Our first Portland snow

It’s been snowing! Pixie and I came down to visit Portland last year during soooooo much ice and it wasn’t all that fun, and it made me very glad I didn’t have to cope with 10 no-school days. This spell was a nice little three-day variety pack: Tuesday’s mild snow meant school let out two hours early, Wednesday was a properly snowy no-school day, and Thursday was a slushy two-hour late start.

By the way, my latest post on BikePortland is the very timely “How to keep little bike passengers cozy in the cold.”

The snow actually started on Monday, but it wasn’t enough to accumulate (though neighborhood kids gathered enough to make snowmen in the park) so I finally bought a snow shovel, thinking that would ensure no more snow until next winter. I’m still surprised and dismayed that didn’t work.

Tuesday we took our usual route to school while snow fell and stuck. I was initially worried about the unpaved blocks, but the gravel was easy to bike over and the potholes turned into picturesque lakes. No one else biked to school :(

Wednesday we brought a neighbor (and his two saucer sleds!) and our two kid snowboards to the closest hill. In our hilly Seattle neighborhood we could just turn the corner and walk up the block for sidewalk/street hill or bike half a mile for a grassy hill, but nowadays it’s a bit over two miles to a park with a decent hill. I think the 10-year old stayed upright the whole time (he’s the slow and cautious one), but the rest of us each tipped over once.

I was worried about my feet getting cold while hanging out with my coffee while the kids frolicked so I biked in snowboard boots for the first time. It wasn’t horrible, but it was clunky and I am so impressed my kids put up with it in the past! They’ve outgrown their snowboard boots so they were in regular boots.

By the time we headed home, a lot of the snow had melted so we all stayed upright.

Thursday’s two-hour late start was great because there was very little car traffic and the roads had warmed up a bit so there was only snow and slush, no ice. I was worried our usual gravelly route might be icy and take too long (why having two extra hours to get to school makes it harder to leave on time, I’ll never know!) so we rode a couple blocks of sidewalk along busy roads (avoiding those two busy blocks is why we ride six blocks of gravel normally). I took my mountain bike because I’m scared of snow and had errands to run all day. This meant the kids had to wear their backpacks–a rarity and they didn’t complain! One other adult bike was at the racks.

Snow fell as we biked home, but just a teensy bit and it didn’t stick. The roads were clear so I took my cargo bike and carried all the stuff. The sky looked amazing, by the way.

I hope this is the end of the snow, but we’ll see…

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