Tuesday, November 24, 2015

In Which The Road Is Surprisingly Nice

Hill heading west behind Kenwood School--usually an icy thrill ride. Totally clear this morning--that's bare pavement, what I like to see and so rarely do during winter on this street.
I’ve learned a painful lesson in past winters: The condition of Brentwood Drive NE is not necessarily a good indicator of whether one can bicycle to Mount Mercy.

The problem is the Kenwood neighborhood that I ride through—or, as I sometimes call it, “The Land That Snowplows Forgot.” While the street in front of my humble above may be bare pavement, there is often a dangerous frosting of compressed snow on the unplowed streets surrounding Kenwood School.

So I thought I was gambling today, with my biking plans. Turns out, the gamble paid off, big time. The road may be long, with many a winding turn, but it didn’t have much snow on it.

Of course, it may be that, despite 7 inches of wet snow Saturday, the ground was simply too warm and the street frosting merely melted. But I would like to think it has something to do with the Cedar Rapids Street Department. I don’t know it for a fact, but I thought I detected a bit of “plow” evidence on the usually treacherous back streets of CR—snow “drifts” left on Lennox Avenue that could have been caused by a plow working around parked cars, chunks left at the edge of 37th Street pushed by something, probably not a glacier.

Early evening ride home on Cedar River Trail--like the streets, well cleared of snow.

Well, kudos for a job well done, CR, if indeed you did it. May this be a good omen for the possibility of winter biking. It’s not usually the cold that stops me, but snow and ice on the streets.

I had to take care in some spots today, where melting had taken place and then freezing after the melting, but by and large, both streets and the Cedar Valley Nature Trail were well cleared. Hooray!

A few sky views. Moon rising over Noelridge Park--north part of Cedar River Trail closed, so I was on the old summer detour. Even quiet streets behind Wright Brothers School were nicely clean. Moon (below) rising over pond at Rockwell-Collins, and (bottom) view of sunset on C Avenue as I near home.

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