Long story very short… it is time for snow tires on TurboSchlock.
The drive from Dragons Keep to my house is roughly ten miles, and takes about fifteen minutes. This evening it took forty-five. Mostly that was because all the traffic was driving sensibly (read: slowly) but part of the delay was because at every intersection where I’d been stopped by a light I had a really hard time getting moving again. I’m pretty good at driving a stick, and really good at nursing the traction-control system into smooth acceleration. The tires, however, were not so good. Traction would get lost at very low accelerations, low enough that I had to ride the clutch all the way to second gear. The torque while idling was enough to break the tires free in some patches.
I picked the route I did because there was only one hill (vs three for the freeway route), fewer lights than the State Street route, and the whole trip was on state highways that are high-priority roads for plows. Well, that one hill just about did me in. I’m not sure whether to credit my mad driving skillz or my fervent prayer, but I made it in spite of those tires just not finding purchase at any sort of reasonable acceleration. The folks behind me couldn’t have been pleased with my 5mph speed and constant within-lane weaving, but we all made it up the hill.
It’s been over an hour since I got home and I’m still shaky.
I don’t want to buy snow tires, but they would not be a bad idea at all. Not if I plan to be driving while snow is actually falling.
I may stay home tomorrow.
In related news, the National Weather Service has a warning up right now about this storm saying, and I quote:
DUE TO THE COLD ROAD SURFACES SNOW COULD HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THIS EVENINGS COMMUTE DESPITE STORM TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES.
One to three inches? Really? I count EIGHT right now, and the storm is still on. There were at least six on the roads during the commute proper, and Sandra measured seven about ten minutes before I got home. Somebody at the local office for the National Weather Service needs to go outside with a stick and see how deep the stuff actually is.
They’re predicting snow through about 4am, which means we’re halfway through the storm. Maybe the five extra inches are supposed to blow away right there at the end.