|Bicycles are frozen in place. Snowplows scoured frozen sidewalk|
and road edges, leaving surreal ice blocks.
After falling flat on my back, then losing my footing on an icy bank between parking meter and my car, which left me sprawled with one hand wedged above my head between two utility poles, I hope that's the end of my winter mishaps.
For now, I'm singing the praises of salt trucks, which leave white-stained but walkable and rideable surfaces—for brave cyclists anyway—making travel safe for everyone. Recently, a driving rain fell, which became slippery, ice-covered conditions when the temperatures fell. Days later, sidewalks have improved and I'm venturing out for much needed exercise.
Outlying areas aren't so lucky. Dirt roads have three inches of glazed ice. While public roads are sanded, private roads are left to owner's whims and abilities, especially what each considers adequate road maintenance. I work in a home office (not my own) and for years have been at the mercy of winter weather gods. Now, I drive a treacherous .75 mile driveway, park, then shuffle towards the house like an old lady. Once I manage the 100-foot distance to office entrance, I negotiate 3 ice-filled wooden steps, which I'm reduced to navigating on hands and knees. It's quite comical, especially when my boss comes out to lend me a hand, laughing yet oblivious to improving stairway conditions. I'm used to my employers' odd behavior; they're overly generous in more heartfelt ways, something I've grown accustomed to.
|I often would cut across this field on my early morning walk. |
Not so, now that the landscape resembles a skating rink.
Our household compost bucket is overflowing. I can't bring myself to travel 100 feet of backyard ice to empty rotting vegetables into a larger receptacle. I suppose the wretched smell will eventually make my husband or me brave the skating rink.
If I can't ski, I'm ready for a January thaw. Enough to wash and clear salty road debris. When and if that happens, my bike and I will be out the door, pronto.