No. More. Snow. Please?

I’ve hit the metaphorical wall with snow. I am so tired of biking in snow. On Sunday a couple of fresh inches fell on top of last week’s 20 inches. Yesterday I biked to work, as usual, and while the total lack of bike lanes (filled with more parked cars than snow now) was annoying, the morning commute was okay.

But the commute home was a bear. It was not supposed to snow yesterday evening! Not. Snow. No. More. Once I noticed the heavy flakes falling fast outside the office window, I actually got mad. Like, really mad. I took my anger out on poor Oma, yanking her around the snowbank where she was parked and cursing under my breath.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I avoid riding in fresh falling snow because it’s never an enjoyable experience around city traffic. Yesterday’s snow, on top of the snow already piled high from last week’s blizzard, had me riding smack dab in the middle of the lane most of the way home. My visibility was limited by my glasses fogging up, but I needed them to block the windy snow.

In hindsight, the ride was not bad. The traffic was unusually light and slow; I always felt sturdy on my studded tires; and I worked off the office danish I thoughtlessly scarfed down earlier in the day. Unfortunately, I just had a bad attitude. I think this year’s wall-hitting is happening later in the season than during my previous two winters of bicycling. That’s progress, at least. Hopefully soon I’ll have something other than the weather to write about.

{Now it’s still snowing. I may take the L train today to avoid resenting my bicycle.}

For someone with a much better attitude about yesterday’s bike commute, check out one of my new favorite blogs, This Little Bike of Mine. S at Simply Bike also has a great post up about the best attitude with which to approach winter cycling.

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28 thoughts on “No. More. Snow. Please?

  1. Anni says:

    I’ve hit the I hate winter wall, too. It’s freezing today! I vote you take the train and get back out there on your bike on a sunnier, warmer morning.

  2. Julia says:

    @Dottie I know this is random, but I promise it has a point: I’m currently enrolled in a leadership psychology course at Penn State, and we have a weekly task of analyzing popular leaders. As I was thinking about this weeks topic, it occurred to me, like an epiphany, what a truly amazing leader *YOU* are. And you are the best kind (IMO): transformational. You lead people to be better to themselves and to their communities by biking.

    I’m sure you must have been told a hundred times, but on this day when you are feeling chilled and perhaps cranky, I wanted you to know that you are doing meaningful work (though it’s probably mostly fun)!

    • Gram Bev says:

      I agree with this comment. Dottie inspires me!

    • Dottie says:

      Julia, thank you so much for your very kind words. That really is wonderful to hear. I always consider myself more of a follower than a leader, although I guess not so much with biking, and knowing that I may help inspire others to ride a bike is pretty amazing. And it is mostly fun. :)

  3. BikeBike says:

    With ya Dottie. We had another dump Sunday night and yesterday’s pickup of my son from school a la xtracycle involved lots of pushing through deep snow. Ugh. I hate pushing my bike.

    I’m over it too!

  4. It finally seems to be melting here. I check the 10-day weather report every hour. There is a f*cking mattress lodged into a half-melted grey snowbank in our intersection. Ultra Dystopia. Cannot wait for spring.

  5. cycler says:

    ohhhh yeaaahhhh.
    Rode yesterday, and was planning on riding today, but there was wintry mix (rain plus snow) coming down, and I was running late, and the Scientist offered me a ride to the train, so I wimped out. I felt really sad that I wimped out though, when I counted 13!!! bikes on the 1 mile trip to the train.
    It’s supposed to be well above 32 today which will be the third day in a row, which is great for melting, but the roads are a slimy splashy mess- I need a mudflap for my front fender, and Gilbert needs a bath in the worst way.

  6. Carolyn I. says:

    I can so relate! The roads are still bad here after recent snowfall, so I’m taking the bus this morning. I usually work earlier, so no bus available..but later one today.

    And for some reason I was shocked when I found out it’s -25 c right now! I totally wasn’t expecting that for some reason, usually I am aware that it will be. And it’s only February!

  7. kaz says:

    Yep. I’m one of those weirdos that *likes* winter and snow, but I’m starting to look forward to spring too. The ride home yesterday was definitely a turning point. (Also my winter bike with the studded tires is so slow and plodding. I want to be nimble and speedy again.)

  8. Jami says:

    This may be my last winter in Chicago…so I’m kind of enjoying the fact that I’m getting to experience a real winter with all of the snow and even slush and whatnot.

    Somehow, it doesn’t even seem all that cold anymore. I actually had to drive somewhere last night and doing that really made me appreciate my bike.

  9. *amanda* says:

    I. Want. Spring.

  10. seejenbike says:

    This is my second winter commuting, and while it has taken a bit longer for me to reach my ‘sick of winter’ threshold, I’m definitely there now. Le sigh.

  11. cris says:

    I remember at some point in mid-January, when Boston was being nailed with a weekly (or even bi-weekly) snowstorm, I hit a brief bit of seasonal despair when I woke up to, like, a third consecutive day of snow-filled roads. I’m pretty sure I took public transit that day.

    Then, my girlfriend and I went hiking a few days later, and then a week or so later, carpooled with a couple of friends up to New Hampshire for a weekend of skiing, and I remembered what snow is like in its “native” habitat — when it isn’t being grimy and icy and a deathtrap and an inconvenience.

    That seems to have helped keep the winter blahs at bay.

  12. Rob says:

    I managed to ride in today! Still not comfortable riding with 40 mph traffic (especially when I’m going… 6), but I have a light and a helmet.

    But yeah. I want my segregated bike infrastructure back. :-(

  13. cb says:

    what a cute pannier! i just don’t know how long i could ride in the snow! i mean i would do it but i would sooooo long for it to melt! we are almost there! you are such a trooper!!


  14. nl says:

    for some inspiration, a photo/article about an amazing woman cyclist in Chicago:

  15. adventure! says:

    I’ll be the contrarian and say I wish we got more snow this winter. Then again, I live in Portland, where we got like 2 dustings (not counting the snow that was in higher elevations during my New Year’s cabin expedition). We just don’t get enough “real” winter ’round these parts.

    Now since it’s pretty much stayed at 50F the last few weeks, I can only think of the approaching spring!

  16. David says:

    I’m a bit tired of all this snow too, but all I have to do is think of the alternatives, and cycling is still the most fun!

    My neighborhood streets were a bit impassable for a couple of days, but the nearest arterials (Belmont & Milwaukee were plowed curb-to-curb by Wednesday morning. If the worst thing for me is having to walk the last two blocks home, it isn’t really that bad :)

  17. SM says:

    Dottie since you battle this weather on your bike almost everyday (compared to moi) I think it’s ok to let out a little frustration. Everyone’s feeling it and we’re all so tired of the snow, even those who don’t cycle. One of my co-workers said to me this morning as we were desperately reaching for the coffee, “good morning SM, now, can you please do something about this weather.” I said sure, but I’m not sure the gods up above are listening to me :(

  18. GravelDoc says:

    Hi. I’m new to your website but have come to enjoy it very much. I live in a very rural part of S.W. Missouri. We had an 18-20 inch snow last week just before it hit Chicago. We’re not accustomed to quite as much winter as you are, Dottie, however I can certainly appreciate your frustration over the weather. That said, I’m setting in my den watching another snow come down. I’d say we’ve already gotten about 2-3 inches in the last three hours and it’s still coming down pretty hard. I’m not really equipped to ride in this kind of weather but admire your getting out on the road and sharing your experiences with us. Maybe one day I’ll get rigged up for winter riding. ‘Til then, I’ll just keep dreaming about spring. The weather is forecast to be in the 50’s by this weekend. Maybe a “teaser” to make us think spring is just around the corner? We can only hope!

  19. Mike says:

    The temperature in Winnipeg was below freezing from sometime in November until this past weekend. Today it was back down to -20C or lower, and we have something new: ice. Very different problem, and easier to deal with (got new studded tires on my wife’s bike just in time), but the alley behind our house is suddenly much more treacherous.

    On thing I recommend, though I’m sure you won’t like the idea, Dottie: ski goggles. I wear a balaclava over my nose and mouth almost every day here because of the cold (they obviously help in the snow, too), and if I get my goggles in the right place (overlapping the top of the balaclava, and snug to my face), they don’t fog up at all. The ones I have were cheap ($25) and they also do a very good job of reducing all kinds of glare.

  20. Oh yes. I am mostly off my bike at this point and trying not to go crazy!

  21. JTuttle says:

    I biked yesterday around the hood and it wasn’t so bad. Love my ski goggles! The part that makes it anxious for me is that you have to stay farther towards the middle of the road so the cars are sort of stuck behind you. Even though they don’t seem impatient, it makes me anxious.

  22. Brenda says:

    I live in Iowa, and I am SO with you on the snow thing! I walk more than I bike, and between the unbelievable cold temps we are having this week and all the snow piled everywere, it has been impossible (and dangerous) to get out. I ride an Electra cruiser, and can’t wait for spring!

  23. Johnny K says:

    At least it is not raining. All the snow you get turns to rain by the time it gets here in Florida. for the past 3 weeks I have been riding in cold humid rain almost every day. It is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow so be happy you get to play in the snow :)

    • Maureen says:

      Dottie, I agree with Julia, you are truly inspiring. I learn so much from this blog.
      As for the dark mood – perhaps many of us are just feeling the winter blues.

  24. […] echo my friend Dottie’s post yesterday at LGRAB, I must say that I’ve had enough – not necessarily of the cold weather, but of the […]

  25. beany says:

    You’re probably tired of hearing this, but….

    There is no snow in the city of San Diego.

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