Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beware the Ice of March

Tuesday I biked over to the dentist for a cleaning.  The shared sidewalk/trail on Providence was ice but at least had a good sand cover.

Lake Otis ice glared in the sun without sand, but was not flat out ice.  It seems to have had been more stamped down snow made into ice, but with little air pockets sucked out so it had a bit of traction. 

The picture on the right is a close up of the plowed snow on the right of the path above, as the low humidity and sunlight evaporate it.

Here's the ice at the bottom of our driveway,  created as the snow and ice in our driveway melt in the warmth of the day and then freeze solid at night.  We generally try to keep the driveway clear precisely so this doesn't happen.  But I've been away.  This is fall-on-your-ass ice and much of our street is like this right now.

While the street gets you from below, this ice gets you from above.

So when I went downtown yesterday, I was leery about biking on my studless tires. I took the bus.  But I walked home.  Sidewalks and streets downtown were in pretty good shape.  This ice is ice that should be there - it's Chester Creek.


And the Chester Creek Bike Trail proved to be in great shape - hard packed down snow, not ice, and a number of bikes passed me as I walked home. 

There was this interesting lumpy ice off to the side of the trail.  I clearly see something recognizable in it.  Does anyone else see something in this icy Rorschach? 

Getting off the groomed trail and onto a neighborhood street and it was challenging ice time again.  But it was a warm day - mid 30s.

At first I thought this was some fancy biking, but on reflection I don't think so - the grooves are too smooth and the curves too tight.  Any ideas?  I guess it could be done with a hose full of warm water, but how would that have happened at a busy street corner?

And finally some warmed ice edged by colder dirtier ice.

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