Riding in the snows

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Just like much of the rest of the country we got some good snow yesterday. The forecast called for an inch or three, so I rode the raleigh twenty to work in light flurries and an inch of powder. But the snow, she did not stop, it became, STORMWATCH LOSALAMOS 2006. By 5 pm there were 6 inches of powder on the ground. Which, in los alamos, due to us living on a mesa with few routes out of town on somewhat twisty mountain roads, adding that half the lab lives out of town, means complete auto gridlock.

Co-workers who live in santa fe (45 minute drive normally) took upwards of three hours to get home. Wooo. It usually takes 10 minutes to drive from the office to my house, 15-20 during rush hour, and about 15-20 by bike depending on the bike and the weather. It took me 30 minutes of plowing through beautiful fluffy powder on the side of the road to get home. Neighbors took over an hour for the same three miles by car. I passed hundreds of motorists stuck in stopped traffic. It was great. Plumes of powder were flying everywhere. One of my best winter commutes ever.

There was a ton of build of snow build up on the wheels and hub and frame. It even covered the lower headlight. Despite having some nice studded tires for my MTB, the storm took me by surprise so they are still hanging on a hook in the basement. But the good part is that I discovered that the tioga 1.95 tires are fantastic at low pressures in the snow, and not terrible in the ice. I will mount the studded tires tonight to maybe go mountain style bikiling tomorrow.

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Todays morning commute today was a bit sketchy with ice and slop and foul smelling ice melting dirt everywhere, but since schools were delayed or cancelled, most people came in late. So I had the streets and the lovely 3 degree (F!) weather to myself. I think it was my coldest commute since I lived in boston many a moon a go. I had to dig out a balaclava (mmmm delicious buttery balaclava) and the heavy winter gloves and the wind proof sock things The return trip tonight was OK, the roads pretty clear and it was a balmy 17 or so. No problem except for the poorly burning diesel engine. I need to invent a balaclava that is made out of airfilter fabric.

Hopefully this bodes well for a real winter this year. I even saw some xc ski tracks in the park and roads this morning.

Ah gratuitous cat pictures

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