Saturday, February 6, 2010

After the Blizzard, A Trike Ride

The region has just had a blizzard even bigger than the one in December. It snowed here from Friday midmorning to Saturday late afternoon, with reports of more than 30 inches in some places. Having been indoors for about 24 hours, I ventured out for a look around this evening. My intention was merely to get outside in the fresh air and see the snow from closer than my third-floor windows. I had no intention of riding. Then I had a look at my car, barely recognizable under the snow. Then back to the garage. A lane had been plowed through the parking area, leaving a layer of snow and ice where the plow had been, and a snow dam about three feet across and knee deep in front of the garage doors. I opened the door. I looked at the Trice. I looked at the snow. I kicked snow out of the way in a path just 30 inches across (the width of the Trice QNT) and rolled it out. Put up the flag, light the lights and set off down the parking lot. One trip down and back was enough to put a grin on my face and to show that while it was possible to ride on this stuff, it didn't take much for the rear wheel to lose traction. It was time to try out an idea I'd had during the previous snow rides. Tire chains for bikes have been made from time to time, but they were never a complete success and none are currently available. I'd had a simpler idea: a length of cotton clothesline, wrapped spirally around the tire and rim, ought to give sufficient extra traction. A few minutes later I was trying it out. It made a huge difference. I was limited now only by the depth of snow not exceeding the trike's 3-inch ground clearance. The thin layer that remained after plowing was no problem. The slipping and sliding just added to the fun; it was always under control. What was a problem was the 27-degree temperature and my lack of adequate head and face protection. I rode around until my face got too cold and came back in. My camera batteries were charging so I didn't have any pictures. I'll try this again tomorrow and take some. Trikes rule!