Thursday, December 17, 2015

In Which I Check: Cedar Lake Is Still There

Sunset viewed from Rohde Family Plaza, Mount Mercy. Not sure what day this was, but it was last week--maybe last Wednesday? Or Tuesday after bells? Anyway, pretty sunset.

I have not had much time for bike blogging lately—too busy at the end of a busy semester.

For biking, December has been a mixed bag. I have been able to ride most days, although I have not taking time to change pedals on my fast new bike, so have been riding the pickup truck, Francis. That’s OK, since the rides have not been long and since I’ve often had loads of papers and/or books, which are easier to carry on the sturdy old commuting bike.

But it has been damp and cloudy. I don’t react well to rain as a biker, and cold December rain is especially not my thing, so several days in the past two weeks have been driving days.

Still, even windy, cool and cloudy days have been OK for biking, and I’ve biked more than I’ve driven. Sunsets in this odd, warm December that feels more like late October have been early, but sometimes, when the clouds are not solid, also very pretty.

Today, the sun was actually shining in the afternoon, and since I don’t have classes—just a mountain of grading—I left campus a bit earlier than usual and actually rode down to Cedar Lake, just because I haven’t in some time.

The lake is still here. Around 4 p.m., with the sun getting low and a cold wind blowing, it’s still a pretty place to be.

Two views of Cedar Lake around 4 p.m. today. Top one is southeast corner of lake, bottom is north end of lake, showing geese at geese party. It's been very cloudy recently, so a sunny day, even a cold windy one, was a treat.

Mornings rides have pretty much all been with lights on. Most days the ride home is in the full dark, although full dark arrives around 5. We’re in the dark weeks of the year, not normally the best for a bicycle rider, but I’ve been lucky so far. I’ve had to wear the coat and gloves, but neither long underwear nor mittens.

Snow? I don’t really miss you much. But rain? The creek behind my house spilling over its banks in December? That’s more than a bit odd.

Two views of Dry Creek out of its banks Tuesday morning as I biked to work. More often, at this time of year, you can go for long walks in its dry bed--but not this year.

Well, world leaders in Paris. I’m trying to do my bit. I’m sure I contribute some carbon to the atmosphere as I huff along the chilly, dark December streets of Cedar Rapids on my old back bike. But far less than if I drove them, I’m sure.

And I get to spend more time in the pretty sunsets.

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