My commute to work today, riding in the snow

I haven’t driven a car to work since April of this year. Since then, rain or shine, I’ve been between two options for commuting to work: walk to downtown and take the free-of-charge rapid transit bus to the University; or ride my bicycle on the bike path, which goes along the river for the 3.5 miles from my house to my office. But today I woke up to snow.

Snow in the Willamette valley. December 6th, 2013

Snow in the Willamette valley. December 6th, 2013

So what to do? Of course, let’s take the bicycle. The snow is an obvious challenge, I would not pass the opportunity to ride my bicycle to work in these conditions, where everything will be more interesting, from the ride itself to the landscapes along the way.

The bicycle and the snow in the bike path. December 6th, 2013

The bicycle and the snow in the bike path. December 6th, 2013

And the bicycle was easier to navigate in the snow than motorcycles are, by a great margin. A few slides here and there, but overall good traction. As long as I kept it going and avoided sudden moves, the bike was really steady, tracked very straight, nothing like the narrow tires carving their way in the snow.

The path had about 3-5 inches of snow.

The path had about 3-5 inches of snow.

It was great out there and I was alone for the most part, making it an even better experience. What a contrast from just a couple of days ago when I was in Brazil, in the warmth of the beginning of the south hemisphere’s summer.  I got back here and was complaining of the below freezing temperatures upon my arrival. And to make matters worse I had found two frozen spigots outside the house. I’m glad those Styrofoam faucet boxes really work, I bought two yesterday night, installed them at about 7pm, and this morning both spigots were unfrozen.

Faucet cover, works very well!

Faucet cover, works very well!

Anyway, here I am, in the snow and enjoying it. I don’t mind the cold when there is snow with it.

Simply beautiful.

A good measure of beautiful.

In Eugene it only snows once or twice a year. So I was enjoying this unique opportunity to see the river, the trees, the bike path all framed by fresh snow.  I even videoed a small section of the ride on my way to work. Instead of the sounds of a motorcycle’s motor and power slides you get the huffing and puffing of an almost out of shape bicycle rider after a two week vacation in the tropics. So I added music to the video.

The snow never relented as the day progressed.  I was looking out of the window in my office and wondering… Eventually the University sent an alert informing us it is suspended non-essential services. Meanwhile the snow had been piling up higher on the ground. How difficult would my way back home be?

More snow!

More snow!

It was more challenging than the way in. It took me some 45 minutes to do something I usually do in 10-15 minutes.  But I found some people walking on the trail with their cameras, enjoying a day off (most public schools were closed, other offices probably closed as well). And ALL of them smiled at me, something you don’t see on a regular day, where everyone is on their own world.  And some people mentioned something about my courage for riding in these conditions.  Yes, it was a treacherous ride on the way back home.  But that made it special.

It got deeper.

It got deeper, more than 5 inches of snow now, it appears

The huffing and puffing got faster, and I was spinning in low gear.  I had to stop and walk on the few climbs when the bike lost traction.  But for the most time, it was just good enough,  and traction was less than in the morning but I could definitely move forward, although slower.

I made it. In the end, it was quite the adventure! And quite a workout.

Very close to home

Very close to home

I’ve heard of several accidents in town, hopefully no one got hurt. And I hope in the end, everyone simply added an interesting chapter to their lives.

My next post will be about United, the airlines with the friendly skies, another intermission to my regular posts.  Then I go back to my regular motorcycle programming, where I have one more post to write to complete the Steens Mountain trip. And I have another motorcycle post with a multi-day ride with the Tiger Triumph before my summer riding season ended. Stay tuned.

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8 Responses to My commute to work today, riding in the snow

  1. Trobairitz says:

    So pretty. Landscapes are always beautiful with snow. It must have been so peaceful riding in the snow on the bicycle.

    We managed to get 9 inches here in Corvallis. Troubadour took the TX out for a putt around the neighborhood and front yard yesterday. He had fun but said it was quite a work out.

    No one rode to Saturday Coffee this morning, go figure.

    • cesardagord says:

      Ha! I’m not surprised no one rode to Saturday Coffee.

      I haven’t ventured out except for walking or using the bicycle on that trip to the office or around the neighborhood. Which has been a lot of fun in the snow. Yes, it is all beautiful out and peaceful.

      I wanted to go on a drive to see the country side, which is probably amazing. But I have a work trip starting tomorrow morning and didn’t want to risk getting stuck somewhere far and complicate my travel logistics.

      Nine inches in Corvallis? I think that was more than what we got here.

      Hope you get to enjoy it tomorrow.

  2. bob skoot says:

    Cesar:

    I haven’t ridden my bicycle for a couple of years now but I am not sure if I have the right tread. I work too far from work to attempt a commute. I think it was nice for you to do this challenge. I like snow photos too, we don’t get much up here either

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

    • cesardagord says:

      Hey Bob
      I’m privileged to live by a bike path, and not too far from work, makes it really easy to commute by bicycle. And I appreciate the exercise. I would not do it if I had share roads with cars…
      Hope all is good with you Bob!
      Cesar

  3. João Müller says:

    Césinha,
    um ótimo ano novo.
    Abç,
    João

  4. V Star Lady says:

    A lovely ride (to look at) and by the look of the trail you were not the only bicycle commuting.

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