Saturday, February 7, 2009


The Great Snowpocalypse of 2008

The month of December was a rough one in Seattle. We had several feet of snow in many areas, the streets were covered with ice and the city came to a virtual standstill. And me? I was out riding my bike as usual. My first try with just mountain bike tires resulted in a broken light on the back of my helmet and a broken seat. I then decided to create a pair of studded tires by placing some short screws with wide heads around the tires at one inch intervals on either side. I then ground the tips down to about 1mm from the tire.
They performed quite well on the ice and allowed me to navigate hills downtown that were closed to cars.
I ended up doing the 8 1/2 mile ride to work a few times. After a few days, the snow turned to slush and the wide tires didn't penetrate it enough to give me traction. I heard from other riders that narrow tires were better for that. I didn't want to risk the long ride without studs, so I stayed home a few times and drove others. It was a very good time to have four wheel drive, although there were a few hills that required snow tires or chains.

My trash wasn't picked up for three weeks. Fortunately, I'm single and have a relatively large trash can. Some people went as long as five weeks. The mayor and some other city officials thought they handled the crisis fairly well but the public thought otherwise. After staunchly refusing to salt the roads for fear of upsetting the ecology of local lakes and streams, the mayor abruptly changed his mind after being harshly critisized by the public. Now, all that's left of the snowstorms is a light coat of sand on the side of the roads. Hopefully there will be no more snow storms this year.

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