This morning, I ventured out into the five inches of fresh snow Ann Arbor received overnight. I love snow, and I was happy to go out. My roommate needed to go to work; I “needed” to justify my ownership of a 4×4. For the most part, Ann Arborites do a good job driving on the unplowed streets. Why they (including the main thoroughfare) remain unplowed at 10:15am, I do not understand. Anyway, the drivers were cautious and gave one another enough room to maneuver. The same cannot be said for the cyclists.
Ann Arborites like to ride their bicycles. I’m not into biking, so this doesn’t make much sense to me. The seat hurts, the sweat comes fast, locks are expensive, you know, whatever. So Ann Arborites ride bikes. Apparently even in five inches of fresh snow. Trouble is, bikes don’t work so well in that much snow. I wish I had video clips to show you of the man on a road bike, without a helmet, heading downhill into a busy intersection where pickup trucks were sliding about 45 degrees off straight. He’s a smart one. The other helmet-less biker on Tappan was less likely to get mushed between cars, but he also couldn’t stay upright for more than a couple feet. If your bike can’t handle snow, and you have no helmet, you should walk. Riding your bike in the snow (more like hopping on and off your bike while you push it forward) doesn’t make you look tough; it doesn’t make you any more earth-friendly than the people walking by in their snowboots; and it certainly doesn’t get you anywhere faster than walking.
So, lessons for today: If Ann Arbor gets five inches of snow, you have no car, and they don’t plow the streets, walk or get a ride from your Jeep-driving roommate. Everyone will be safer that way.