Thursday, January 18, 2007

We're down to pure slush

Rode bike today. All the side roads were still slushy. Slush, it turns out, makes for slippery cycling. One does feel like one needs four wheels in order to remain upright in it. I gave up after ten blocks and transferred over to Broadway to take my chances with the cars. The main streets are way better, but all the slush and debris has been shoved to the side, where the bikes go. Sometimes I just rode out in the lane. There weren't many cars -- a lot of people still not wanting to drive. Portlanders are chicken that way, which is good. There are four kinds of Portland drivers:

a. the ones who know how to drive in snow because they're really from somewhere else.
b. the ones who have no idea how to drive in snow but think there's nothing to it.
c. the ones who know darn well they have no idea how to drive in snow.
d. the ones who know that since the majority of people here don't know how to drive in snow, it doesn't matter if they themselves know how because they will be killed anyway by those who don't.

I am in category c. I can barely walk in snow. As a child, I spent three years in Ottawa, Canada (not my idea). One Christmas I was given a velvet-coated five-year diary with a lock on it. In order to fit five years into the book, they could only provide about three lines per day. At the time, I perceived my life as profoundly uninteresting and found the three lines difficult to fill. So every day I posted the temperature outside, which I was personally outraged by for nine months out of the year.

I know this is a cliche, but "when I was a kid I walked a mile to school in the snow." I fell often. When I fell, I wrote about it in my diary. (At the end of the day, I mean -- I waited till I got home.) That is how I know that (1) I'm remembering this correctly, and (2) I'm not cut out for a snowy climate.

I still have the diary as proof.


At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Mick said...

I rode the last two days. I hate the fact that debris seems to gravitate towards the bike lane. Of all the vehicles, bicycles are surely affected the most.

At 6:38 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Even in the best of weather, all the junk seems to end up at the sides of the roads. A lot of drivers, the ones who've never ridden a bike, wonder indignantly why cylcists don't get as far over to the edge as possible. I've heard car drivers (like my uncle alan) complain about that. Imagine if everyone applying for a driver's license were required to spend a few weeks on a bike first. (Ha. Like that'll happen...)


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