The amazing snow creations around town are the best part of being a bicyclist right now. That, and the mild weather and surprisingly clear streets.

This is a great time to be a bicyclist. I’m hardened by the extreme cold earlier this winter so the merely freezing temperatures are comparatively mild and even refreshing as I generate body heat from pedaling. The tall snow banks lining the roads make motorists nervous, and they drive slowly and carefully. The pavement is completely clear—unlike the roads after the storm around the New Year, which left enormous, thick, rocky patches of ice. I don’t really need my studded tires.

Best of all, as a bicyclist I use primarily residential and minor arterial streets so I get to see the best results of the Winter Storm Rocky—snow giants, snow men, and even a snow castle! These are things you don’t get to see driving down Baltimore St./ Bus Loop 63. The smallest snow giant was twice as big as me. The other one rested its arms on the roof. The snow castle was quite the creation, featuring crenellations, a tunnel, and a slide to sled down.

Snow men all over town ranged from the tiny half-melted things to a big guy with traditional coal eyes, carrot nose, and even a top hat. Today I recognized a snow man I’d seen in the paper, holding a refreshing drink. The snow man on the corner down the street sports a Mizzou ball cap, but the one across from him has suffered from the heat and is leaning backwards looking at the stars. From the window of the 6th floor lab I watched sledders on the hill near Spur Pond on the day of the storm. When they left, a collection of snow men had sprung up.

I’m impressed with the snow creations around town. Even with three able bodied adults (or near-adult) at home, it was all we could do to keep our driveway and walk shoveled, with a little time for sledding. Our own stunted snowman lost his head before nightfall.