Sunday, February 27, 2011

Promoting Races - Clearing Snow

"Seeding" the first part of the curb at the bottom of the hill. Wednesday evening.

The first driveway for the mirror building. Lots of snow and ice.

"Seeded" the ice on Wednesday, Sunday it's clear.

"Seeding" the second bit of the curb. Hopefully it looks better Wednesday.

Another view of the "seeded" area. Setting sun...

"Seeding" really refers to me spreading salt (calcium chloride or potassium chloride) around, but it also refers to giving access to more snow to the sun. It has less to do with planting anything.

The worst part. I don't know if this will be clear for Sunday.
The big hunk in the middle needs to go.
My goal is to have to clear just sand, not snow, on Saturday.

(Updated after the fact with pics)

I was going to take a few pictures of sweep techniques and post a nice thing on sweeping, but, frankly, I'm exhausted.

I'll post some pictures later when I upload some shots I took with my phone, but suffice it to say that if we get some warmer weather in the next couple days, much of the snow should be off the course.

I showed up with my car packed to the gills. On my first trip, last Wednesday, I couldn't get the car into reverse the next day - a shovel handle got in the way. But I made it home like that. This time I packed a bit better - I sacrificed some window space for reverse gear.

I even brought my top secret weapon, a propane torch.

I know that a guy burnt a hole in his roof trying to melt snow over the winter, but I figured I was, well, a little smarter than that.

Doesn't matter. Torches work for weeds and lighting things up.

For snow?

They don't work that well.

Okay, yeah, it's really fun to use, and it sounds like a jet plane (really!), snow banks start steaming, frozen leaves dry out and burst into flame, you get some tunneling propane gas (so the snow bank "catches on fire"), and hot sand just drops out of sight as it heats and drills holes in the ice...but since the torch artificially melts really cold stuff, the now-heated water runs down onto more really cold stuff and refreezes.

Basically the torch makes really good ice blocks.

Solid, unyielding, immovable ice blocks.

Since I dragged it to the venue I torched some random snow chunks but felt let down that my secret weapon didn't do much, and in fact caused me some problems.

Tip: Don't drive over snow banks because there may be hidden ice blocks within them.

Back using my trusty metal shovel, a snow shovel (super long handle Garant with a scoop with sides - easier to use and picks up lots of stuff), a metal garden tine rake thing, and 50 pounds of calcium chloride, I got about 20? meters of curb cleared of snow from the curb going around the mirror building at the base of the hill.

Then I got about 5 meters of really big snow cleared from the curb, this just after the mirror building.

I left about 10 meters of gargantuan snow on the curb - that's for Wednesday afternoon. Since this sits at the start of a late sprint, it's critical that this get shoveled.

I didn't "clear" it all, just got it down to pavement and curb (for the most part, ice blocks notwithstanding). I'll let Mother Nature and her nuclear bomb every millisecond heater (aka "The Sun") melt the stuff that I left laying around.

I did manage to review some race numbers at Navone Studios - we'll all be sporting numbers with Outdoor Sports Center's logo, and I hope to have some even nicer touches on the numbers. I can't promise them so I won't mention them, but if you do the P123 race you'll be in the "test group" for our super deluxe numbers.

We'll be inside the studio once again for registration, with a slightly different layout but the same space. It's cool being in there, with the whole bike and studio vibe, with some refinements and such. I'll detail them a bit more later, probably when we set up after the Sweep.

But for now I need to go to sleep.


Anonymous said...

this rain and warmth can only help Aki!!! Thanks for all the hard work to make this the best race you possible can.


Hunter P said...

Aki, if you are going out there anytime before saturday, let me know. I may be able to join up and help out.

Aki said...

My next visit will be Saturday at 10 AM. I think that the priority will be to move the snow/ice off the road halfway down the hill, then where the tent goes for the start/finish. This way there's time for the really hard stuff to melt.

Then sand, but once that's moved it's moved.

BTW there will be some limited refreshments for those helping with sweep.