15 January 2010

Black Ice

I must really make this the last posting about the snow and ice season of the last four weeks. The good news is, I made it to work on my bike today. It took me twice as long though - I had to walk the first 1/2 mile, treading carefully as the pavements were treacherous - but the roads were absolutely impossible. A thin layer of ice covered them, and combined with the rain it made them into the most slippery surface I've come across yet.

Only when I got to the main road (A56) was I able to start cycling - what a delight! After so many weeks, it felt fantastic to be, to use the cliche, back on the saddle. But traffic was very heavy at first, and only the main part of the tarmac was clear - stray to the side and you'd be back on ice, so until we reached Prestwich I had to crawl with the traffic. Only as I approached Cheetham Hill did it become possible to cycle properly and warm up.

I am hoping a lot of the stuff will have melted by the time I go back home, and that the heavy rain and over-zero temperatures forecast for today and tomorrow will clear it all up so that next week I can resume normal service, get back into my cycling routine, begin looking ahead to some good rides this year.
PS: I made it back in one piece - again, main roads fine but there was still ice on the side streets, though not quite as much or as bad as in the morning. I followed the car tracks, nice and slow, especially when approaching junctions.

06 January 2010

Ice and snow

Just a quicky - I've already mention in reply to a comment that, this week, I have not cycled. It's not the snow, it's the ice - and is not the whole journey, only the 'last' mile, the side streets where I live and which don't see a gritter unless the snow fails to melt in a week: an event so rare, I've only seen it once in ten years, last week!

The Guardian offers advice on snow cycling - cheerful and positive tips. It all sounds sensible so I'm doing the lazy blogger thing of agreeing with them and providing a link. They don't like ice either - I've tried falling on it while on my bike, and it's not nice. The trouble in the UK is that ice does not get cleared quickly enough - from neither pavements nor roads. And it never will be, unless snow becomes a regular feature of winter - which in most of the country, it won't.