Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who's afraid of the big, bad snow?

Ah, winter is here! We got the usual amount of snow just before Christmas - about 6-10 in (15-25cm), which means that suddenly all drivers in New England became much more polite. Everyone drives slowly. So slowly that if you happen to drive your car it would take you much more time to get anywhere, only because the car in front of you discovered the new snail speed gear - even though the road is pitch black because it got salted just an hour ago with more salt than found in the Dead Sea.
Salty streets (Source:
Anyway, with roads plowed and salted and all drivers being extra careful and driving sloooowly, I would think that this presents a perfect opportunity to ride a bike, instead of driving. Unfortunately, as I found out at the beginning of this week, it's not that simple. There is still a small problem. Literally. The huge banks of snow of both sides of the road mean that our roads shrunk quite a bit. The place that was reserved for bicycles - a nice, wide shoulder that I used daily, is now gone. With less space on the road my bike is no longer faster than cars! Those slow cars in front of me keep blocking me and very often I have no space to their right to pass them. So sometimes if they get stuck in traffic, so do I.
Other than that, I am still thinking that it's often easier to bike in winter than to drive. Especially if you don't have a garage and you have to spend a half an hour every morning on scraping the ice off the windshield.

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