Friday, April 4, 2014

In Which I Contemplate The February Dip

Magic of Excel. My bike monthly mileage totals so far in 2014.

Now that winter is over (knock on wood), it’s interesting to see how the biking year has gone so far.

Thursday, I managed to squeeze out an unexpected day of biking. As a rule, CR Biker doesn’t like wet and will avoid a rainy ride. I know, I know, true bike commuters are like mail carriers under the old motto of the U.S. Post Office—neither rain nor snow nor dark of night, yadda yadda. Well, I’m not a mail carrier, and even if I’m not the Wicked Witch the West, I drive a bike that makes me look a bit like her.

I won’t melt in rain, but neither Francis nor I enjoy wet. It’s more serious for Francis. If I get wet, I have to dry off. If my bike gets wet, the cancer of rust spreads.

Anyway, rain was in the forecast Thursday, which normally would have called for a driving day. But, sometimes when it is going to “rain,” that doesn’t mean all day—it means rain now and then, and Thursday’s forecast was of that type. So I checked the radar in the morning (one of the minor positive aspects of modern life—when I was young, no random bike commuter would “check the radar”) and saw that, splotched with rain-green as the state might be, none of the splotches were on me.

So I rode, and I was fine.

On Thursday afternoon, I was lecturing, when I looked out the classroom window to see it raining. I had been talking about my bike at the time (it was relevant to class), and the class interpreted my nonverbal reaction to mean that Francis had been stolen. Well, no, my bike was parked inside the building in the hall by my office—its usual “rain” spot on campus—the dramatic pause was just my reaction to the rain and the prospect of a cold, wet ride home.

Fortunately, as it turned out, the ride was damp and cool, but the passing shower had passed by the time the class period was in the past.

I’ve been keeping an online bike log on Google Docs to track my miles. I had a dip in February mileage, caused, I’m sure, by the harsh winter we had. March was a winter month in Iowa this year, but my mileage nicely rebounded. According to my bike log, I’m up to 324 miles for the year as of Thursday, and just shy of 200 of those miles were in March.

My goal this year, if you recall, is 5,000 miles. I will have to average more than 400 miles a month to get there, but I knew in setting that yearly goal that many of those miles would be packed into summer months. So to near 200 in March isn’t bad.

Here’s hoping for 300 or more in April!

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