Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Icy/snowpacked Parking Lots: Dicey!

Temperatures ranging from mid20s-30 F°, mostly sunny.

I took main thoroughfares as opposed to the usual back roads into work this morning. We had 4-6 inches of snow accumulation by yesterday morning here in the Denver Metro area which had snarled traffic quite nicely yesterday. I had the King Canute Escape Path ready to use by yesterday afternoon.

So, the roads I took were 99% dry. I saw little patches of snow/ice here and there but nothing not avoidable. The side roads, like my neighborhood roads were still snowpacked and nasty.

Made it into work just fine and that's when things go interesting. I caught brief glimpses of the parking lot's condition and it seemed doable. Boy was I wrong.

See google picture below(which I am sure was shot in summer, on a sunday due to so few cars in evidence), the red route is what I followed to the motorcycle parking area outlined in by the blue box. Initially, conditions were not bad but they got progressively worse. I chanced it thinking the motorcycle parking area looked clear but when I got to it, I could not back Maria into the spot since I was standing on what was basically ice! Not good.

Picture the above lot, ice/snowpacked

The approach to the motorcycle parking area, I rode in from the far end

Clear spot in parking area but no traction to back Maria into it

The way out, the motorcycle parking area is at far end

So, yes, the facility folks at work suck in terms of keeping the parking lot clear of snow/ice.

Yes, I probably should have stopped at the first row and called it good instead of venturing further in, or parked in the shopping center across the street. I will next time!

However, no falls or issues, and I realized that Maria can handle ice/snow at very slow speed so long as no braking is required! I will admit my heart rate was up during the long circuit I did of the hockey rink, I mean, the parking lot!

Pictures taken with phone's 1.3 megapixel camera, so quality not great, but you get the idea.

1 comment:

irondad said...

Sounds like you haven't done too badly yourself in negotiating dicey traction. When I know what I'm getting into my heart's not racing. What really worries me is the changes. You know, cruising along a fairly dry road and then encountering the patch of bad stuff. Sometimes they're hard to see in time.

You're doing us proud riding to work in the snow!