Last time I saw you fine folks I said it was snowing. But little did I realize at the time how much it would snow! And granted, it doesn’t take much to shut down this city (an inch!) but this time, it was waaaay more than that.
The forecast for Tuesday night called for some snow, but it was 1-4 inches. That means maybe two at best. At 8 pm on Tuesday night, I went outside. There was already two inches on the ground, and it had only started at 6. An inch an hour. This rate is A LOT more than we typically see, and the snow did not show any signs of slowing anytime soon. When I went back in the house I checked the NOAA forecast and all the sudden the snowfall prediction switched to 8-13 inches! This was going to be something different…
Overnight, it snowed and snowed. I even saw some lightning (thundersnow!) When the morning came, much of Portland was under a foot of snow. This is the most I have seen from a single snow event in town. While Snowpocalypse 2008 had greater overall snow, it was spread over a couple weeks. A foot is a big deal in most parts of the country, and even more so in Portland.
While in my last post I mentioned how sick I had become of this weather, a good, GOOD snow is something different. Since I had the day off and no obligations, it was time to enjoy this rare and record snowfall. And how would I enjoy it? On a bike of course!
The Heavy Duti was pressed into snow biking duty. While the lack of a front brake is not ideal, its fat tires (60 mm)* would be the best for this snow. (The Crested Butte is still in the shop, and the Bantam still has slick Compass tires on it.) I lowered the pressure to about 15 psi and got out there.
While the “fresh” snow would be too much for anything short of a fat bike, the ruts in the streets were fine for the Heavy Duti, once I got used to the handling. And what was originally thought of as just a quick jaunt around the neighborhood became a multiple hour event through Northeast Portland. I rode south to Alberta Street to the cusp of the Alameda Ridge so I could get a view of the city. I found a Mexican spot (La Bonita) open so I got lunch. I went as far east as NE 42nd until I turned around to head back, spending a couple hours at the Kennedy School for libations.
Many people were out enjoying the snow, since the city was for all intents and purposes shut down. While there was plenty of snow people being built (which happens any snow), I did see an impressive amount of snow forts being built. Lots of people tramping through the snow, whether by foot, snowshoe, or ski. I did see a few other cyclists, but they were few.
But sledding, yeah! There were kids doing their thing on the side streets, but the parks were where it was at. I heard reports about Tabor and Overlook Park, but I checked out Fernhill Park, since it was on my circuit. Man, there was at least a hundred people having fun on the slopes there.
I really had fun checking out the snow today. This storm was a once in a decade or so event. It was real. But after it melts over the weekend, I will be happy to not see snow again until next winter!
*yeah, I know. Not a true fat bike nor even “plus”. But ya gotta run what ya got!