The Chainlink

I just got back from a beautiful ride from the Loop to Uptown via Wells, Clark, Broadway, Halsted and back to Broadway post a Whole Foods stop.  There was virtually no wind; the streets clear; and traffic was light.

This morning's ride in on the LFP from Wilson to Fullerton was beautiful.  The path was clear of any snow and ice, the wind was just about non existent, and the zoo parking lot - running from Fullerton to LaSalle - was so clean you couldn't find a spec of snow. They must have been plowing since 4 am (I saw all the trucks!).

Riding home tonight I saw  two cyclists total. One at Grand and a second at Montrose. On the morning ride I didn't hit my first rider until Division and ended up seeing two other riders.

The hysteria and media created frenzy about the weather today was unbelievable.  You  would have thought it was snowmageddon revisited.  

Yes, I get that it's colder than normal for this time of year but when you are on a bike the difference between 25 and zero is maybe just a layer.  As folks on this site  have taught me,when you are biking your body produces so much heat that it's actually disposing of the heat that can be a problem.

I understand that it's dangerous to bike when it's windy and the roads are covered  with snow and ice.  I don't blame anybody for not biking then. But weather like today -when the roads are clear (at least  those that I took) and wind is minimal - can make for lovely riding.

So please excuse my rant.

My issue is more with the media and their revenue generating weather hysteria than it is with those of you who didn't ride today.  My suggestion is that for those cold winter days you decide for  yourself whether or not you want to ride based on what you see and feel outside (don't rely on the media reports!). And if you have the proper gear to ride in sub freezing temperatures - in my case it's "technical" cold weather clothes - go for it! You may like it.

And btw, I am not one of those hardcore dudes I pass on the LFP in mid November running in shorts. I get cold hands and feet  just like you all.

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Good point you bring up Jennifer.  And one I mention to others too.

I have a ten minute walk to the train in uptown.  Assuming a five minute wait for the  train and switching at Fullerton means 25 minutes walking or standing in cold. Or I can bike in the same weather (okay add a few degrees for wind chill), keep moving all the time, and have no delays.  Like you wrote, it's a much warmer alternative.

Maybe biking just looks like such a solitary activity to people that they think we are all cold, lonely and miserable while we are biking.

Surprised it wasn't windy in the city Wednesday, it sure was out here on the prairie.  I rode 5 miles to the PO mid afternoon (when the wind had slacked off to about 15 mph), but the NWS said wind chill was still -10.  I had to keep my head down to keep my face out of the headwind on the return trip.  Not a bad day for a 10 mile ride, but I wouldn't have wanted 30 miles with the wind we had. 

Way to go jo!

Right there with you-- Cold nights are so beautiful and I love riding om the deserted streets in the frozen calm.  And now we're getting to that place where most secondary streets (if not side streets*)  have dry salty pavement spreading out from the high point of the street towards the curbs, so the treacherousness is receding.

(*the side streets in Forest Park were clear and dry....does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)

What do you mean?

h' 1.0 said:

does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)

The first snow/ice the streets were not salted at all around the near westside (Lawndale/little village), the state bike path newly shiny with poles had snow pushed into it. The lake front path has patches plowed and other patches untouched.

Seems to be better now.

CONGRATS on riding this winter!
Time for the frozen balaclava vodka cocktails!


Alex Z said:

What do you mean?

h' 1.0 said:

does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)

I meant:

And now we're getting to that place where most secondary streets (if not side streets*)  have dry salty pavement spreading out from the high point of the street towards the curbs, so the treacherousness is receding.

(*the side streets in Forest Park were clear and dry....does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)



Alex Z said:

What do you mean?

h' 1.0 said:

does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)

Cool response.

h' 1.0 said:

I meant:

And now we're getting to that place where most secondary streets (if not side streets*)  have dry salty pavement spreading out from the high point of the street towards the curbs, so the treacherousness is receding.

(*the side streets in Forest Park were clear and dry....does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)



Alex Z said:

What do you mean?

h' 1.0 said:

does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)

Nice post, but do we really need another winter biking thread?  Use "I rode today. Did you?" or "Winter 2014- who's still riding?".  Or better yet, let's close two of these and all post under one.

So we're fueding now because I proposed a route other than Kinzie on Sue's thread?

Really?
 
Alex Z said:

Cool response.

h' 1.0 said:

I meant:

And now we're getting to that place where most secondary streets (if not side streets*)  have dry salty pavement spreading out from the high point of the street towards the curbs, so the treacherousness is receding.

(*the side streets in Forest Park were clear and dry....does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)



Alex Z said:

What do you mean?

h' 1.0 said:

does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)

h' 1.0 said:

does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)

I think I get what h' is asking...the city side streets seem way less plowed/salted than suburban ones.  I can vouch for the same.  Riding from Portage to Skokie, it was ok in Portage/Jefferson, TOTAL crap in Forest Glen, and then amazingly fine in Lincolnwood.   And on the way home, the same side streets in Forest Glen were still dicey, and many of the smaller side streets by me in Portage are way worse than the suburban streets.

Couple that with the lousy salting/plowing response last Sunday, and yeah, it looks like Rahm has forgotten the lessons of Mayor Bilandic so far.  Heck, I believe my alderman lives a block or two from me, and his street doesn't look like it got plowed. 

Could be budget, could be that they blew their salt wad earlier the past few years and got caught flat footed with late snows, could be a little of column A, a little of column B.

Are there cars parked on the side streets in those suburban areas?  I don't know if that makes a difference as far as salting, but can make a difference with plowing.

iiiiiii see. h' 1.0, we're not feuding. I was confused about the implication of your comment; I thought you were saying that the city response to this snow gave us some "tea leaves" to forecast future weather events. But if Madopal is right, you're simply saying, the response to this snow was bad so the response in the future may also be bad.

 

You may be right! Sorry for the confusion.

Madopal (5.8 mi) said:

h' 1.0 said:

does anyone else see signs that it's going to be the worst winter in recent memory in terms of city response to snow clearance?)

I think I get what h' is asking...the city side streets seem way less plowed/salted than suburban ones.  I can vouch for the same.  Riding from Portage to Skokie, it was ok in Portage/Jefferson, TOTAL crap in Forest Glen, and then amazingly fine in Lincolnwood.   And on the way home, the same side streets in Forest Glen were still dicey, and many of the smaller side streets by me in Portage are way worse than the suburban streets.

Couple that with the lousy salting/plowing response last Sunday, and yeah, it looks like Rahm has forgotten the lessons of Mayor Bilandic so far.  Heck, I believe my alderman lives a block or two from me, and his street doesn't look like it got plowed. 

Could be budget, could be that they blew their salt wad earlier the past few years and got caught flat footed with late snows, could be a little of column A, a little of column B.

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