Thursday, December 5, 2013

An adventurous morning bike commute.

Ok, I will admit that the commute today was challenging.  The neighborhood roads in Reno are never on the plow list, so they become hard packed, rutted ice.  I didn't stop for a picture of this because it is best to concentrate on not eating it.  The studded tires on the Xtracycle definitely help, but you can still find yourself kissing terrafirma in short order.

Once you make it to more traveled roads you might find a two-track type area where you can at least get out of the ruts.  You then have to be very careful in regards to overtaking traffic.  They too are focused on the two-tracks and don't tend to pass very safely.

Finally, I make it to the river path.  It is usually plowed within 24 hours of any snow!  It was clear sailing from here, or so I thought.  This is what I encountered on the rest of the commute....

The path had a road closed sign at the ice rink.  A construction crew was doing some concrete cutting.  You can't go around the other side of the rink so you're forced to cut through.  I walked to be polite.  Really there was nothing to the "construction" that required a closure.  The worst part was their large truck blocks your view of traffic in the cross walk (or more importantly, traffics view of me trying to cross).

A bit farther along, just across the bridge at John Champion Park, another road closed sign!?  This one you really have to go through, as there is no way back that doesn't involve a 2 mile detour on roads that aren't friendly even on nice days.  Apparently they are scooping out something in the river and hauling it up the path.

The only bad part about this one is envisioning how much damage this does to the path.  It's not build to handle 10 ton trucks!

When I finally got to Rock Blvd. (which has bike lanes)....the bike lanes are the location the snow is pushed to.  This leaves you exposed and basically riding in traffic, so it's a bit nerve fraying.
So that's how a standard 6.5 mile commute turns into an adventure!  A few obstacles never hurt anyone eh?  They did make what is normally a ho-hum commute into something interesting!


  1. That is very brave of you to commute in this weather. I had wondered about the trail and if it was clear enough to ride. Maybe they scattering sand on it?

    Where did you get your studded tires?

    1. The river trail is usually plowed within 12-24 hours of a storm. I think they use a pickup mounted snowplow and then sand / salt. It's almost always better then the roads are!

    2. Ahh....the studded tires. Nobody in town carries them. I believe I ordered mine through a small bike shop back east called Velo-Orange.