The winter that I worked at Campus Bicycles was pretty cold and snowy. I was living over at Orchard and Parker Road, so my commute was about 15 miles in each direction. I mostly rode the Surly Cross-Check, especially in the snow.
I was in the habit of leaving the apartment early enough that I could swing over to Kaladi Brothers for a latte, on the way by. I would turn north off of Iliff at High Street, then swing west onto Warren, and then north to Evans on Gilpin Street.
One particular day, I rolled up to the stop sign at Warren and Gilpin, and suddenly found myself on the ground, seeing stars. I had hit a patch of black ice, and fell so quickly that I didn't even have a chance to brace for the landing.
I got up, and almost fell as I stepped toward my bike. That was one slick patch of black ice.
The next day, I was forewarned, and I slowed as I approached Gilpin. I was very careful about the ice I suspected was still there.
I fell again, anyway. That was some slick ice!
On the third commute of the week, the next day, I finally got smart and turned at the alleyway before Gilpin, which takes you right to the door of Kaladi Brothers. To this day, I still take the alley, even in the summertime.
It still makes me nervous to approach that stop sign at Flippin' Gilpin...