Three quarters of an inch of snow brought a city of 300,000+ to a screeching halt Monday night. Tuesday dawned with a light dusting of snow that closed schools, businesses, roads, and somehow drastically affected peoples common sense. I live in a hilly area of Little Rock, so watching people who have zero skill at winter driving navigate up and down hills can provide hours of entertainment.
I headed out at 7:30 am for some coffee, and to survey the ruination of the morning commute. It was cold, about 15 degrees, as I headed to a coffee shop about 2 miles away. Riding wasn’t much of an issue. I stayed in the powder for traction, and had the bare minimum of psi in the tires ( 12 maybe). There were a few cars out on the roads, but you can guess which ones were: Jeeps, Subarus, etc.
Stop #1 looked all warm and inviting. The lights were on…yet the door locked. I snapped a couple of pics, and headed back up the hill to try another place. Once again, a few Jeeps, a few Subarus, and then the highly recognizable driver that has no clue what they’re doing. How can you tell? This species only cleans off a little port hole on their windshield. If winter driving wasn’t stressful enough, this variety of person likes to up the ante by deciding to drive with shitty visibility as well.
I found two shops open and settled on the smaller of the two. I ordered my large latte and waited in anticipation of the first jeep driver to learn that his 4wd doesn’t have 4 wheel stop. Everything was pretty tame on the roadways though, and as I sat there, I got the dreaded pins-and-needles-tingle of my fingers letting me know that they got a little too cold on the ride. I warmed up, enjoyed my coffee, and sent some texts to see if I could talk anyone else into a frolic in the snow via mtb.
Plans made, I noticed that coffee shop #1 was now open, and since it was perfectly situated to provide ample viewing opportunities of carnage, I finished my coffee and set out back down the hill. The wind was now at my back, making the descent much more enjoyable than the climb up, and traffic was non-existent.
I settled into my second latte of the day and made some plans to ride with friends. I’d ride toward them and they’d ride toward me, and when we met we would decide what to do. Before I went to meet them, I ran home and upgraded to some full fledge gore-tex ski gloves and a face mask that would cover my nose and cheeks. Warmth trumps all in these situations, so I couldn’t care less of what I looked like.
I rolled out to meet the fellas, and survey more of the snow scene. Heading NW the wind/wind chill was brutal. I’d guess in the single digits, or maybe a bit below zero. Luckily I didn’t have to head that way long, as I saw them approaching. The decision was made to head back to the coffee shop I was just at, as one of my buddies needed to upgrade his gloves to something that didn’t suck. We rolled to the Meteor, grabbed another coffee, and perused the gloves. Nothing was really going to help curtail the temps, so he went old school and used a pair of latex exam gloves for liners.
We rolled downtown for a beer, and then back down the trail on the northside. My buddy the wind was waiting for us, and as soon at the direction turned westerly, it punched us right in the chest. I ended up 30 miles of snow biking fun. My Garmin said the average temp was 19, so it never really warmed up too much, but it was fun nonetheless.