In The Aftermath Of The Storm - A Few Days In A Snow Globe - CycleBlaze

December 11, 2021

In The Aftermath Of The Storm

While Woodbury Cleans Up Its Streets, I Do Not Advance

The TV weather forecasters got it right this time . . . sort of.  They predicted yesterday's snowstorm and we sure got it.  Looking at their prediction more carefully, however, they dramatically underestimated the snowfall totals.  On the day I began this tour, I was hearing estimates of 3-6 inches of snow.  That amount sounded like an acceptable risk to me.

According to the Channel 5 News this morning, Woodbury received a whopping 18 inches of snow.  As a bicycle rider, I have to say "that kind of sucks."  As a frequent critic of weather men and weather women and the computer models they use, I have to say "good job."  Given their propensity for exaggerating and overhyping the severity of upcoming weather events, I honestly didn't believe we'd get even an inch.


From my fourth floor window it looked like Bielenberg Drive was plowed fairly well.  Still, I was compelled to carry my bike down there for a reconnaissance mission.  The 7:00 news reported over 250 vehicle accidents in the past 18 hours, but I had to see for myself how slippery it was.  I also had to check out the condition of sidewalks, bike trails, and secondary roads before I could make the decision to move on today.

It didn't look too good.

This was the scene just outside the hotel's side entrance.
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After taking that picture I carefully swung my leg over the panniers and settled into my saddle.  Upon the first revolution of the pedals, a woman who was brushing the snow off her car said, "good luck with that."  I looked at her expecting to see a smile, but I only sensed sarcasm.  What happened to "Minnesota Nice."  (Then I remembered this is a hotel, so she probably wasn't even FROM Minnesota.)

Before I got out of the parking lot, I got a friendlier comment from a guy with a southern accent.  "You're a better man than I am," he said.

"Or a nuttier one," I replied.  I always laugh at my own dumb jokes and I was glad to see he laughed too.

Not too bad so far.
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Nice retaining wall
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Nice mountain
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Nice trees
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The main roads were a little slippery, but not horribly so.  I'd be comfortable riding them all day long.  It's the automobile drivers who I don't trust.  Almost all of them moved over for me this morning, which was nice, but it was still pretty early and there wasn't much traffic.  What will happen when both lanes are filled with cars?

Also, I saw a car that had trouble stopping at an intersection.  If I had been crossing that intersection at the time, it would have slid right into me.

Furthermore, the side streets and bike trails were not yet plowed.

The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong (my bike), is as much of a Tough Guy as I am. Combined, we can generate some incredible pedaling power, but there is no way we can ride on streets like that.
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Rachael AndersonVery wise! We do want you to still be around the next time we come to Minnesota.
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5 months ago
marilyn swettNot even my fat tire trike would have been able to ride through that!
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5 months ago

When I got back to the hotel, I walked up to the front desk and utilized a technique I learned recently.  In my politest voice I said, "hi, I'm in room 432 and, if at all possible, I'd like to extend my stay for one more day."  Then, in my best woe-is-me voice, I added, "I don't think I can go anywhere on my bicycle today."  Just in case, I had my bribe money at hand.

It was all unnecessary, of course.  There was a different gal at the desk today and she was just as friendly and helpful as the one who assisted me yesterday.  

I probably could have packed up my stuff and braved the main roads for a few miles to another suburb, but I was seriously relieved I didn't have to.


I called my wife, The Feeshko, to inform her of my whereabouts.  When she called me yesterday, she was worried about the weather.  I told her I was safely holed up in the La Quinta, and she urged me to book another night there.  At the time I said I'd play it by ear.  I think she assumed that meant I'd probably be moving on.

So she was happy about the news that I was staying in place for today.  Then she told me about how the snow had drifted up to our front door at home.  She had to barge the door open with her shoulder to get out.  Now I feel guilty that I'm not there to shovel the front porch and the driveway.

I didn't tell her that I was planning to ride my bike a little more though.  I didn't want to worry her.  It was painfully boring just lounging around in the room.  

The temperature was only 27-degrees (F), but the sun was shining brightly and melting the ice off of Bielenberg Drive.  I not only longed for a bike ride, but I also needed some beer and some snacks.  I could get the snacks in the hotel lobby, but the beer was about a mile away.  Off I went.

Now the problem wasn't ice. It was slush.
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And the side streets still weren't plowed. It was nice to see the mail truck out there, living up to the U.S. Postal Service pledge. ("Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, . . . etc.)
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On my way back from the grocery store, I was happy to see the trail plow doing its thing. I climbed over the snowbank with The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong on my shoulder and hopped on the bike trail for the last quarter-mile.
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I'll be watching sports for the rest of the afternoon and then I think I'll run across four lanes of traffic to the Mexican restaurant for dinner.  It should be interesting to see how my tour develops tomorrow.

Today's ride: 6 miles (10 km)
Total: 42 miles (68 km)

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Scott AndersonWhat? No report on the beer? What was the catch of the day?
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5 months ago
Keith KleinHi,
18 inches, eh? Sounds about right for December in Minnesota. I looked up the record snowfall for Dijon, and it’s 42 centimeters in 1964, about 15 inches. So such a thing is possible here, but not very likely. I’ll bet those studded tires are looking more attractive right now. I had a pair, and they got some use when I lived in the great white north.
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5 months ago
Suzanne GibsonToo much of a good thing, I guess. I mean the snow. Waiting out the storm in a hotel room might be even tougher than riding, but less dangerous. Good decision.
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5 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Scott AndersonDankbot IPA from Insight Brewery. It's a Minneapolis brew that I pick up fairly regularly. Good stuff.
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5 months ago
Nancy GrahamSo happy to have found your Tour in a Snow Globe. You are intrepid, and in fact your blog here encouraged me to go our and ride in a rainy cold (36 degrees) morning. Thanks.
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5 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Nancy GrahamHi Nancy, I'm glad you found this journal and that I was able to inspire someone to ride in inclement weather. Also, I apologize for not replying to your follow-up email the other day. I just found it this morning. It looks like you got the Cycle365 problem figured out anyway. I'll be back to posting there again soon.
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5 months ago