We don’t get snow often here in mild Eugene, but when it does, it transforms the town. As in, the town comes mostly to a standstill, because there are very few city snow plow trucks, salt is NOT used ever here (we need to protect all those CCs, which have been designated protected cultural artifacts), and folks just don’t know how to drive in this weird white stuff. And when they do, it can be come comical, as this video shows.
CC Contributor Ed Snitkoff sent me this video he found on You Tube shot not very far from my house. It’s not exactly heart-stopping, but just the kind of minor carnage that will keep the insurance agents busy for a while. Meanwhile, I have my own little story to tell.
My xB with its Blizzaks does very well in the snow, and the ice that often underlies it here. I was about to cross an arterial, and head a hill, when I saw an Olds Bravada (SUV) with chains only on the front wheels turn in and head up first. Hmm; chains on the front?
Sure enough, his rear wheels started spinning and it got slower and slower…and stopped. I pulled up and around him, and stopped next to him. I waved to him, and we opened our windows. I told him that it would be better to put the chains on the rear axle next time. He said he wrongly assumed it was AWD, and frankly, I did too, but I guess not. In any case, unless it’s FWD, it’s definitely better to be safe and chain up the rear wheels.
And having stopped on the middle of the hill, I did wonder if i was going to make it up without chains and AWD. No problem…the xB just chugged away with a bit of wheelspin. Sadly I couldn’t get a picture or video, as I was too close to him.
I’m totally sold on these Blizzaks; I’ve got at least as much traction as an AWD with all-season tires. My write-up on them from last winter is here. But the real acid test will be the next few hours this morning, as I’m driving Stephanie on her Meals On Wheels route, which is mostly up in the hills. And it’s the first time the route will be attempted since the snow fell. Temperatures have been well below freezing, and there’s a layer of ice under the packed snow. The city has not even pretended to plow and sand anything but the main arterials. If you don’t hear from the rest of the day…