City Crippled by Predicted Snow

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Yesterday it was predicted that it was going to snow up to 10 inches here in Kansas this afternoon and tonight. Now they are saying maybe up to one foot. But, even if the higher number is closer to correct, I don’t understand why the whole city is nearly shut down. All the schools are closed. When the schools are closed, then it starts a cascade of closings of everything. I do understand if people’s kids aren’t at school, then they might need to be home to watch after them, but compared to when I was a kid, this is ridiculous.

I think it comes down to how children get to school. When I was a kid, nearly everyone walked to school. I rode my bike, but on a day like today, my mom wouldn’t have let me ride, even though I most likely would have if she wasn’t involved. Anyway, not nearly all children are taken to school by either buses or parents. So when the roads might get iffy, they just cancel school, thus pretty much close down the rest of the city/economy of the state capital. It doesn’t seem quite right for something as common as a normal snow storm.

Maybe it is because of Atlanta last week when they got shut down by just a couple inches of snow. Kids had to spend the night in their school buses that were stuck in traffic. But cities like Atlanta and Dallas don’t have any means to deal with snow removal. We do.

I heard today how many trucks and plows the city plans to have out today, something like 200. I know there are 1000’s of miles of public streets, but you’d think with that infrastructure already in place, you’d think that we could weather something like this.

I think society needs to re-address how our children get to school. Obviously, it plays a huge part in how our society flows. Most of time it works, but when it doesn’t work, it all comes to a standstill.

I think I’m going to be shoveling a fair amount of snow today for exercise. I only use steel snow shovels. I can’t believe how pitiful the snow shovel selection is nowadays. Plastic snow shovels are nearly valueless for anything but power snow, or maybe if you’re shoveling a wooden deck or something. I have a couple steel shovels that have been around for decades. They just keep getting shorter, but they work great.

I rode a couple hours yesterday and am really not big on indoor training, so I’m not to that point yet. I’ve only ridden 13 times this year, according to Strava. And a couple of those were pitiful, ride around town jaunts, so they don’t really count. Snow shoveling is probably the best thing for my shoulder. It’s been nearly a year and it only works about 70% at best. I’m not sure it is going to get any better, but that is just life I suppose.

Alright, that is about here for the snow bound Midwest. I could use a fat bike right about now.

My favorite snow shovel has a quick release skewer for a handle.  It used to be Campy, but now, for some unknown reason it is a Sachs skewer.

My favorite snow shovel has a quick release skewer for a handle. It used to be Campy, but now, for some unknown reason it is a Sachs skewer.

The blades of the steel shovels are curled and short.

The blades of the steel shovels are curled and short.

These bikes are selling like hotcakes now.  I heard Specialized can't keep them in stock.   If I was skiing on fresh corduroy and these guys were riding on it, I'd be mildly pissed.  I don't know what the etiquette is, but I'm pretty sure they don't belong on the same trails this time of the year.

These bikes are selling like hotcakes now. I heard Specialized can’t keep them in stock.
If I was skiing on fresh corduroy and these guys were riding on it, I’d be mildly pissed. I don’t know what the etiquette is, but I’m pretty sure they don’t belong on the same trails this time of the year.

Predicted snowfall and main post office closing announced on the same day.

Predicted snowfall and main post office closing announced on the same day.

It just started snowing and it is coming down pretty good.

It just started snowing and it is coming down pretty good.

12 thoughts on “City Crippled by Predicted Snow

  1. Wildcat

    I’m having a snow day – at work. My definition of a snow day is when I come into the office and get all kinds of things done/caught up on due to the lack of blow-hards that are usually around who annoy me and waste my time.

     
  2. Trey H.

    You really hit on an important topic Steve. I teach in a school district that encompasses several hundred square miles. The rural kids that live 15 or 20 miles away ride the bus or drive. I get that. But in the town in where I teach, not a single house is more than a mile away from the high school. There is a good sized housing development adjacent to the school, complete with sidewalk and crosswalk straight to the high school. No more than 5 or 6 kids walk to school. There are students that live within 100m of the school. They all drive. I try to shame them into walking, but that doesn’t work. I’m just that crazy teacher that rides his bike to work. 90+% of the elementary students are driven by parents. I’m thinking that the combination of car-centric culture + overhyped/unwarranted fears of kidnapping etc. + coddling parents + lack of fitness = learned helplessness and the softest generation of Americans ever. How do we fix this?

     
  3. Linda

    Trey – contact the people at boltage (boltage.org). It’s a non-profit that uses technology to log trips made to school on foot & bike and rewards kids (plus a whole lot more, this is only a brief description). One of the keys is to get teachers and parents on board.

     
  4. SalRuibal

    There’s a lot more media these days and they all want readers, viewers, friends, followers, listeners, likes, comments, Tweets, shares, bla bla bla. Scaring people makes all those metrics rise. Fear sells.
    GIVE PEACE OF MIND A CHANCE.

     
  5. Marv B

    Notice that the fatbikes don’t leave a track–that’s the great part. I am both a skier and a fatbiker though, and I know the value of pristine corduroy for skiiing. That said, here in Chicago we have a ton of snow, and it is becoming symbiotic between snow shoe-ers, skiers, and and fatbikes blazing the single-trace. Snow shoes are actually the best, as they make a trail just nice and wide enough for fatbikes. I really like skiing, but with a lack of any place close that grooms trails, I’d rather snowshoe and fatbike through rough-cut trails. It’s really amazing what you can do with fatbikes in the snow. Right now it’s getting almost knee deep, and stepping off the bike gets you a shoe-ful of snow, unless you have gaiters. Plus, you have to climb back UP to get on the bike, as the packed trail is higher than the snow on the sides of the trail. Fatbikes are great for cruising town during snowstorms, and just a ton of fun anytime, year-round. It won’t be your only bike, but it will have it’s place, just like you have a rack of knives in the kitchen.

     
  6. Jan

    I’ve skied where fat bikes have been, and they can totally mess up the trails. Where I ski, there are usually nearby trails for snowshoing, bikes, and walkers, but for some reason, some people do them on the ski trails. Grrr! I love dogs and bikes and snowshoes, but I wish they’d all stay off the ski trails.

    I have to disagree about the shovels. As a woman with less upper body strength ad a very middle-aged back, I like being able to use a much lighter shovel. It takes me longer, no doubt, and I do a lot more individual little digs, but my back can handle a fair bit of snow with the lighter shovel.

     
  7. Rod

    If you still had the Campagolo quick release, the snow would be 10 times easier
    to shovel. Rumor has it that Campy has an electronic shovel in the works.

     
  8. Carl Sundquist

    If you had kept the Campy skewer on the snow shovel, you could name it Croce D’ Aune.

     
  9. H Luce

    Yeah, I vote for plastic – lighter, but more capacity. And with the wind last night, all you have to do is flip it up in the air and the wind takes it.

     
  10. Wuzfastnowimnot

    I teach Middle school in a rural northern Virginia county and Trey H has hit it right on the head….Millions of dollars are being spent keeping our kids “safe and secure”.. BULLSHIT!! Its creating a culture rife with lazy, poorly educated individuals being trained to rely on their government or others for their well being.

     
  11. Nathan

    The bike/walk school issue is a problem that snowballs. The # of kids driven to school make the area around the school less safe for walking/biking, so more parents drive & drop. I’m not sure if it was attempted, but there were articles about car-free school zones in Europe. This is the only article I can find: http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/08/car-free-zones-around-schools.html

    From my experience commuting to work by bike, school zones were so dangerous that I would avoid them. Really sad.

     

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