Thursday, March 27, 2014

Water Over Ice

This is what Spring in Alaska generally means. Water everywhere and at times, water on top of ice. This snapshot was taken in the afternoon and even though the water is only about an ½" deep, it makes things very slippery and a real mess. The pea gravel you see is frozen into the ice from being scattered sometime during the winter. The gravel layer in some intersections will be almost an inch deep. The  underlying layer of ice will probably be gone in a couple of days. At least one can hope. Low temperatures are still single digit (°F) but in a couple of weeks we should be into double digits. Highs have been in the 40s (°F). Time for heavier engine oil.

This is just a shot of the parking lot in front of our building. The puddles at the other end are about 4" deep. Yesterday evening was spent messing around with a car hauling trailer to pick up my son's car which had broken down in town. Picking up the car and hauling it back to the house was easy but the truck got stuck on the ice on our driveway and it took longer to get it unstuck than anything else. We had to resort to putting on tire chains on the front wheels to get up the driveway. And we ended up digging some deep grooves into the ice on the driveway in the process.

http://www.stockfreeimages.com
Most of the last couple of days have been spent in a workshop with a consulting company out of Colorado. Our Chancellor wanted a sustainability master plan and I am part of the steering committee to guide the consultants to draft the bulk of the plan as they would be familiar with the standards and goals within the field. They have a long list of satisfied clients including a number of other public universities. It has been a very educational and enjoyable time getting to know the other committee members.

19 comments:

redlegsrides said...

Man that's some nasty looking ice cover you're having to deal with....no wonder you went with studs...I'd probably have to put the snow chains on the pusher tire at least on my rig!

SonjaM said...

If I where to encounter such a surface with a two wheeler I would likely lose control, and I am not talking about the bike...

RichardM said...

Around here I think it's the only way to go. But there are a lot of Blizzak fans around here as well. I've never tried them before so I don't have an opinion. Actually I do but it's not based on experience...

RichardM said...

I'm not sure I'd want to be around for that! ;-o

With the studded tires it is just fine.

Martha said...

I really like that snapshot. It yielded something very lovely- the strip of sunlight under the front tire has a certain depth to it...I can't explain why I like it, but I do. And it's a damn good crop job!

Unknown said...

Richard:

Studs are not useful for our type of frost/ice which is a very thin layer over frozen asphalt. They slip more than they grip. Blizzaks would be much better.

you have so much pooling water . . . no wonder you have a hack. You just need to upgrade to a 2WD Ural

bob
A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

I'm afraid I can't take any credit beyond snapping the picture with my phone. I had to look at the picture again to see the strip of sunlight. But, thank you!

RichardM said...

IMHO, carbide studs are the only way to go around here. A lot of snow gets left on the road and it just packs down. You are close enough to the ocean to not have the long periods of really cold weather where ice would build up.

You can hack your R1200R and get rid of your commuter car. I hear that the R1200R makes a great tug. No fairing to mess with, low to the ground and it has plenty of power. Plus, you still have the V-Strom for two wheeled fun.

redlegsrides said...

I second Richard's motion to hack the 1200r, it is indeed a great tug candidate!

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

Studs or no, that ice looks way too unfriendly to me. Does everyone have studs on their footwear?

RichardM said...

The university risk management gives them away to any faculty/staff/student who want them. So they are commonly worn. I keep a set in my top box and the door pocket of the truck. I've worn them a few times when riding as it is sometimes too treacherous to stand let alone walk. Even at these times, the sidecar rig does fine.

VStar Lady said...

Coop - I was thinking the same ... days like those around here have me nearly crawling to the SUV grabbing hold to inch my way round to the drivers door without falling and breaking anything. On those days Richard, I wish I had the suds for my boots (I hear Costco sells them here.)

RichardM said...

Those ice cleats actually work pretty good. Especially on days like these. It'll all be melted in a couple of days (maybe) but until then walking is a challenge.

Conchscooter said...

"...walking is a challenge." Hmph. To quote Denis Thatcher: The buggeration factor is too high.

Trobairitz said...

Buggeration factor - I like that Michael.

That water over ice doesn't look like any fun at all. I can't imagine there are many people out on two wheels.

Unknown said...

Hmmm:

Similar to the . . .

My eyes are closed and both hands are covering my ears

bob
A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

The bicycle contingent is still out riding with their studded fat tire bikes though most of them are still the commuters. Not too many recreational riders. Yesterday while headed for North Pole (the town not location), I saw a Harley Sportster headed in the opposite direction. That was the first motorcycle I've seen out this year.

RichardM said...

I'm going to have to remember that quote. May be useful in the future...

RichardM said...

But the thought has already invaded your mind...