Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Winter's Swan Song?

We got about 8 inches or so of this fluffy, wettish snow
The weather this year, I'll tell ya! Weird! Anyway, we go from big rains in January, flooding, a warmer than all get out February, (minus a short cold snap in there), to a week out from Spring and a big, fluffy snowstorm. Hey! It's cool. It won't stick around long.

This was the best snow for fat biking we've had in a long time. Packs down, grippy, and doesn't give way laterally too badly. I am sure most of it will disappear in a few days though. The ground was unfrozen again before this snow and the more direct rays of the Sun in March are already eating at this snow from both sides. 

While it had that moisture in it, this wasn't sludgy, slushy snow either. It was that rare combination of moisture yet this snow would blow in the wind and drift too. I am glad I got to ride in it.

Yep! I was glad. I know! I was surprised by this too. After 70°F, Sunny skies, clear gravel roads, and no-coat riding you'd think a return to Winter would tick me off. I thought it would tick me off. But riding to work on Monday morning I found that due to the great consistency of the snow and the beauty of the fresh coat of white stuff that I was actually enjoying myself. It looked like Christmas, and I was feeling great.

It probably also helped that winds were low and the temperature was a very manageable 25°F which was just right. I chose a back way that utilized city streets to get to work because the bike paths and byways I normally use would still be under the 8" snow layer, or plowed up by snow plows. I thought it might take a while to get to work, but in reality, I made great time on the Ti Mukluk.

Back home and done for the day.

Work was pretty slow as far as customers, but that was to be expected with the fresh dump of snow on a Monday morning when most schools were on Spring Break. I had catching up to do anyway, and by the time I was to go home, I had made a pretty good dent in the work load. The ride home was going to be relaxing.

I was also pretty fried from snow removal duties in the morning back at home. So, I was hoping that the snow removal teams across town had done their jobs. Mostly, they had. So, it was a fairly easy ride home with the exception of a couple of places where I was putting in "first tracks".

Now with maybe one more day of decent snowy riding, I'll be looking at another "slop season" after that, as the temperatures and Sun will conspire to waste this snow into a slushy, mucky mess by Wednesday, I bet. In fact, I was going to clean off the Ti Mukluk but I have postponed that until after all the mucky-muck goes away again.

Then I think we're on toward Spring and Spring-like weather for good. Yeah, we could get more snow. I mean, it has happened, but I don't think it will be anything like the 8" dump we just got. But, there was that April blizzard in the early 70's, and I have seen it snow to a measurable amount in May, so you never know. But I think we're out of Winter's clutches now and I cannot wait to start piling on some gravel miles.

I've got some routes planned to do and one I want to piece together for a special ride. More on that later. For now I just want this transition to decent weather to happen and to stick this time.

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