Biking in the snow is exhilarating. Fat snowflakes fall, slow and lazy. Cars rumble past gently and carefully. Snowflakes emanate from a central point like the stars do when the Enterprise goes to warp speed, only slowly. The pace of the world is closer to that of the cyclist. If you are dressed properly, the snowflakes landing on your face are invigorating, not uncomfortably cold. Chances are you’ve dressed too warm, and you welcome the chill. If there is enough snow on the ground, you slip and fall into the soft drifts and, laughing, get up and back on your bike, over and over. But today, the streets are already clear and only a little extra caution needed.
I do not get to enjoy snow biking today, even though the studded tires are on my bike just for this occasion. After a series of back injuries, brought on initially by shoveling snow and swimming and exacerbated by ridiculously mundane activities like standing and walking, I gave up all exercise until I heal. I don’t consider biking to work “exercise” but it’s so difficult to get on and off the bike that I gave that up too, until I’ve recovered.
Feeling sad that I can’t bike in the snow today, I joined the cat watching the snow fall outside the window. I remembered an early spring snow 6 years ago, my first bike ride in the snow. I was biking to my Traffic Skills 101 class where I would learn how to bike with traffic. It was a 9-hour class with classroom time, parking lot drills, road rides, and a test. It was an important and exhausting day, and the memory of that early morning snow fall is still vivid.
If you get a chance to bike in snowfall, I highly recommend it.