I had decided that this winter I was done with riding in ice and snow. After years of winter FDGB(*), I decided I was getting too old for this. So, when the first snowflake falls, I work at home. I've got a job that involves sitting in front of a computer all day, and I have a very nice computer at home I can sit in front of. The main difference between work and home is that work has a good cafeteria, and I do look forward to those hash browns for breakfast.
So with all the dire predictions for the first snowfall, I was mentally prepared to stay home. When I got up, I took a quick assessment of the weather by looking at my driveway. Now my driveway has its own weather pattern. It can look like a raging blizzard in the driveway, and be fine on the street. Even if my street is somewhat dubious, the main road may be fine. The driveway actually had a nice layer of wet ice, but it was around 30 degrees, and it was bound to be warmer further in. And it usually warms up as the day progresses. So I decided to mount the road bike and go.
The way in wasn't lots of fun, with several white knuckle skids along the way, but after congratulating myself on making it into work, I realized that the weather wasn't getting any better and I would have to make my way home. I did leave at 1:30 since Susan had called to tell me that most of the people in her office were already bailing out.
The worst part of the return ride was the ice floes in Arlington. I've never exactly figured this weather phenomenon out, but basically, if it's warm, you get wet slush, if it's cold you get dry slush, neither of which is fun but at least it's predictable. Somewhere in between you get the situation where most of the snow melts, but what's left over gets squashed by the cars into hard immobile chunks, kind of like trying to ride through a field of hockey pucks. This was what Arlington was like, but by Arlington Heights it had converted into dry slush and life was sweet again.
Until a large truck went by and sprayed me with about thirty pounds of dirty snow. Since it wasn't officially winter, I was about two layers down from what I normally wear in these conditions, and my lycra tights provided minimal insulation when covered with snow. Yow, was that cold.
Always one with a flair for melodrama, I started fantasizing about ways to avoid becoming a cyclesicle. All I need to do it make it to Arlington Heights, then I'll ditch the bike and take the T. Next was if I make it to Lexington, I'll take a cab for me and the bike.
But I soldiered on, and when I got to Springs Road, the road had been closed to auto traffic, and there were all sorts of police cars, fire engines, etc, there because of some natural disaster. Fortunately, they let me through, for if they hadn't I would have perished of hypothermia in a snow bank, and then they would have yet another natural disaster to deal with.
More melodrama as I wondered if my frigid fingers would be able to move enough to extract the garage door opener from my seat bag. The opener had been working pretty erratically lately, and I was sure that at the crucial moment, it would fail completely, and they would have to pry it out of my frozen fingers when they eventually found my body in front of the garage. But it worked first time, and I escaped yet another close brush with death.
(*) Fall Down, Go Boom