Snowy Ride

I knew full well what I was getting myself into when I rode my bike to work this morning...the newscasters have been telling of this storm for a couple days...schools were closed this morning before it even hit. When I left at 7:00am it was overcast with just a few flakes in the air. How bad could it get, I thought? I've ridden in snow before, I also thought. Well, it hit about 9:00am, just as predicted, and it let up about 5:00pm, just as predicted. By the time I left work there were about 10 inches of snow on the ground and because of the wind it looked as if it were snowing horizontally. The ride was a little treacherous, but I rode slow and put a lot of my weight on the front tire, which I've found is a good way to control steering in icy conditions. Most of the way home I was actually going as fast as the cars (probably about 10 mph), and only once did I almost fall (when I hit a small pile of snow protruding out of a driveway). I rode mostly in the middle of the street because the sides were not plowed, so when traffic would speed up I'd have to pull off to the side to allow them to pass. Side streets were, and still are, an un-plowed mess...I had to push the bike down my street. There was one point (about halfway home) when the snow was whipping in my eyes and I felt I had lost control of the bike when I thought that this was a really stupid thing to do, but at the same time I felt truly exhilarated...and it is just one more bit of proof that it is possible to navigate the streets and use a bicycle as your primary mode of transport even in the winter...even in Buffalo, NY. I was a teenager during the blizzard of '77 and have loved these storms ever since (now I'm showing my age). Anyhow, here's a few photos of my bike and the riding conditions. The first one is of the bike stuck in the snow, where I put it when I first arrived home so I could shovle the stairs to carry it up. Take note that the bike's kickstand is not down...the bike just sort of stood there in the snow. The second photo is of the handlebars (my dashboard); the snow and ice buildup was about the same on the handlebars as it was on my gloves and helmet. The last is a photo of a handpainted Chi Rho that I painted on my top crossbar when I first got this bike. It's what I see when I look down (as I have to do when riding in a snow storm); it guides me and keeps me centered.