If you live in the mid Atlantic, you probably noticed the blizzard we just had. If you don't, you probably noticed us complaining about it. If you saw someone bicycling up Rhode Island Ave. in NE DC mid whiteout blizzard, you probably witnessed me making a determined but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to drown myself in a snowdrift.
But back to the beginning. Natch, after watching the first few hours of blizzard I grabbed my totally obsolete rim brake single speed all terrain style bicycle and rolled out to find some other bicycle mounted delinquents, several of whom that I found are part of this whole great eskape shenanigans. There was a lot of snow falling from the sky. There were a few other mountain bike rigs out there. The snow continued. A few friends brought out fat bikes. The looks on the fat bike rider’s faces said: I live for this.
Turns out people on bicycles were the only people in the city who could get anywhere. Or more likely were the only ones stupid enough to go anywhere. Quick snow kit advice: Evan Williams is a stiff but not very compliant beverage that is both warming and distracts from any actually very potentially fatal blizzard conditions; also a few extra beers in your backpack adds weight, improving traction.
The first day we traversed the majority of NE DC in desperate search of bars in which to leave dirty pools of melted snow. The fine staff at the Right Proper tasting room were kind enough to let us lean our bikes on all their beer brewing paraphernalia. Eventually we ended up at Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts club, and met up with the dudes that make the RIIDE bikes. The bikes, apparently, handle well enough in the snow. There was plenty of PBR to go round, and the tchotchkes and ambiance at Jimmy’s made it feel like we’d fallen out of space into the red room from Twin Peaks. Everyone, cyclist and non, seemed bewildered that anyone else had ventured out in the snow related end of world event. Frozen brains and booze mixed to thoroughly fog over memories of the ride home, but I assure you there was a lot of snow and at least one close encounter with a plow truck.
Day two was the worst of the whiteout conditions and a few of us made it out to congregate with a vague idea of building a ski jump, but instead just sat inside and took shots of Beam with Costco brand sausage chaser. So a resounding success of a day.
Day three the blizzard was over and the sun came out. I got up early and schlepped my bike over the five foot plow made ice pile in my yard to revel in the disabled city. The sky was cloudless and everyone was out shoveling, except me because I’m an unhelpful jackass that would rather ride a bike. The most amazing part was how different the city looked, and like how useful all the space could be that’s presently allocated to only cars. The streets downtown were a brief paradise of baffled pedestrians, except for the odd glowering asshole in a Land Rover. Oh and all the national guards people making sure no one got on Obama's lawn.