I try not to let myself get influenced by weather, but after close to seven days of overcast skies and freakin cold temperatures for april, I can't help but find myself cursing when I first look out the window in the morning.
I'm having the ever-increasing fortunate experience of running into someone I know on my ride home. I'd like to think this has to do with more people commuting to work on bicycles, but in the end, I'm pretty sure its because every time I'm in a situation where I'm meeting new people, I always seem to be paired up with the "other crazy guy who rides his bike all winter".
Anyway, one of the nice aspects of running into someone on your ride home in shitty weather, is that you recieve from and lend some moral support to the other guy. As has happened on more than one occasion this week, I've found myself fervently agreeing with statements like "I'm so f#$kin tired of riding in snow, into a headwind during a snowstorm!". In the middle of February this wouldn,t be said nor would I agree with it if it had, but at the beginning of April is a different story.
This finally brings me to the title of this post, temperature gradients. Yesterday, we braved the Good Friday crowds at Louise to get some late(r) season skiing in. Driving out to Lake Louise, it became readily apparent that this cold mass of Arctic air that's been tormenting me all week, ceases almost exactly at the Three Sisters exit east of Canmore. By mid afternoon at Louise, the temperature had sored to 13c (I've got raccoon eyes to prove it). At the same time, Banff (50 km to the southeast of Louise) was 4c and Calgary was an absolutey tropical -5c.
Today, its more of the same, overcast and crappy. This time it really sucks, because I was hoping for a nice sunny morning ride with Bob down to the farmer's market, now I'm going to stay at home and just worry about whether the Leafs can actually win and important game for once. Habs suck.
1: The warning about not exceeding 40 kph is especially relevant when you're hauling 60 pounds of textbooks. I felt like an inch-worm on fast-forward and speed when I was barelling down Edworthy Park Road.
2: Trackstanding is impossible and not recommended in traffic.
3: Tight spaces become really tight when the length of your bike is 50% longer than usual.
4: B.O.B. is awesome
Today, I hit the Rona in Westhills to get some painting supplies with B.O.B. in tow. I was definetly quite the contrast to the dudes pulling up in their Chevy Crapalanches just to buy a pack of assorted sandpaper.
I thought I'd rub it in further to all the lemmings in this souless outlet mall I call hell, by hitting the liquor store on my way through and buying a case of Kokanee and then zipping past the gridlocked traffic. I really wanted to crack one of those Kokanees in the parking lot and chug it as I rode past everyone, but I figured it was torture enough to be stuck in your car while the person in front of you is waiting for that perfect parking spot 30 feet from the store they want to get into.
I'm going to christen the B.O.B. tomorrow by barrelling down the hill to work with the trailer loaded up with textbooks and course notes. There must be close to 60 pounds worth o' crap. I figured a good way to test how this was going to work was by riding a couple of easy laps around my block, since this is the same as heading down an icy, 20% grade in the dark. Weaving in-and-out of downtown traffic should be easy too. If you see a binder on 3rd Street titled "DST Interpretation", that's mine, and the commute didn't go well.
I finally got around to getting a BOB trailer. I had to put the Xtracycle on hold due to a lack of space for another bike. It took me a little while (and a little sawing) to get mounted correctly, but its good to go.
Sunday was 17c and a perfect day to cruise down to the Ship and Anchor's patio. Screw gears and light frames it was a day to take bikes with big tires and baskets.
Monday night it was back to reality, 6 inches of heavy wet snow. The downhill into Edworthy Park was a riot, I was fish-tailing through the deep snow the whole way down. Once I got onto the Pathway, a familiar scene unfolded, me flying past all the cars stuck in traffic on Memorial Dr.
I spent a day last weekend getting some turns in on Bow Summit, the snow was crusty but still awesome. Especially awesome, was the lack of crowds, I'm starting to really understand the appeal of backcountry skiing. Here's some photos. No skiing this weekend, highs in the high teens are sometimes better spent on patios.