Monday, February 05, 2024

Brown Season: A Quick Test Run

Escape Route: Sergeant Road Bike Trail
February 1st, 2024. It was over fifty degrees outdoors! Three weeks ago we received almost 30" of snow in one week. The next week it was sub-zero temperatures, the following week it all started to melt, and with several 40-plus degree days in the bag, almost all the snow is now melted with the exception of where it got piled up due to snow removal operations. 

Winter - Here and gone again! Just like that. Before that week of snow it was brown, and very cold, but we had received no snow. Not since late November last year had any snow fallen. Then all that happened

What a weird Winter! And I have a sneaking suspicion that come late February or early in March we are going to get slapped in the face by another hit of snow and sub-zero cold. I hope I am wrong, but this mad swinging from one extreme to another seems odd. But maybe not as odd as having 50 degree days to start off February and it is supposed to be well over normal temperatures for the month for the first two weeks. 

After that....... Brrr! I hate to think what might happen.

Why do roads get rutted out? Maybe semi-tractor trailer traffic has something to do with that. Maybe...

It was a fantastic day out, but the low angle of the Sun says "Winter" yet.

So, I have to go back to Christmas time when I was deathly sick and stayed that way for two weeks. Well, I got better all along, but I was under the weather till after the New Year. I maybe could have done some country riding that second week of January, but I felt like giving myself one more week to recover would be best. Besides, it was cold and windy. 

Then that snow came and well, here we are three weeks later. With the rapid snow melt it was hard to gauge just when the roads out in the country would be good for bicycling. Well, "good" meaning no wet cement-like mud and goo. Between not having been on a long country ride for a while and wondering about conditions, I planned a short "test ride". A test for myself, to see how I was feeling and where my fitness was and a test of the roads. 

With how February has started out, even this snow will be gone soon.

Looking off toward Waterloo. That looks like smog to me.

The roads were actually really great. Super packed in and smooth. I haven't seen this South of Waterloo for many years. It was nice riding these roads without having my eyeballs rattled out and my hands going numb. The two or three years of fresh gravel from ditch to ditch was disheartening, to say the least. 

Orange Road looking East

I rode the Noble GX5 for the ride.

And as far as I was concerned I came through in pretty good shape. Nothing out of the ordinary and I was clipping along at a decent pace, although I was trying to 'go easy'. It was a short ride, but the tiny bit of it that was out in the country was fantastic. I never would ever expect to be able to ride in weather like this on the 1st of February in any year, but 2024 has already been an odd weather year and looks to stay that way for the short term. 

If I can ride out in the country I'll take it.

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