Monday, January 13, 2014

In Which I Contemplate The Power of 40

Quite street during my afternoon ride Jan. 12. I think this is H Avenue. Note that despite the wet, which promises some ice issues that plagued my commute home Monday night, it's still refreshing to see pavement.
Sunday’s bike ride was an illustration of what a January thaw can do.

Just last week, most of the roads in the Kenwood neighborhood were covered in ice and snow. But by Sunday, when the sun peeked out now and then on a partly cloudy day, and when the temperature flirted with 40, all busy streets on my route were mostly bare pavement, while side streets has a mix of wet, slush and some ice--but were no longer covered completely in snow.

Riding conditions have vastly improved over last week. During my Sunday ride, on the way down to Mount Mercy University, right after crossing Collins Road on F Avenue, I saw two women jogging towards me. I idly wondered about whether it was worse to try to run on sometimes iffy streets than to bike on them—and, I have no idea what the answer is—when I noticed that I knew these two. They’re both MMU students. And they were at least 4 miles from campus.
H and maybe 37th Street? 38th? Not the busy one by Rockwell Collins, one street north. Some very cold looking water and ice--but most of the ride was better than this.
It was a fine afternoon for a longish run. I think both of these young women are on the track team, so maybe a 10-mile ride was just par, for them. I was glad that others were taking advantage of this spring-light break from our long, cold winter.

After I got to campus, I met a student at the campus newspaper office, and then spent some time working in a computer lab, printing papers to grade. By around 4:45 or so, I was ready to head home.
This is last week, Jan. 8,  just for contrast. Not sure of the street, but it is a quiet one in the Kenwood area, and yes, I rode my bike on this.
What a difference January makes. It’s the dead of winter, but there is change in the air. At 4:45, it’s no longer the dark night it as in late December—there is a bit of light until well after 5.

The sun is coming back. We even have a 40 degree day. Well, hooray for the change!

Miles today, Jan. 13: 12. Year-to-date total: 33. I won’t get many, or probably even any, more this week with snow forecast for Tuesday, but at least it’s nice to know that the white stuff can become wet stuff.

Here are some images from my ride home around 5 Sunday evening:

One of two new lights my wife got me for Christmas. The other, a red one, is on the rear of my helmet.

I'll use some sunset pictures from Jan. 13 on my other blog. This is Jan. 12 as I head out. In late December, it's full dark by 5. Nice to see you coming back to play in our sky, Mr. Sun!

The evening was so fair, I took the longer trail route home Sunday. Saw some joggers. These are not the two MMU students I wrote about, since I saw them on F avenue. This is the Cedar River Trail, and I did see several walkers, bikers and runners on the way home.

I don't think I'll be using the Harding Middle School bypass until there is a more sustained thaw. I briefly had to walk Francis around this ephemeral lake.

On the sidewalk at Noelridge Park, Sunday around 5:30. Still barely light enough to take a shaky photo with a long expsure. I think I caught all of the lights on Francis flashing--the smear of brighter white on the corner of the basket is the new light shown earlier.

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