In my last post I mentioned venturing out onto a frozen lake, and I’d like to think I’m directly responsible for this this tweet that appeared later that day:
Since we last met, the city received a significant amount of snow. On the first day of any big snowstorm I don’t ride for the simple reason that, as a parent, it is my responsibility to take my children sledding. By the second day, I’ll generally try to venture out, since one advantage of living in a big city is that the roads rarely remain impassable for very long. However, yesterday I was also unable to ride, as I needed to take care of something that involved using THE CAR THE BANK NO LONGER OWNS BECAUSE I FINISHED PAYING BACK THE FASCIST BULLY BOYS AT THE BANK…
…and while spending the day in the car wouldn’t have been my first choice, there was very little traffic as most people were still in storm mode, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t kind of enjoying the rare opportunity to appreciate my gas-burning four-wheeled recumbent’s snow-handling capability.
However, by today I was so desperate to ride that I was curled up on the floor and ghost-pedaling like a dog having a nightmare. So I unfurled the Brompton and headed out into the slush:
The Brompton may not seem like a good snow bike due to its small wheels and skinny tires, but in fact it’s precisely their diminutive size that makes them ideal for messy conditions like this, since they don’t throw off as much wheelspray as a full-size wheel, and of course what little they do is ably deflected by the fenders. Additionally, it’s easy to lift the bike up and over snowdrifts if you’re forced to dismount or take to the sidewalk because there’s an oil truck blocking traffic, and because it’s a tiny bike there’s that much less to wipe down afterwards. But most importantly, if you decide you don’t want to be out in the snow anymore, you can always just fold it up and announce, “Fuck it, I’m taking the subway.”
Normally when I ride I head away from the city because there are fewer cars, but when there’s a lot of snow I head into the city because there are more cars, and like it or not, more cars means clearer streets. So I crossed the mighty Harlem River and made for Manhattan Island:
Just because there are more cars doesn’t mean I want to ride among them, so I headed over to the Hudson River Greenway, even though I knew it would be too snowy to ride.
It was too snowy to ride:
I really should carry a pair of skis with me like this guy:
Next I headed over to the George Washington Bridge, even though I knew the bike path would be closed.
The bike path was closed:
Though it was probably for the best, because what was I going to do over there on a Brompton anyway?
By the way, I believe the henge-like structures on the foreground are the supports for the new bike path ramp, which will presumably eliminate the hairpin turn on the current ramp:
On a warm weekend day the bicycle traffic jam caused by Freds and Tridorks unclipping as they shuffle awkwardly through this switchback rivals anything you’ll see at the toll plazas in the automotive lanes on the Jersey side.
To the Department of Sanitation’s credit, they did clear a number of bike lanes I’ve always found impassible in storms past:
To be honest, it was kind of amazing:
You don’t usually see bike lanes this clear north of 125th Street.
In fact, the commissioner even asked people not to throw snow in the bike lanes while digging out their cars…
…which they did anyway:
Still, I appreciate the sentiment.
Meanwhile, the owner of the Coronamobile was nowhere to be seen:
When I joked in a tweet awhile ago that Pando-themed plates must be a thing, I had no idea they really were a thing.
I mean sure, my own license plate is “SW1N3FLU,” but I can assure you that’s merely a coincidence.
Speaking of cars, besides keeping up on the latest trends in vanity plates, I’m also a dedicated carcake-spotting enthusiast, and conditions today could not have been better. How often do you get to see a classic mohawk configuration:
The rare and elusive cake-and-bra combo:
And a robust specimen like this in rapid succession:
If you want to know the precise amount of snowfall we received over the course of the storm, just take a yardstick to the roof of that Hyundai.
Eventually I made it down to Central Park, which you can always count on if you’re looking for a clear place to ride after a snowstorm:
That slow lane has my name all over it.