Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cars, snow, sleet

I got a Zipcar yesterday, since I had the day off for the Martin Luther King's holiday. I loaded up on lots of groceries and also visited with family and friends. On the way to return the car in the evening, it started to snow a little bit and then it turned to sleet. It's interesting to note the difference in the way I feel when driving a car in the snow, vs. biking in the snow. In a car, I start to tense up. Watching the road ahead, seeing the snow swirl around on the road. That's not too bad, but when I hear the sleet hitting the windshield and start to see some "texture" on the road, I start having flashbacks of spinning out of control, doing 360s, and who knows where and how you will stop. In the vehicle, I don't feel like I have much control except to slow down. I worry about other cars having problems and spinning out near or into me. Cars behind me come up too close, even though I'm in the slower lane. I especially get nervous when passing over on road bridges, where things can get really icy. Let me tell you that I was VERY relieved to finally get the Zipcar back to its parking spot and get out of the car.

Biking this morning on the ice this morning was a little tense, but nowhere like last night in the car. The bike path was covered in ice, but I have the option of either walking my bike, or riding on the ice-covered grassy areas. It was kinda neat to ride on the grassy areas, as the bike crunches over the ice. You have good traction. It's a little slower riding and more effort exerted, but it's a good work-out. I had to walk part of the 14th Street Bridge, and wished I had worn my Yak Trax on my shoes...I hadn't thought of that. Anyway, when biking or walking the bike, it's at a slow pace and everything feels pretty much "in control". I saw a few other bike commuters along the way, but they were managing as well.

I'm glad we don't get many of these ice storms, but if I have to pick, I'd rather be on my bike. :)