Six inches of snow fell on Chicago yesterday afternoon and evening. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had no intention of cycling in that mess. My plan was to take the L train, but a co-worker mentioned that she and a friend carpool along a route that passes by my L stop. She offered to pick me up anytime and I gladly accepted the offer. The car is already on the road anyway.
In the morning, I walked a block to the L station and a couple of minutes later she pulled up. I sank into the heated passenger seat – yup, heated - and enjoyed friendly conversation during a calm drive downtown. (I wonder, is there a way to make my Brooks saddle heated? ‘Cause that would be amazing!)
The car ride was no faster than my bike ride along the same route, about 25 minutes. (This is the busy route I recently recorded.) There’s a lot of backed up traffic, so I’m able to keep up with cars most of the way. Funny, they used to see me on my bike a lot in the mornings, when I took that route daily.
Snow started falling fast and furious around 1:30 pm and my office decided to close early at 3 pm. I knew that taking the L home would be an easy 25 minutes, much faster than a car in a snow storm, but deserting my co-worker wouldn’t have been very nice. :) The car ride home in the snow took one hour, but I didn’t mind at all. In fact, I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know her better. In my heated seat.
There is no way I would have biked in the snow given the road conditions. If I were in Copenhagen with protected bike lanes maintained by snow plows, sure, but that was obviously not the case. (You wouldn’t know, but there’s a snow-covered bike lane in the photo above.)
I saw a couple of intrepid cyclists during the ride and I was stressed out just watching them. I saw a couple others walking their bikes, like this mom and child below. I assume they set out on the bakfiets hours earlier, before the snow got out of control.
Does anyone else carpool sometimes? Seems it was all the rage in the ’90s, but I never hear anything about it now. I enjoyed the experience and in the future when I need to take the L train, I may text my co-worker first to see if she’s carpooling that day. I hate standing up on the L, plus it costs $2.25 each way. And did I mention heated seats? ;)
Did anyone bike home in the snow?? If so, my hat is off to you.