Thursday, February 11, 2010

Enough already!

Ouch!  So I'm late to work this morning and I hear the worst sound you can hear while traveling through Billings.  Ding ding ding ding....  Yep, its the train and this ones is carrying coal.  These coal trains are the longest trains I have ever seen.  Some start with three locomotives, then have two more thrown in the middle of the hundreds of coal cars only to be followed up by three more engines at the end.  I decided that I didn't want to wait for the train today so I took Minnesota Street over to the 21st Street underpass.  As I'm cranking down Minnesota, the street gradually turns to ice.  I slowed down but then all of the sudden the smooth ice turns into bumpy and slick ice. Now, if you've seen Billings streets lately, you know the roads are not just a smooth blanket of ice, but rather icy ruts cut into 4 to 6 inches of ice pack.  See the picture below from an article in the Billings Gazette this morning.  Except that street looks so much better than what I was riding on this morning.  As I hit this slick, bumpy ice, I knew I was doomed.  I couldn't veer off the road to the snow pack because I couldn't get out of the ruts.  I couldn't brake because I'd go down instantly.  So my only option was to stop pedaling, hold on and hope I don't break a collarbone.  I hit the first bump and felt the bike start to slip so I leaned into the fall, bringing the bike out in front of me perpendicular to the road and slammed my foot down to the road.  I was able to recover without hitting too hard.  My tires, now sliding on top of the ice pack grabbed enough of the snow to stop me before I went slamming to the ground.  Luckily I just skid the bike and hit my knee on the snow pack.  I got right up and pedaled away, slowly and cautiously the rest of the way to work.  My knee is a little sore but it could have been worse.  Anyone else ready for spring?


AliJ said...

I'm glad you're OK. YES!!!!! I am ready for winter to be over. Want to move to Floria?

Russ said...

I'm not sure if I could handle Florida but Arizona and New Mexico are starting to look enticing. By-the-way. I got fed up with it all and bought studded tires online today. They should be here before the next snow fall. An article in the today's paper said that we've had snow on the ground for 72 consecutive days here. So far its the 7th longest stretch on record and tied for 2nd for days with over an inch of snow on the ground (78 days). It doesn't look like its going away any time soon either.