Monday, January 10, 2011


That's the first and last time I trust to luck in an Alpine winter. Next year, or rather next winter, the Beast is getting stationed in the parental garage at the first sign of snow up here. Seven weeks with no biking - never again.
They predicted rain at 3°C for Friday and a 3° sun for Saturday. Friday evening I worked for Opa, but on Saturday morning I drove back up to my house, hoping to find my driveway at least partially visible. All I needed was a thin strip of dirt and gravel down to the pass road, enough to give the Beast's front tire a bit of grip.

But nooo...

So now what? The weather was mild, the sun was beautiful, and I had myself all hyped up thinking I'd finally get a Buell fix after so long. There was nothing for it but to start hacking away at the ice.
I had Beretta, my dog, along, and she made herself useful chewing on the ice slabs I threw up. Some of them were over three inches thick, but with enough doggy slobber they melted.
I spent the entire sunny afternoon breaking ice, tossing the chunks aside and salting the cleared areas.
Finally, shortly before dusk, the driveway looked a little more promising:

But I still didn't have access to the pass road. I salted the strip and had to let it be; it was too dark to work anymore. Anyway, there would be a warm wind blowing that night, so I dared to hope.
Sunday morning dawned breezy and dry... But the ragged edges of the ice and the puddles on the asphalt had frozen smooth. The unbreakable three-foot-wide ice patch at the foot of my drive was as slippery as ever.
Giving up and resigning myself to more waiting wasn't an option. It was going to snow again Sunday night; the next chance to get the Beast on the road was far off in the future.
I could barely remember how the Termignoni sounded; I only had Bacchus' V8 in my head. A clear sign I'd gone bikeless for much too long.
So I grabbed the bag of salt again, salted, hacked, shoveled, and finally ground up blocks of compacted sawdust actually meant for burning, sprinkling the wood on the areas of ice that I couldn't remove.
After 45 kilos of salt, four sawdust blocks and about seven hours of work (in all), I finally had my tiny path down to the pass road.

I slipped into my gear, thick gloves and neckerchief, put Retta in the house and grabbed the keys and finally, finally brought the Beast back out into sunlight.

My precious, how I missed you.

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