Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This weather is not amusing

Native Minnesotan and fellow blogger Carmella Schnagel probably wouldn't think so, but in my opinion, it is dangerously cold outside right now. I tried to add a couple of miles to my commute into school yesterday and wound up unable to see the road for all the tears in my eyes from the arctic air. Since the bike creates its own windchill effect, there is no way I am getting on it again until this passes. No matter, I had anticipated such an occasion, and banked a few miles on the bike last week. By my calculations, I am going to need average around 40 miles a week to make my Bike Garden Challenge goal of 2011 miles in 2011 for the South Plains Food Bank. Since I expect that there will weeks when I'm off the bike because the weather doesn't cooperate, or I catch the sniffles, or I'm traveling, or whatever, I hope to bank more than the average in those weeks when the fates are more pleasantly aligned with my desires.

In the realm of other cold weather-related news: There is also no way on God's green earth that I am going out to the shop in these conditions to work on finishing the ottoman. I mean, my new kerosene heater, purchased on the advice of David Schmetterling (who has, BTW, pledged a penny a mile in the Challenge--thank you, David!), is a bonny good thing, but I don't want to stand around for an hour waiting for it to heat up the shop enough for me to work without gloves on. There isn't much left to do on the ottoman, however, so as soon as the freezing conditions let up, I'll whip out the final steps and do the big reveal.

For my neighbors, and in the realm of other, other news: There is a meeting this evening of 34th Street planners to look at revitalizing and re-desigining that troubled avenue. If you take a look at the proposed diagram, you can see they've added bike lanes. A very good thing. I plan to be there tonight to voice my support for such forward-thinkingedness.* The meeting starts at 6 PM with an hour-long open house so that the public can view the plans, followed by the meeting itself. Open to the public, at Sunset Church of Christ Family Center, 3631 34th.

*NOTE: Since this has not been discussed and approved by the board or the neighborhood association, I will be going to the meeting and offering my support for bike lanes not as the UNIT president, but as a bicycle commuter.


  1. Yo! The weather in your part of Texas doesn't sound at all amusing. I think we're going to dodge the worst of it but I still need to cover a few plants.

  2. while you're supporting the addition of bike lanes, you may want to suggest "they" consider adding a tree/shrub lawn along the curb while they're at it. as seen left to right in their diagram:
    parking lot, sidewalk, tree lawn, curb, bike lane, road... etc. you can then argue that it's safer for peds to have the tree lawn between the sidewalk they're walking on and the street. plus it'd give the bicyclist a more aesthetic view...

  3. I am with you on life threatening cold! Although I am beginning to feel like a native Minnesotan, I still have my Kentucky roots. And I first came North in the bitter autumn...brrrrr....

    I think my people think if they drink enough margaritas and mint juleps they won't notice it is only ten degrees.

  4. Cindy--Bundle up! It's a cold one.
    Andrea--Along most of the stretch they will have a grassy verge. There's one stretch where it's too narrow, however.
    Carmella--I thought you were a native! I am even more impressed now that I know that you didn't start out as a cold weather dog...

  5. Exactly how cold is it?!?!

    I remember calls with Jordan when he lived in Lubbock and he would report conditions colder than those in Duluth. Of course, while seeming extremely unfair at the time (snow before we got it), it does go away a bit sooner for you folks ;->

    May I direct you to a local Duluthian who bikes all year long?

    Quite the inspiration! I continue to run throughout the winter and was overheating today with temps in the low 20's after a weekend closer to zero.

    Yay for commuting so often by bike! I admit to wussing out on that particular activity (mile downhill at the start = very cold hands and feet, and the two additional miles on the flats barely have time to warm them up. Of course the ride home is a whole other matter!).

  6. Lisa--Thanks for the link to the fellow commuter! I'll check it out.

    Lows have been getting down to the single digits, and the high yesterday was in the upper twenties, I think. They're predicting the same thing for today, though I don't think the overnight low was as bad. Probably routine stuff for you in Duluth, but rather shocking for those of us who get complacent with our mild winters.

    I like to run in cold weather, too, and don't seem to get cold doing so (if I'm bundled up properly), but the bike drops the temps down precipitously, and as you say, the hands and feet become very painful. My eyes water, too, and make it hard to see the road.

    No matter, since these little fronts don't ever stay around long for us. I can just wait it out. Makes for a good rest day or two to let the body recover from training...

  7. Yup - just as cold there as here. Though they keep threatening us with a Siberian Blast. Wouldn't be Minnesota without a good stretch of sub-zero weather.

    The cruelest weather happening here is a mid-winter thaw. Just fools you into thinking spring is around the corner and makes the return to winter that much harder. All that to say, I understand how those temps could be daunting if the norm is much warmer.

    Hope you enjoy Doug's site. He is pretty inspirational, and has shown me some great winter trails to run.

  8. Would ski goggles help with the eyes? There are goggles that are made to go over eyeglasses, I used to wear them all the time while snow skiing om sub-freezing temps... but then again, I'm not a cyclist, so take this with a very small grain of salt :-)

  9. Deborah--I figured out yesterday that if I take my glasses off, I don't have the problem of them fogging up and the warmth from my breath keeps my eyes from watering. Who would have guessed? Not me!


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