Friday, March 7, 2014

In Which Spring Comes As Team Joe Grows

Ice on my driveway is divided by streamlet of melting.
Friday afternoon on the way home--crossing Dry Creek on C Avenue. It's been iced over, a walkway for deer, and now the deer will have either dip their hooves or find a new route. Water! Spring!

Well, our merry band is up to five. A sister-in-law on my wife’s side from Florida will be riding the whole week of RAGBRAI on Team Joe.

And, the weather is finally taking a turn for the seasonal. There is still a snow pack over most of the ground, it’s below freezing at night—but the March sun has been aided by slightly warmer afternoon temperatures, and we are seeing some melt.

March 6, squirrel on Mount Mercy University campus. Receding snow.
That made biking on Thursday and Friday a bit dicey. The ride Thursday night was a bit tense because I have a late afternoon class and can’t leave until 7 or so. By then, it had been dark for an hour and what had been wet on the streets was starting to freeze.

Still, although I definitely rode over lots of ice, no spills.

This morning, it felt like spring. There was a warm sun shining, even if the air was still in the 20s. I didn’t even put my hood up at first, but when I went around the first corner and faced into a stiff southern wind, that changed pretty quickly. Still, I wore my light gloves and only one pair of socks.

The afternoon ride, in which I took the longer trail route, was wet. Today was a cloudy day of thawing, with more melting weather coming this weekend.

It will cool off again next week, but there aren't the bitter cold temperatures in the forecast that we had to start March. And this weekend we turn our clocks forward—it won’t be full dark at 7 anymore when I have to bike home.

That will be nice. In fact, I’m pretty confident that overall, things are getting nicer for biking weather in this cold corner of the globe. It’s not over yet—we sure could still see some early spring snows—but winter is waning, and aren't we grateful.
Coneflower seed head in side garden. I'll have to cut it off and toss it behind the fence in hopes of starting some coneflowers there.

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