Oh, Hello Winter… It’s Been a While

Back on April 16, snow fell on New York City and deposited enough of the white stuff to leave a measurable accumulation. It was the latest day for measurable spring snowfall in Central Park. The snowfall kind of ruined my commute the next morning. The Queensboro Bridge was covered in slush, and I had to walk my bike across the bridge to safely cross the East River.

Slush on the Queensboro Bridge

Today: deja vu!

Although I don’t take the Queensboro Bridge as often as I once did, the usually reliable Williamsburg Bridge was covered in snow, ice, and slush.

Slush on the Williamsburg Bridge

I managed to get to the top of the first incline, but after that, my wheels kept spinning in the ice. At that point, I gave up on pedaling and decided to walk across the remaining span.

I did notice quite a few intrepid cyclists ride the entire way. The Citi Bikes seemed to do the best on the slush. I suppose this is their reward for having to slowly lumber on three-inch–wide tires the rest of the year: they now get to cruise along slushy roads with relative ease. Most people with road bikes and treaded tires did well, too.

Slush on the Williamsburg Bridge

But to my surprise, I saw quite a few people on single-speeds or fixed-gears with thin, slick tires ride the entire span. There was even one guy with a kid in a bike carrier seat who rode past me. He was certainly braver than I was: he felt confident enough to carry his child on the bike while I was too scared to scratch or dent my five year–old MacBook Pro cradled in a padded sleeve inside my backpack.

As crazy as it seemed to me to ride across the entire bridge this morning, everyone apparently succeeded in getting over the bridge. There was not a pile of injured cyclist at the bottom of the bridge.

Despite some late-season rides I’ve been doing lately, perhaps, I really am just a fair-weather cyclist after all.

Update: It appears that the other vital East River crossings, including Manhattan, the Brooklyn, and the Queensboro bridges were all similarly covered in slush this morning. And if you read the comments section of this Streetsblog article, some cyclists did take some spills.

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