the salt i sprinkled onto the sidewalk last night had worked its magic, but i went out this morning and scraped a few remaining snowy patches to completely clear the sidewalk. after i left the house yesterday the storm had put down another inch in the backyard. i went back and cleared it out again. up on top of the house i saw icicles forming on the newly installed dormer gutters. i knew those irish contractors were full of crap (that's what you get when you hire from craig's list). weeks ago i saw the gutters leaking during a rain storm, and now those leaks have become icicles. better than in years past, but what's the point of having new gutters that leak? i think it's just a simple matter of caulking the inside; hopefully this can be done on the cheap come springtime (and the leaks won't damage the house), because i have no money right now to fix it.

i brought out the bicycle from the basement and made my way to the cafe. i've never biked in the wintertime before. the closest i've come is one time in early spring when i tried to ride the minuteman bike trail only to be turned back because it hadn't been plowed and the trail was a canal of floating ice. it was actually easier than i'd imagined. i tried to keep off the snow, which meant riding a little bit further out into the street than usual. bike lanes are flimsy to began with (when they do exist), but with the addition of the snow and people haphazardly parking their car because they can't take the time to clear out a spot, bike lanes are pretty much non-existent after a snowstorm.

i was riding pretty slow, figuring if i was going to slip, at least i could catch myself from crashing in a hard fall. occasionally snow would get into the treads on my tires, but there were plenty of puddles to ride through and quickly rinse them off. it really wasn't that bad, there was still a lot of snow-free pavement to be had. i don't think my bike is equipped to be riding on the ice though. hardcore winter bikers get special tires with spikes, but i don't think i'll ever be at that stage. there's still always the old-standby of just walking, which although lacking in speed, makes up for it in portability.

it's 1.5 miles to the cafe. i stopped because it was on my way to belmont, but i could also get some lunch along the way. from the cafe it's another 1.8 miles to my parents' place. my sister was home with her nanny care, her last day taking care of this little girl. i came to pick up a broken foot pedal for a canister trash can. i contacted the company last night and this morning a representative said they'd replace it free of charge, but asked if i could send them a few photos of the broken part so their research department can figure out what went wrong.

riding from belmont back to my place in cambridge is a slightly shorter distance of 3 miles. i've done this commute a few times already via bicycle, and each time it gets easier. it's still a physically strenuous task; i find myself panting for air and my thighs ache whenever i'm climbing a hill. but it's the combination of free transportation plus exercise that makes me feel good every time i bike somewhere. i've probably exercised more within the past few weeks from bicycling than the handful of times i went running this year.

back at home i wheeled the bike into the backyard and washed it with a sponge and a bucket of warm water. i'd just spent the weekend fixing and cleaning up the bike, i couldn't just put it into the basement without first rinsing off all that corrosive road salt. there was grey slush crammed into the brake shoes and underneath the bike frame. i was just wearing a t-shirt because i was so warm from having biked home, but once i was done, i was glad to get back inside.

i stayed home the rest of the day. earlier i sent out an invoice to client S, and client N got in touch with me end of last week about finishing up the ABG project (after which i can finally get paid). my roommate came home around 7:00 then promptly disappeared into his bedroom. it's kind of creepy. i can't wait until he leaves on thursday. for dinner i heated up some french bread pizza. tomorrow, a trip to the library and back to harvard square to see if i can get my glasses fixed.