Saturday 19 December 2009

Two days of winter commuting

On Thursday it was -6 C and snowing as I left home. I set off anyway, on surfaces which varied over the 30 km of my commute. Our road was quite snowy, so progress was slow. The canal cycle path had recently been plowed, but it was a bit slushy due to more snow having fallen. The same was true of much of the rest of the distance, but half way it greatly improved. I followed a wonderfully clear path, and even stopped and took a photo of it. However I then caught up with the snow plow, which was itself stuck in snow. After this the surfaces got a bit worse. It was clear that the attempts to clear snow were not quite working.

It took an hour and fifty minutes to get to work. Twice as long as usual, and it was quite hard work. The Mango picked up quite a bit of snow along the way to work. Harry got a nice photo of it just after arrival.

As we worked, the snow continued and attempts to clear it were only temporary. The snowfall was actually quite heavy for this area. 30 cm fell in some places.

It was quite clear that the normally very comprehensive gritting and ploughing of the cycle paths was not working as well as usual, and I was concerned about how long it would take to get home by bike.

A delivery had to be made in Assen, so I drove the Sinner van home on Thursday evening. It was the first time I'd driven in over two years. I'm not that keen on driving, but due to concerns about whether the paths and roads would be clear I happily took the chance to drive. It took over an hour. Longer than it usually takes to cycle.

On Friday morning I drove back to work. This time the roads were mostly quite clear, and apart from getting lost in Groningen due to only knowing the route by bike, it was a straightforward commute. After work I returned home in the Mango, and made reasonable time. An hour and 15 minutes. Most of the cycle paths were pretty clear, but I did have a bit of fun on slippery stuff along the way. I was soon down to two layers as it was simply too hot with my fleece on.

Judy got some photos from the city centre and of snowballing outside our home. My daughter's friends arrived by bike as usual.

My Mango is just over two months old and has just short of 2200 km on the clock. Great fun ! Read my review of the Sinner Mango Velomobile.


Pjotr320 said...

I rode to Nazca on Friday and it only took 20 minutes more than normal, 1:50 hour. I could ride all paths with at least 22km/h. And I even had a long stretch in which I could do close to 30.
It was a long day, so I got home at 11pm after another pleasant 42km ride with beautiful scenery and very little traffic.
Assen's mayor cycling routes where pretty clean.

David Hembrow said...

The major routes are pretty good, but overall I don't think it's quite so good as last year. Perhaps it's because it all arrived in such a hurry this year.

Zyzzyx said...

That's some impressive snow riding in a velo. I've wondered how much the footholes would scoop up the snow if deep enough.

We've only had a few days of snow here (melted off already), but it does give me a little regret getting a white Quest instead of yellow. Blends in just too much. Oh well, the rest of the year I'm pleased with the white. So, unfortunately for me, when it snows here, I'm back in the car. :(