Thursday, 7 January 2010

snow cycling commute Dublin. 5 trips and 2 slips

I've been cycling since Tue. 5 trips and 2 slips. Oops. No damage to self or bike.
Ken’s tip very true: When the tyres go quiet watch out it's slippy you’re going top fall.
This morning: don't try cycling on those ridges of slush in the cycle lane that looks like slush but is actually frozen!

I'm commuting from Sandyford to Park West, about 15km.

It has snowed a bit in Dublin and temperatures are below 0 for a week so far which we’re not used to in Ireland.
Roads cleared less actively than last year I think.
Snow during day Wed meant loads of cars left early to get home, got stuck in traffic and also the gritters/salters couldn’t treat the roads as they were stuck in traffic.
We need snow plows – cheap snow plows on cars, trucks would probably be good.

Monday: Our housing estate has packed snow on paths and roads.
Roads a little bit better as they were gritted and driven on.
Our footpath was a bit clear as we swept it.
Motorbiked. Motorbike battery charger had fallen off. Bike wouldn’t start so I jumped it with the car.
Bigger roads mostly clear, motorway clear but could see nasty sheen, bigger roads clear (some isolated bad patches) then Park West industrial estate roads bad.
 Cars leaving from early afternoon.
But slippy ice on small incline made them stuck for hours.
When I left 18:00ish that queue was just clearing.
 Park west security people directing cars up the in-lane (which was clear from cars driving on it in morning).
 Actually Mororbike would not start. The Bus jump started me! THANKS Bus driver!

Tue: Cycled to and from work.
 Main roads pretty clear. Avoid nasty ice and stuff in cycle lane but could use half cycle lane mostly when it existed.
 Snow and ice on off-road cycle lanes so didn’t go near them.
 On footpath a couple of times when passing queues of traffic.
 Going home was pretty okay – things had thawed a bit – some places better but others worse.

 T-shirt only under coat so not overheated.
 Buff for ears. Light ski gloves. Cat boots working quite nicely.


Bit more of an adventure today. Snow hadn't cleared out much but roads were clear ish and salting of main roads made cycling okay in morning.

Snow during day caused fun. Cars started trying to go home from morning but small incline on road slippy, one car stuck which caused everyobne to be stuck. People should use bumpers and push :) Also further over when going to lunch and from reports of everyone checking up on each other all park west roads jammed solid. People left 2 or 3 and gave up after an hour or more.

I slipped near Rathfarnham church going home . Slippy slippy ice. Bike and I slid along a bit. No damage, front mudguard moved a bit. Better on footpath. That was the worst set of ice I had seen. Park west road and hill in iopposite dir to me and also ice around roads by Rathfarnham shopping centre was quite bad (and worse for cars as the ice was on hills). On the icy hills some cars were doing a very bad job. Revving alot and wheels slipping and really polishing up the ice.

Phew! Starved. Pasta + red cabbage (braised, lots) + lamb burger +other scraps.
Earlier for lunch ham + cheese + coleslaw baguette, 1 apple, 2 bananas, loads of coffee.
Usual porredge + rasins + museli + milk for breakfast.

The rabbits seem to be having lots of fun.
They don't rush in when door is opened (as they were doing a bit when it was aboput 0 degrees).
They run and jump in the snow.
And still seem to sit just about anywhere.
Replacing water at least 2wice a day for them.

Our estate roads still covered. More main roads have plenty of snow - but it is broken a bit from salt/grit and light traffic. I cycle where there is grip. No cycle paths free this morning.

I slipped this morn near Sandyford. Nipped into frozen ridge of slush on bike lane. It looks just like soft unfrozen slush. Crunch. Frozen slush absorbs impact okay. This morning on all roads there was plenty of snow. Also with ice in ridges underneath and softer snow above. Different layering of snow on duifferent roads. Very few places with even a bit of road clear to the road surface. Cycling on flat surfaces best. Road mostly.

Cycle on footpath a few times. Packed snow but with crunch on top, grip is fine.
Passed Brian Murphy walking in from Rathfarnham.

Some tips and techniques:

I agree with Nutty cyclist, don't soften your bike tyres! And use Mountainbike tyres.
I have a mountainbike tyre on back and normal road tyre on front hybrid bike.
incidentally I need to do this sometime:

 checking Tonight, IR map, snow radar.
More snow predicted tonight (thur 7/1/2010) and looks like that will be on top of what is not shifting from roads now. Hmmmm.

Gordon’s weather station:
 Newbridge, Co Kildare.  Down to -6 to -8 from 00:00 to 10:00 Thur 7/1/2010. Up to -3 now!

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