I eagerly donned my snow riding gear and set off before dawn to see how Yoshie, my V-Strom Sidecar Rig would do in this snow fall.
Man, the stuff was sticky and wet, I struggled to even push her out of the garage and into the snow drifts which had piled up to about 6-8 inches in front of the garage door!
Finally got her turned around in the driveway and by a combination of pushing and using the engine, I got her pointed into the cul-de-sac and ready to go. All the pushing I had to do should have been my first clue that things were a bit too slick.
I set off and Yoshie was slipping and sliding but making headway out of the cul-de-sac. I could feel the real wheel aka pusher tire slipping a lot, failing to gain traction but I continued onwards to the feeder road out of the neighborhood.
Got all the way to Himalaya Road which is the main street out of the suburb I live in and turned Yoshie south towards the first major intersection with Smoky Hill Road.
I never made it that far. The roads were not plowed of course and while cars had plowed tracks ahead of me, I was not able to gain speed enough to take advantage of the "semi-cleared" path. I could barely maintain headway as it was so chose to ride on the right-hand lane which was not so clear.
At points, I was having flashbacks to my participation in this past February's Elephant Ride up snowy Guanella Pass Road! The snow was really deep and slick!
Slowly I made my way up to the first turn for the shopping mall and I got Yoshie up a bit and got her turned around when she could not go further forward due to the incline of that sloping drive! The pusher tire just wasn't getting traction so any kind of incline prevented progress!
Going back downhill towards Himalaya was fine, though a bit slick still. I turned Yoshie back towards home as there was no way I was going to get to work with the snow conditions being what they were.
Got her home, slowly but surely. The pusher tire slipping in the snow and not allowing me to gain much speed to maintain good momentum. I left the rig in the driveway where she got stuck and went in to await daylight.
Here's a picture of poor Yoshie, waiting for me to dig her out.
I worked from home the rest of the morning, managing to snow-blow the snow off the driveway during breaks and freeing Yoshie so she could rest inside the garage.
At noon, I figured I'd do a proof of concept using the old time trick of wrapping rope around the pusher tire to provide traction aids. I anchored three separate lengths of rope around each of the three wheel spokes and set off into the neighborhood streets.
The snow conditions had improved markedly with the sunshine beating down on the snow and cars having churned up the snow into tracks of sorts. The snow had also turned to slush and ice instead of sticky snow so traction was much improved anyways.
Still, the ropes on the pusher tire did great! I was able to ride my way with only minor slipping issues all the way to the local high school. Heck, once I was out of the neighborhood streets, the roads were clear! Of course, clear roads meant the ropes were rubbing straight into the pavement and getting worn down.
I lost one of the ropes while riding to the school but the two remaining ones provided plenty of traction in the snowy/icy parking lots of the school.
Here's Yoshie, happy once again to be able to negotiate snowy/icy conditions.
She's sitting on about an inch of slushy ice.
Above is a view of the rope arrangement I was field-testing.
The rope was not exactly the right kind but it worked good enough to prove the concept.
Another shot of Yoshie in the local high school's parking lot.
It being a snow day for the students, I had the place to myself.
I tried to execute some donuts but Yoshie was having none of that. I figured between the rope traction aids and her wider stance, donuts would have to wait for the powdery stuff to come back. We're supposed to get some more snow on Friday, so maybe it'll be donuts then.
I spent the lunch hour cruising through the neighborhood streets which remained choked with slushy ice and snow; effortlessly cruising by folks as they dug themselves out from the snow on their own driveways.
Alas, the hour was up and I motored on home. I would go out one more time after work in the late afternoon, this time field testing the use of chain links secured to the spokes with ropes. They worked fine in terms of ride and security of the rope but by then the main roads were pretty much clear. The neighborhood roads still had long stretches of ice and slush but there were wide tracks available if one wanted clear pavement.
A disappointing start but a good ending to today's riding. I'll be ready next time.