Tyler and Daddy in the SnowSo central North Carolina got its annual one snowfall this weekend to the tune of about 6 inches here at the Keefers’ abode. Last year, we got a similar amount just a few weeks earlier in January. Being born in Pennsylvania and growing up in the early teens in Baltimore, it’s still funny to see how poorly the roads are taken care of here. It’s hard not to laugh. Anyway, our hilly neighborhood is at an even bigger disadvantage — the roads have yet to be finished with their final grading, meaning manhole covers, water main access, etc. continue to protrude higher than the rest. This means a snow plow could never plow our neighborhood streets.

But as it turns out, it doesn’t really matter.

A few brave SUV’s ventured out of the neighborhood successfully, but for the most part, the streets are pretty quiet, as drivers intelligently made it a stay-in weekend. Amanda had a prescription that she needed at the local drug store, but I felt none too comfortable about us taking either of our cars out onto the streets. So instead, I decided to give the mountain bike a try, and it was a pretty successful round trip.

Every time I take to the mountain bike, I’m reminded of just how much of a roadie I am. I like my light frame, with its skinny tires, but the ever-changing combination of ice, slush and snow was no place for a road bike. It was immediately apparent that clipping into both pedals was too much for me, after toppling once on a transition from sun to shade and simultaneous snow to ice. So for the majority of the remainder, I kept the left clipped and the right free.

While the ice left little traction, I found that the bike handled better on that, than getting bogged down in the softer and crunchier snow. Stopping was also more trouble than it was worth, as getting the back wheel going again was a chore.

As I slowly made it up and over the hills of our neighborhood, I realized that the secondary roads that surround our house weren’t a lick better. Now, a few minutes ago I took out the trash (which probably won’t even get picked up tomorrow), and all that slush and melty snow is a shiny, cold and icy mess. Tomorrow morning will no doubt be worse than the midday conditions I rode today.

I’m glad I safely was able to get Amanda’s meds via mountain bike, and was quite satisfied with getting a ride in — granted it was nowhere near the speed, the distance or workout of my normal rides, it still got the heart rate up and the sweat glands going. I’ll probably venture out tomorrow late morning on a similar route to scout road conditions to see if an attempt to go into work is merited. I know first thing in the morning isn’t going to work, and I’m highly doubtful tomorrow’s similarly cold temps are going to allow for a safe trip to and from. There’s a legitimate reason why all the local area schools are closed and many businesses and services are likewise. I-40 and some of the major roads may already be just fine, but we’re a long way from any of those and all the roads in between look to be pretty damn crappy. Once again tomorrow, a bike ride may be the only safe way to get any distance away from the house. We shall see.

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