Friday, February 27, 2009

Feb 27 ride

Today was one of those days where I wondered if I was crazy to ride my bike. You'll be happy to know the answer is no. We had a lot of rain yesterday, and then it got cold again and dropped some hail or sleet just to finish it off. So we had a rime ice layer on everything. Reason to ride my bike: My car was covered with ice and who wants to scrape that off? Reason to not ride my bike: It's cold, windy and there is a rime ice layer on everything. I decided if it's too slippery I will return and drive the car. Well, it was no problem for the studded tires. Temperature was 15 degrees F with winds from the north at 16 gusting to 25 mph at 7:50 am when I left. I wore my goggles because of the headwinds at the start of the ride. Here is my driveway:

close-up of the ice:

The road down from my house:

and the start of the bike path:

On the way home, it was still cold but the sun came out and started melting the ice. Temperature was 18 degrees F, winds 14 gusting to 25 mph, from the north. It was a nice ride home, with a crosswind part of the way and part tailwind the rest. I stopped at the co-op, a kitchen store, and hardware store, all within a few blocks from the yoga studio. I love being able to do my errands on the bike.

Most of the ice is gone from the bike path:

As usual, the road I live on is in the worst shape.

A shiny layer of ice still remains on the roofs and yard but they will melt soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

feb 25 ride

It started off cloudy with rain threatening, but never came to pass.  Temperature was 36 degrees F when I left at 7:45 am, winds 9 mph from the south.  

Here's a couple of duck pictures for Marc:

I stopped for groceries after yoga--the co-op is almost next door so very convenient.  The clouds started to clear on my ride home.  Temperature was 40 degrees (!) and winds 9 mph from the SSW.  No wonder I was toasty.  Here's the final hill home, house is at the top.

Tomorrow I think I have to drive to exercise class!   Ack!  I have to get home by 9 am (9:15 at the latest if I shower at the gym) and I can't bike that fast.  Either that or go to the 6:30 am class but I think I'm too sleep deprived for that.   Actually I need to pick up a pair of kettle balls at the gym so I guess this will be my chance to do it.  But...a day without biking is a just not good.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Feb. 24 ride

woo-hoo, the sun has risen before I left (for the early exercise class)!  Sunrise was 6:41 am.  Here's the few from my front yard:

Here's the start of the bike path, looking back to the sun:

And here's looking the other way, towards my destination:

In two weeks, I'll be in the dark again.  ack!   Temperature was 19 degrees F at 6:53 am, winds 9 mph from the south.  After class, I went to get a haircut and do some errands, then home at noon.  Temperature was 31 F, winds 11 mph from the south.  A bit of a headwind coming home but not unpleasant.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

Feb. 23 ride

It was cold this morning, 1 degree F when I left for yoga at 7:50 am.  But winds were calm and it was sunny, so a nice ride as usual.  The start of the bike path:

Starkweather creek:

Yahara river, lined with ducks on the little ice patches on the edge.

A zoom of the ducks, but still hard to see.  Even they looked cold, or else they were just sleeping.  Their heads were tucked around.

On the return at 10:30 am, the temperature was 15 degrees F!  Wow, that's a big change.  Winds from the east a 3.5 mph.   The ducks were still hugging the edge of the Yahara river.  

Sunday, February 22, 2009

feb 22 ride

Yea, I rode my bike today!  It was a gorgeous day after a 7" snowfall yesterday.  Temperature was 13 degrees F, winds were 8 mph from the NW when I left this morning.   Here's a couple of pictures from my front yard: 

Here's the garage which houses the bike:

looking back from the garage:

The start of the bike path:

The headwind was cold on my face but I was not in the mood for the goggles.
Starkweather creek:

On the way home, it was 17 F, winds 10 from the NW so a tailwind which was nice.  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feb. 19

wah, I was a pig and it made me sick and I couldn't ride my bike today.   It was coldish and windyish but would have been just fine and the sun is shining.  dammit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Feb. 18 ride

I went to yoga today so left at 7:50 am.  We only got a dusting of snow overnight, fortunately.  Temperature was 33 F and winds 3 mph from the NNW.  Balmy!  Afterwards I went grocery shopping and decided to ride along the lake even though it's a hillier route.  But it seemed like a good day to check out the lake.  Temperature was still 33 F, winds still 3 mph from the North.   

Here are some lake pictures:

I can never resist taking pictures of ducks. 

This route has more snow obstacles in the winter (due to some bike-only shortcuts), but they are almost gone:

I think these are squirrel tracks.  They are only about an inch in size.

In the afternoon it got cold, windy and snowed some more, so I'm glad I got out during the nicer part of the day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Feb. 17 ride

The sun has done it job while I was on my trip and continued to rise earlier every morning so now rises about the time I leave, 6:50 am.  It is very nice.  Today the temperature was 27 F at 6:53 am!  Winds were from the South at 8 mph.   On the way home, much later at 11:30 am, the temperature was up the 35 F and winds 9 mph.  No wonder I was warm even though I wore a lighter sweater and jacket and boots.   The winds weren't a direct headwind so the ride home was pleasant, as was the ride out.  

Snow is forecast for tomorrow.  Sometime I'd like to ignore forecasts and just see if you can tell by the winds and feel of the air if fronts are changing.  Plus it might be more fun to be surprised.  But it's impossible to avoid weather forecasts especially of snowstorms, because everyone talks about it.

I continue to be fascinated by the condition of my poor bike.  I did oil the chain yesterday.  It won't be long before I can switch to my other bike (yeah, wishful thinking) and take this one in for a good cleaning and tune-up.  My kickstand was brand new a few months ago and it creaks like it's 10 years old.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb. 16 ride

Yea, I'm back!  I was in Portugal last week.  The weather was nice, sunny and in the 50s (F) but it was cold at night, and because I didn't really dress for it, I was colder there than I was on my bike today.  I was in Porto which is beautiful.  Today the temperature was 13 F and winds calm at 7:45 am, and clear blue skies.  It was the usual excellent ride in excellent weather.  I went to yoga (later than my exercise class) and the sun was high by then.  Last week's thaw got rid of most of the snow but a few inches fell on the weekend giving it a bit of a white covering.  Here's the start of the bike path:

Starkweather creek (on the way home) is thawed now:

Thai pavillion:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Feb. 15

Today I rode to my "congregational" service, then to the grocery store, then home.  Temperature was 30 degrees F at 8:30 am, winds 3 mph, a very pleasant and peaceful morning (less traffic on Sunday morning).  And notice it was another sunny day.  We've had a lot of sunshine this winter.  If you can manage to get out in it, you can avoid the winter blues (and take vitamin D too).  
On the way home, I noticed yesterday's gullies were frozen.   By this time (noon), it was 35 F, winds 5 mph, so still very light.  Good thing because I had some heavy groceries.

Well I'm off to Portugal tomorrow so no biking for a week.  a sad thought.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

feb 7 ride

Look ma, no face mask!   Temperature was 43 degrees F, winds  SW at 13 mph when I left for my first bike ride of the day (8:40 am).  Today's theme is snowmelt.    And to think only a few days ago I was dressed like Darth Vader.
Grass makes it's appearance at a park near my house:

Here's the start of the bike path.

On the way home, at 11:30 am.  I like this tree, but it's hard to see in this small photo.  It has red things on it.

Now we're on my second bike ride of the day, at 2 pm.  Temperature 45 F, winds 9 from WSW.  The gully is full of snowmelt.

as are the cutouts (between sidewalk and street).  It's fun, once you accept that you are going to get wet (that's what waterproof boots and pants are for!)

Almost home  at 6:30 pm, it is dark.  That will all change in a month.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Feb 6

no ride today!   Had an early telecon and then still holed up in my office working on my deadline, which fortunately has now passed.  I hope to bike both days on the weekend to make up for today's confinement.  Of course, it was the warmest day in weeks, with temperatures up to 39 degrees F, and sunny.  

Feb. 5 ride

Bike path at about 6:50 am.  Sunrise is now 7:07 am.  Temperature was 7 degrees F, winds 13 mph from the south!  so a tailwind on the first half of the ride, headwind on the second.  After class and grocery shopping, loaded up with groceries, the temperature was up to 15 F, winds 17, gusting to 24 mph.  So I had a headwind on the way home and guess what, I didn't mind.  Why you ask?  Because I had to hole up in my home office and work on a big deadline.  So I relished the ride even more than usual.  so let's stop at the Yahara river and check that out.  looking towards the southeast:

looking towards the northwest

and then of course the cute ducks:

Oh well, at least my home office isn't so bad: