The storm before the storm

I’m 48-years-old and I can’t remember another time when Groundhog’s Day was cancelled due to weather.  Milwaukee got hit with 14.5 inches of snow and 60 mph winds.  Racine won the big dump prize with 23.5 inches.  This was on top of 7 inches Monday night. It truly was the blizzard the local media had been hyping since last weekend. Quite often the storm does not live up to the television coverage, but this time all the hype was true. 

Oma had a snow day and stayed in the garage on Tuesday because Liz opted to ski the 6 or 7 blocks to school.

The first storm hit late Monday night and dropped 7 inches of snow on Milwaukee, no big deal by our Midwestern standards. But because it hit kind of heavy and late at night, most of the side streets had not been plowed by the time our family leaves in the morning (around 6:30am) Even so, my commute on Tuesday morning was pretty easy. Even with my Nokian Mount

Nokian W106 Mount and Grounds

 and Ground W106 tires on my Courtney single-speed mountain bike I had got stuck quite a few times until I got on the main drag. Liz opted to ski to work because she takes side roads the entire way to school.

Milwaukee DPW plows had already done a pretty good job on the major roads.  If I had stuck to the arterials right from my house, I wouldn’t have needed the added traction of the mtb tires at all.  But I took this bike because the local media was predicting the bigger storm would hit about an hour before my commute home.  The storm was late, so the trip home was pretty easy.  

City snow clearing policy is to clear the major roads before the side streets. DPW plows did a pretty decent job and I had no trouble getting to work.

Made it to work on time, no sweat.

By four pm the main roads were pretty much dry pavement and the plows had cleared the side roads as well.  Adding to my good mood was the announcement that “non-essential” City employees were encouraged to stay home on Wednesday.  Milwaukee Public Schools had already announced schools would be closed, so I was looking forward to a family snow day. To make the ride home even more pleasant, the strong headwind I fought on the way to work held true and pushed me all the way home. Even though the roads were clear and I was breezing home with a big smile on my face, a woman on the sidewalk near Washington Park hollered “Your Crazy!” at me. People seem to think the weather is bad even when it isn’t if the media has talked up a storm.  Quoting Flava Flav I yelled back  “Don’t believe the hype!”

I’ll report on my snow day activities in my next post.  How were your commutes the last two days?

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About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
This entry was posted in commuting, Equipment and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The storm before the storm

  1. Claus says:

    I know it’s the parks district but just want to post a big thanks for the Oak Leaf Trail being plowed this afternoon. My forearms are sore from my trips on the street to and from work yesterday, and to work this morning. I must have been squeezing my handlebars that tightly afraid to fall and be run over. The bike path is a dream. Milwaukee rocks!

  2. Samantha says:

    Don’t believe the hype indeed! Mr. Ding got thumbs up from motorists thinking he was crazy (better than the finger I guess) while riding to work today 2 days after the storm on fairly clear main streets. Side streets are still not so great though here in Chicago.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      I saw your photos of Chicago on your blog Samantha. Biking looks like a reasonable option to me, but then I’m one of the crazy ones. If I’m crazy, what were those people who thought they would take Lakeshore Dr during the storm?

  3. Samantha says:

    Exactly! I don’t know about you, but when I hear “Blizzard” and “70mph winds” forecast, a road right next to a large body of water is not where I want to be. I don’t ride the lakefront path much in the winter for just that reason, and I especially was not going to ride it this week.

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