Thursday, November 21, 2013

Icy Work Commute into Downtown Denver

Woke before my alarm clock and peered outside, about 1-2 inches of snow on the ground.  The weather guessers had predicted it, and this time, they delivered.

As I was up and wanted to give myself some extra time, I got ready for work and geared up to include raingear as it was still snowing very lightly.

I left the house perhaps 25 minutes earlier than normal and slowly made my way through the neighborhood roads, my tracks being some of the few carved into the snow at this early hour.  It was 17°F and dark and I immediately saw it would be a "slick conditions" kind of a commute.

All the roads were snow/ice covered with slight evidence of previous vehicles in the form slight ruts in the snow/ice.  Trouble is, I think there was ice on what looked like clear portions as well.

Followed my regular route, Himalaya Road north to where it becomes Tower Road and then turn west onto 6th Avenue and take that across the I-225 exchange (this is the scariest part of the commute due to cars).  Stayed on 6th all the way to Monaco which I took North to 17th street.

The 17th street neighborhood, with its tree-lined roads was very slick and dark.  Fortunately, the cagers out and about along with me (well most of them anyways) were proceeding nice and slow.  I was actually quite pleased with the careful driving I saw all around me each time I either caught up or was caught up to by a cluster of cagers.

A couple of times, from a standing stop at a light, I could feel the pusher tire spinning a bit as it fought to gain traction but other than that, no worries in terms of Valencia's ability to grip the road surface.  I didn't even have to put her in 2WD!

Got to the parking garage and was the only motorcycle there, as expected.  The only other motorcycle I really expected to see would have been Spat's URAL rig.  The parking attendant came by to chat and we both agreed it didn't seem like the city had spread ANY magnesium chloride on the rides, leading to the really icy conditions.

Oh well, safe and sound for my first work commute in snow/ice to Downtown Denver.  I must remember to keep my heavy gloves with me as I walk to the building where I work; though only about 1 block away, the temperatures were cold enough to hurt my bare hands as I walked there.

No pictures till dawn breaks, then I hope to get some of the city from the building's 40th floor.

Update: 8:30AM

Some pictures of the surrounding buildings, the lighting was really poor due to the snow conditions.

 The TIAA-CREF Building under which I park.

I had to really tweak things with this last picture
of the Four Seasons Hotel (I think that's what it is)

Update: 5:17PM:

The roads were much better on the way home, I did take off 30 minutes earlier than usual though as I was a bit anxious about Valencia starting after sitting in a cold parking garage all day.  She did start, though it was a slight struggle.  The commute home was uneventful, roads were pretty clear in the metro area, getting more ice/snow covered as I neared the home neighborhoods.  Temperatures had dropped throughout the day and it was a brisk 12.4°F on the ride home.

Valencia in one of the parking lots belonging to the local high school.

It's supposed to be the coldest night of the season tonight, with temperatures in the single digits.  Nothing to hardy riders like RichardM in Alaska but pretty cold for the Front Range area.  I'm just hoping there's no melting on the roads which will re-freeze overnight, it would make the morning commute too interesting, and today's riding was challenging enough!


Unknown said...


I don't mind the snow but I worry about the cars who go too fast or tailgate. When I had my Jeep I was always looking forward to snow and using 4x4 mode. Nowadays, not so much.

I can't imagine riding in 17°F temps. It was cold this morning at -4°c (~25°F) but very unusual for us and I had to wear gloves as I scraped my windshield

Riding the Wet Coast

Learning to Golf said...

Nice pictures of the white stuff. Have to say they look better from 820 miles away. There is also that 17 degree thing I keep thinking about...brrrrrrrrr!

RichardM said...

This isn't your first snowfall of the year but is it the first commute? Is there any significant wind when its snowing? Nice pictures of the surrounding buildings.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks AZ Dude, the cold wasn't bad at all....

RichardM, first snowfall since I started working in the Downtown area...the one other time, I was off that day and didn't need to ride in.

No significant winds during the commute today, the snowflakes just drifted about nicely as they fell.

spat said...

Hi Dom you're the trooper, I was wondering about your ride in today, our 1st morning traffic test weather to remember winter driving. I stuck with the bus system as usual today, nothing different for me. I did ride in Monday and the parking nazi came out just to BS. Although he complains about the room we take up with the sidecars I truly think he likes us so I'm not surprised he came to talk with you today. I'm guessing you got to park on the prestisious main level.

spat said...

Love the pictures of downtown too

redlegsrides said...

Hi Spat!

Yep, I parked in the primo spot and no one else showed up...go figure.

I try to keep things friendly with our pal at the parking garage.....let's see if that pays off in the long run.

Thanks for your comment re the pics, it was terrible lighting due to the snow.

Trobairitz said...

Pretty views of the snow and buildings. Glad you had a safe commute.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Trobairitz, yesterday was dicey, today, not so much.

len@RE-GLAZE-IT said...

hi there,
Your brave to venture out in the snow ....even with you set-up!

lovely pictures....the snow and weather including time of the year make it all look a bit strange , maybe a little scary even...don't know why perhaps its me .

redlegsrides said...

Hi Len

Normally, I love riding on snow...turns out icy conditions while surrounded by cagers is not that much fun. :)

redlegsrides said...

Hi Bobskoot, interesting, your comment was created today but it was placed by google at the beginning of the comment chain. re the 17 degree temperature, it's ok, it's a "dry cold".... :)