Friday, January 22, 2016

In Which Snow Contrasts With Summer Dreams

Ah, RAGBRAI. Where are you now?

I didn’t have time to enter this year’s “guess the route” contest. But I bet it will be west to east. I’m going to guess Missouri Valley to Muscatine, just because I can. And in the middle, we’ll stop in Des Moines, just because Zombie Burgers.

Note on Facebook. RAGBRAI!
We’ll see. In the meantime, a family friend from Florida, who rode with Team Joe two years ago, posted a message on Facebook that indicates she may be coming back up north again next July. Well, hooray! We need your sunny warmth, Susan.

We sure didn’t have it today. I know, I know, I’m not in Baltimore or Washington, D.C., and have no right to complain. But we were supposed to maybe have flurries this morning.

And I had to be on campus, so I decided, aw heck, I can ride in a flurry.

It was a flurry on steroids. A dusting, which is beyond what CR Biker likes to bike in. I fervently regretted not getting one of my mountain bikes fixed—I would have been far more comfortable riding The Beast of The Fancy Beast than plugging along on Francis. Due to the condition of the C Avenue sidewalk, I decided to take the far north route over to the Cedar River Trail.

Sidewalk on Council Street this morning. And I was riding a bike.

As it turns out, it wasn’t a horrible decision. No baby ducks or old man bikers were injured in the making of this blog post. But snow clearance on the dangerous C Avenue sidewalk is almost great compared to snow clearance on the section of Council Street sidewalk north of Boyson Road.

To be fair, the situation south of Boyson was much more pleasant. And although I rode in a bit of white-knuckle fear, it’s also true that the light dusting of snow never proved slick enough for CR Biker to even slip. I had the Cedar River Trail to myself, and the ride was far less stressful once I got to the trail due to both lack of car traffic and lack of snow compaction caused by car traffic.

Northbrook on the way west headed to the trail. Nasty cold headwind, too.

Now I am on trail. First traffic signal in Hiawatha

Biggest challenge on the trail-the rail bridge. As it turned out, not so bad. As you can see, without cars to compress it, the snow is not sticking all that much, nor is there much snow to begin with.

So on I went. It took a bit longer than usual—as you can imagine, I was going slowly, but I made it.

And, at 9 a.m., just as I got to campus, the sun came out. To mock me, I think.

RAGBRAI, where are you? Anyway, it’s pretty exciting to think Team Joe may be associated with an even larger group (Team Florida Susan?). We’ll see! And soon we will know the route. And soon the snow will be gone and I can take out the road bike.

But I do need to get The Beasts repaired sometime. I wish it had been yesterday.

I arrive at MMU. And the sun comes out, briefly. Afternoon ride home was cloudy and cool, but not snowy like the morning ride.

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