Friday, November 15, 2013

No More Winter Storm!


The winter storm has passed on for now headed for other locations in Canada and the lower 48 and we again have more typical weather. This is the front entrance to the University of Alaska museum. In case you visit Alaska, this is by far the best museum in the state with a huge collection of Alaska artifacts with only a small percentage on display at any point in time. And, no curb so it's easy to drive right up to the entrance, if one was so inclined.

It was only -5°F this morning, quite a difference to the +45°F that we saw on Wednesday night. There is still a layer of ice built up on many of the roads but as long as speeds are reasonable, no problem riding on them. This morning, traffic was a very sane 35 mph and quite suitable for the conditions. The road service crews have been doing a good job of spreading pea gravel on the roads so that there is pretty good traction when you need it.

The ice encrusted snow is a different story. It's very easy for the tire to break through the crust and lose traction. This happened in the parking lot and I ended up pushing while slipping the clutch and feathering the throttle. Maybe it's time for a "deadman switch" to kill the engine if I slip and lose hold of the rig. 2WD and reverse would simplify these maneuvers.

13 comments:

Martha said...

I think you are some sort of testing ground for this type of riding! A manual should be in the works now!

Trobairitz said...

The adventures of three-wheeling in the snow.

Glad you are a little warmer. Your storm is heading here. Passes are all covered in snow and luckily we are just going to see rain.

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Richard, you make it sound (and it looks) like winter has arrived. I'm with you on the "Deadman".....we don't want to hear about an "RT heading for Nome"

RichardM said...

There are quite a few web sites that I've run into with winter riding tips in conditions much worse than what we have around here.

RichardM said...

Adventures indeed. Now that the storm has moved on to the lower-48, things up here are pretty nice. The bad part is the inch or so layer of ice on all of the roads. Too thick to break up with simply a plow or a grader.

RichardM said...

Yes, this is just a preview of you'll be getting soon. My roommate from 30 years ago was from northern MN and the winters there were much more severe than interior AK. Shorter maybe but colder and windier.

I never really thought about putting in a "deadman switch" until I was trying to move the rig around in deeper snow and walking next to it...

Martha said...

Yes, but there are a lot of books and manuals about a lot of the same things. Yours would be written by you.

But you probably have a full menu and don't need more to do...

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, I happily attest to the great displays in the museum, great place to while away the hours while one waits for parts for one's rig.

I think 2WD and Reverse would have done the trick that day in the parking lot. Perhaps a bit of cat litter carried in the sidecar for such occasions?

Hope that snow storm makes it down here, Colorado and I could use some real snow in the Front Range.

FWIW, on the occasions where my rig has gotten stuck in deeper snow, I've found you can pull her nose around to point back the way you came, it sometimes help to get going again.

Conchscooter said...

America is wasted on the native born, I keep saying that. You can live anywhere between American Samoa and the Virgin Islands. It's not like you're Norwegian and you have to live in a snow drift. I'm a pussy. I admit it freely. I emigrated to sit in the sun.

RichardM said...

Right now, I'm not sure what would help. The roads have a layer of really hard ice on them and there are grooves and bumps frozen into the ice. The front tire gets into a groove and starts following it. And today it snowed so there is a thin layer of loose snow on the ice. This morning, I kept it in 2nd as the rear end would start to slide sideways due to the crown in the road.

RichardM said...

Interesting that you say that. I'm trying to figure out a good reason for staying in Alaska. The utility costs here are huge (due to temperature and power costs) as well as things like groceries. If I was on a fixed income, it wouldn't make sense to stay up here.

SonjaM said...

Conchscooter made me think about options… But can you imagine everybody flooding into warm and pretty places… where would one go for holidays then...

RichardM said...

For your holidays you would need to venture to the miserable places. You would then be convinced tfat you've made the right decision to live where you are. That's usually what I think of after visiting California or Florida.