Saturday, January 21, 2012

Riding Interruption Due to Snow


A fresh snowfall overnight -- just four or five inches but enough for me to opt out of riding today.  I've ridden in this kind of situation before but only to prove I could or to test out my winter tires when I bought them.  With nothing to prove to myself the angels of my better nature reminded me of how greatly the speed differential is between four-wheeled vehicles and two-wheeled vehicles in snow.  Seems like every SUV owner feels they can drive even faster in snow because they have four-wheel drive.  And on a motorcycle or scooter, well, you know how slow you have to go in snow if you've tried it.

So I'll stay home and admire the landscape.


And walk Junior.  He and I did a trip to the park so he could tear around in the snow, seek out other dogs to play with, and try not to lose the ball in the snow.  Succeeded in every objective.

All that's left now is to lie on the couch and get fat...

13 comments:

Circle Blue said...

I, too, have noticed the phenomena of SUV drivers seeming to feel..."they can drive even faster in snow because they have four-wheel drive." It, also, seems to happen when the roads are icy. Friday night we had a little Frizzle. Most drivers were great, but a couple of SUV'ers zoomed past not only me on the Symba but other cars as well. You would think it was summer and dry. All I could do was say a little pray that for the sake of their loved ones they made it home safe. Oh well. It isn't much, but here's the link to my blog post.

http://didheridetoday.blogspot.com/2012/01/no-temptation.html

I think you made an excellent choice to stay home. I suspect Junior appreciated it, too.
~Keith

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Steve Williams:

Pussy.

Iron Dad Bateman rides in floods. Chris Luhman rides in blizzards. Domingo Chang rides up and down frozen mountains. Richard M. must wait six more months to see his hand in daylight. And you let a measly four or five inches of wet snow, topped by freezing rain defeat your 162-mile commute to the office!

It is nor common knowledge that I was forced to retire my 17-year-old Suburban in exchange for a whoppingly huge Ford 4x4 pickup, that is larger than the Suburban in every regard. This truck gets 40 feet to the gallon. That's about twice its own length.

Still, I will drive this in the first snow like it is loaded with quail eggs and hand grenades... Despite its aircraft carrier size, the ass end of this thing will still swing out on a slippery road.

Discretion is the better part of valor when dealing with the snow.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep
Twisted Roads

Richard Machida said...

Up here, I see the SUV behavior most often in some models of Subarus than any other vehicle. In their mind they must be visualizing themselves competing in a road rally somewhere in Sweden or something.

And maybe 3 more months before riding opportunities return.

Charlie6 said...

Now that is a lovely amount of snow Steve....I will confirm that many 4x4 equipped cagers drive on snow with no clue as to the laws of physics.

Still the look on their clueless faces as one rides by....priceless.

Still, only you can decide what conditions to ride in...

I look forward to your future posts of snow-covered PA Scenery.

dom

Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Orin said...

It appears Western Washington has had its "snow event" for the year (said he, hopefully). Luckily, there's not a whole lot of traffic in town, and not much reason to venture too far out of town this time of year. The GTS sat covered in snow all this week, but fired right up for a short spin on bare, wet pavement. The city of Bellingham uses a non-salt de-icing agent. Not that I care about that anymore...

__Orin
Scootin' Old Skool

Steve Williams said...

Circle Blue (Keith): The post on your blog is right on in regard to cagers driving unsafely in bad weather. I always wonder why they're in such a hurry.

Your ride in freezing rain is unnerving. I will attempt snow but freezing rain is just beyond my taste. I do understand how the roads can be wet though while everything else is ice.

Still....

Be safe!

Steve Williams said...

Dear Mr. Riepe: I keep trying to be a good rider but never live up to your expectations. I guess you won't be happy until I ride a BMW. And it will probably have to be one of those despised K types....

I see a lot of those big vehicles around here. Relations of yours?

Steve Williams said...

Richard Machida: Sorry to hear there are some months left before you can ride again. I guess the upside to it all is that it is currently black fly and mosquito free.

SUV's are like a drug. They cause delusions in the drivers. I've only dabbled in rentals but I can see the danger...

Steve Williams said...

Charlie6 (Dom): Those SUVs can go. They just can't stop any better. There is some law of physics in play there --- about a mass in motion.

Anyways, each time I ride in winter I make a conscious assessment of risk, distance, etc. No mindless riding in the cold, especially when there is a chance of slippery stuff on the road.

I'll try and capture some scenery but once I get moving these days I loathe taking off my gloves for a picture...

Steve Williams said...

Orin: That was our first real snow event of the winter as well. Experience has shown that many of the big snowfalls -- three feet or more -- have come in the late winter or early spring. So for now I won't put the snow shovel away.

I've come to the same place as you regarding the Vespa and salt. Who cares...

irondad said...

From your previous post:

Snow = minivan

Another thought about growing fat on the couch.

Fat = more traction!

You are deadly accurate in your assessment of speed differential.

Toadeus Maximus said...

Late comment to this post but....

In this age of SUV's (or maybe yet another Boston culture vortex that as a transplant here I can't logically explain), Is actually the opposite for me. People driving these huge all wheel drive trucks, wagons and vans year round. Then, on the one day a year when all wheel drive would be an asset, I find them idling along at 5 mph, on roads with an abundance of traction.
The city and state have applied X metric tons of salt so the roads, while wet, won't freeze until it's -30f. These mitten and knit hat wearing SUV drivers have thrown off the idea of lanes in such treacherous conditions and have centered themselves on the roadway staying as far away from any visible snow on the shoulders, flashers alerting us to the drivers incompetence.

It's as if they think they are at the wheel of a 76 Ford LTD with bald tires rather than a smallish assault vehicle with the computing power of an f-16. Creeping up hills (remember, speed kills) only to slip back half way up, then blocking (or hitting) all those behind them when an extra 5 mph would have gotten them to the top.

As with everything, there has to be a balance. When I was kid we'd do donuts in the mall parking lot when it snowed. The white trash version of skid pad training I guess, but I have some muscle memory now of what to do when a car slides.

I guess I'll keep passing them in my 05 mini with snow tires and try not to think of the natural resources wasted so these dip shits can "Feel" safe.

Steve Williams said...

Toadeus Maximus: The range of driving skill displayed on the highway is mind boggling. Especially in winter. And when the roads are hazardous all those differences get mixed into a dangerous concoction.

The Vespa, and your Mini, are definitely more vulnerable on the road with the steel behemoths.

Be careful!