Wow. Only two inches of snow, but it was a tough commute. I shoveled about an inch of snow, then dressed and left for work on my cross bike with studded tires (35C Nokian Hakkapeliittas). There was already another inch or so of fresh snow on the ground, and the roads hadn’t been plowed, so I was riding on 2 inches of snow, sometimes loose, sometimes packed. I tried to follow tire tracks to ride on packed snow.
At the end of my street, at corner of Oak and Providence (in Dunn Loring), there was a car that had gone into a ditch – not the first car I saw on the commute that had slid on the ice and snow. I had to ride down Idylwood to Route 7. usually I take Virginia lane, or else Barbour Lane in the winter sometimes, but I thought Idylwood would be safer. I walked the bike down the hill toward Rte 7. As I did I noticed a car at the bottom of the hill coming up that couldn’t get up the hill.
Riding through Falls Church on West Broad St. (Rte. 7) was easy. Then it got hard. West St., Lincoln Ave., and Fairfax Dr. were not plowed. Washington St. wasn’t either. I stopped at bottom of hill up Wash. St. from Sycamore to help push a car that couldn’t get up the hill. We couldn’t get it going. After walking up hill (couldn’t start on the uphill), I followed Washington St. for a while but it was backed up so I took 16th St. (you got it – unplowed) to George Mason, then right and back to Washington (now not backed up), to Clarendon. I thought i was home free when I got to Clarendon Blvd because it gets lots of traffic, but unplowed, and with lots of loose snow, and with glasses both fogging and icing up, I grew increasingly worried. I stooped at Court House Metro Station, cleaned and de-iced eyeglasses, and put on a cycling cap over my balaclava to try to keep snow (which was falling hard) off my eyeglasses. It worked.
The downhill to Rosslyn kept me nervous, but I made it safely. Took Key Bridge to Georgetown. Rode in a car lane not the pedestrian sidewalk as i usually do.
Distance to work: 11 miles (shorter than my usual 12 miles commute because this route is more direct)
Time on bike computer: 1:10, or about 30 minutes more than usual!
Avg. speed: 9.3 mph, probably an all-time low.
Elapsed time (actual time door-to-door): probably 1:30
I think the commute home should be easier as the Custis was plowed. Yeah!