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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,825

    The Crippling Blizzard of '16

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    I am trying very hard not to think about the storm that is about to hit us. Every forecast gets worse with more and more snow expected. And I hate sitting here listening to the wind howling outside and hoping if the electricity will go out -- which means no heat and panic about possible freezing pipes. I would just like to fast-forward to Sunday.

    Last night I realized that I played this wrong -- I should have packed a bag and headed up to my parents' house in NY. They're expecting far less snow. I could have been there to help them, shovel whatever they get, work remotely for a few days and let my neighbors down here deal with the task of shoveling out.

    A few days ago it looked like things would warm up to the 40s next week, but that forecast has been adjusted down, so they think it will be above freezing during the day but only by a few degrees. That will prolong the melting. We don't have reserved parking here and storms like this tend to bring out the worst in people as they try to claim that the parking space they shoveled out can't be used by anyone else. The last time we had this much snow it was plowed into the few spaces that were empty during the storm -- giant piles, taller than me. But we needed those spaces so I spent several days clearing them out. Occasionally someone came out to help me but mostly people just watched. Then they complained when someone took the one and only space that they shoveled.

    When we finally get back to work, things will be even worse. The county where my office is located has no requirements for shoveling sidewalks, so they do not get shoveled at all. You have to walk in the street -- busy roads with no shoulders -- or drive to get lunch and run errands. If you do try to walk, you will find 6' snow piles left by the snow plows at all the intersections, forcing you even farther into traffic.

    All the roads here are so covered with salt that they are already white. The big trucks crush the salt and kick up the dust with their tires. So you drive along through white clouds of crushed salt. For me it's an asthma trigger. But the alternative is black ice and complete gridlock for miles.

    This area is just not a good place to be when it snows.

    I have lots of reading to do for work to keep me busy through the weekend. It's dull so I will struggle to stay focused, especially with all my neighbors home and making noise (and stinking up my house with the stench of whatever "food" they cook). I've got the indoor trainer for my bike which I hope will help me get through. I've also got the suspension trainer to work out at home, though I won't really need it once the snow shoveling commences. The condo association has announced that they won't start shoveling sidewalks until Sunday morning, so I'll probably go out several times tomorrow to clear the walk in front of our building. Something to do to pass the time.

    (I've got a giant bottle of Jamaican rum and some cream liqueur in the fridge. But that would not be a healthy way to pass the time. )

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    Eh, the rum doesn't sound bad.
    You guys are really getting it. We are only getting a dusting-2 inches in the NW suburbs of Boston, although there will be more in Boston, and about 6 inches on the coast. I guess people deserve the time off after last winter here, but personally, last year's snow was heaven for me!
    You have the right attitude. Look at it as time off from normal life. Shoveling is great exercise. Take some deep breaths if the sidewalks are crappy, or people don't know how to drive. It will pass. If the power goes out, be prepared, but, unfortunately, there's not much you can do.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    478
    Hang in there. I was actually hoping some would head north to MI, because I want to go cross country skiing so bad but, at this time we just do not have enough snow. This kind of weather you describe makes me love having a Jeep Wrangler as a daily driver. It can go anywhere!!! I'm weird that I actually like to drive in the snow now.
    2012 Trek Lexa SL
    2012 Giant TCX2
    2015 Trek Remedy 7
    2016 Trek Lexa C
    2016 Specialized Hellga-Fat Bike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    I'd say about 80% of the drivers around here have AWD or 4WD cars. I can't imagine living in a snowy climate without it. Of course, it doesn't help you stop (I also have super duper snow tires), but I couldn't drive up my street without it, let alone my driveway.
    I learned to drive in the snow when I was 37. Enough said. I hate driving to begin with, so this was not a piece of cake for me. Obviously, most people don't need AWD in DC or the south, but to me, it is a necessity.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    I like the rum idea. Do your work reading, enjoy a trainer ride, then settle in with a movie and a nice rum drink. Leave the snow and related issues to the neighbors and use you time to relax.

    Electra Townie 7D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    I dunno… where I grew up one or two good snows a year were not unexpected and the city didn't plow - just salt on the streets. It was totally an unwritten rule that you didn't park in a space in front of someone else's house that they'd shoveled out…(in many places there were few driveways). It's very nice of you to shovel other people's spaces, especially if they are able to do it themselves.

    Out here there are few heavy snows in the lowlands - once every few years maybe, and mostly people just stay put, as they have little idea of how to drive in it, and even if you do have AWD, the city doesn't have the equipment to clear snow, the streets are steep and can get very icy and AWD doesn't help a person stop… We do have an ordinance that requires people to clear their sidewalks, but few people even own a snow shovel out here.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    62
    From what I've been hearing, the bands of heavy snow are expanding northwards so your parents might very well be getting more snow than expected, too. We've got a weather radio that charges with a crank, so we've been able to keep aware of the outside world in snowstorms when the power's gone out -- that was very helpful the last two winters! I wish you full power and heat the whole time, and nice people to talk to when you go out to shovel!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    All of you in the path of the storm need weather-proofing, as follows:

    1 cup strong peppermint tea
    tablespoon Trader Joe's peppermint hot chocolate
    dollop half and half cream
    1.5 ounces Kraken Rum

    There, you are now warm from the inside out You're welcome

    Seriously, stay safe all of you! I STILL remember the blizzard/ice storm of 1993...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Be safe, all.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Hope everyone in the storm's path will be okay. It really looks like a doozy. I called my mom in western NC today, and they'd only had 4" but more was supposed to wrap in behind it, so we'll see what she ends up with.

    We had more blustery wind and heavy rain bands move through Florida today yet again, another El Nino storm, and there was a tornado warning near New Smyrna Beach. Pax, are you okay? I hope you didn't have any problems. We dodged a bullet yet again west of Orlando, but they say another one of these storms is due to come through next Wed/Thurs. Scary when I see the tornado aftermath videos and photos of Cape Coral and Ft. Myers in SW Florida, right where my g-parents used to live.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    We're good, thanks Emily. If you make it over near NSB let me know, we can meet up for lunch... we may have storms, but you don't have to shovel them!

    Electra Townie 7D

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,940
    We are getting pounded. Power just came on, it has been out for about 8 hours. Very high winds, 10 inches of snow, now sleet and freezing rain, more heavy snow coming. Good times. Just hunkered down drinking tea. I will probably hit my trainer later since I can't run in this. Too dangerous.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Stay warm and safe!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Thinking about all of you affected, hope you can stay warm and snug and wait this out!

    Electra Townie 7D

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    We got very lucky (see the Thankful thread). Just to the east of us got heavy freezing rain, with lots and lots of power outages. We have lots of icy crud on the ground, but not much more coming and little to no ice accumulation on trees and power lines. Heavy winds this afternoon, and after that (knocking on wood), we'll be in the clear. Thinking of all those east and north of us who are getting it much worse!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

 

 

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