it was a notch before six in the morning and I was in the relative privacy of my apartment complex, not out and about where I'd have to use one of these tricks.

There have been a handful of times when the bike kind of slipped sideways and I was able to just put my feet down and catch myself. Maybe more than a handful, but not more than 20 or so such incidents.

The one time I did manage to bite it last winter, I succeeded in doing an awesome sideways skid in the snow to throw some powder on a cow-orker. The skid progressed a bit more horizontal than I'd intended, resulting in me sliding on my side for a few feet in the snow, before using BSNYC's "Did you SEE THAT?!" line. That was a fall due to goofing off, though, so I don't think it really counts.

This morning, the concrete walkways were moist but not frozen. I'd assumed too much, though. The tarmac parking lot was littered with the kind of crunchy re-frozen slush that gives way under the pressure of your weight. That stuff is quite easy to navigate. The seemingly clear parts weren't clear, though. They were made of the best kind of black ice that sneaks up on you like the tasty burn of a great Thai dish.

Without warning nor expectation, as I turned a corner in my parking lot to hit the road, the bike flew sideways. There wasn't any kind of The Matrix slow motion scene or anything, but an edited-in audio clip of a slide whistle would have been perfect. Mmmph. I rode the rest of the trip as if on a sheet of ice, which means going a bit slower than usual, and making my turns very wide and upright.

A whopping five people were on the bus this morning. I guess most people either got the day off from their employer or took vacation time. Not me. It's another half-day, though. I'll likely end up taking the mid-day bus home, which is kind of like taking the Dreaded bus, but a little bit faster.

Here's a bonus picture. The Maul parking lot has dozens upon dozens of these awesome snow piles all over the place. Unfortunately, they are too loosely packed to conquer on bike or on foot without being Doug or wearing snowshoes.

Random Tunage:
Marilyn Manson - The Beautiful People
Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes


Sirrus Rider said...

Ahhh! The beauty and joy of working at an institution of higher learning. While you were braving the weather to go into work, I was at home in my 1750 square foot tract mansion under a nice hollofilled comforter sound asleep. Futhermore, unlike my fellow dorks like you, who work in private industry I have a full glorious week off of paid holiday before I have to go back to work.. :D

Noah said...

I did almost 9 years in higher education (the same college my mother and wife work).

I think I'll settle for the 110% raise I got moving to the financial industry.

Sirrus Rider said...

If you can't tease and pick on your friends who can you pick on??

Noah said...

Your nose! :P Merry Christmas!

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