Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for the 'Wind' Category

Disappointing

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Yesterday’s forecast said we’d have a “wintry mix” for a while and then get 2-5 inches of snow overnight. There was even a winter storm warning in effect. I was excited about this, as we haven’t had even one good snow this winter, and I thought it would make for a fun ride to work this morning. We didn’t get any precipitation last night until some freezing rain when I walked the dog around midnight, so I thought the storm was getting started.

I woke up this morning to find, well, pretty much nothing. The parking lot in our apartment complex looked wet … no snow, no ice, just water. I looked again a minute later and snow was coming down sideways. By the time I got out of the shower, the snow had stopped. It wasn’t enough to even cover the ground, although it did leave a thin white layer over things.

The roads mostly had a layer of slush on them on my way to work. A few busier roads were clear, but mostly I rode through slush. It was pretty disgusting at times but sort of fun in the places where I got to make the first tracks through the slush. It also sounded interesting — not the familiar crunchy snow under my wheel sound but more of a continuous sloshing. The only thing that made my ride difficult was the wind, especially when I crested the hill approaching Walnut and was greeted with a blast of air blowing straight at me that made it difficult to make any progress, even in a low gear.

I didn’t have any problems with traction until I got to the parking lot at work, which was, as always, in worse shape than any other part of the ride. I can’t help but wonder who thought a brick parking lot was a good idea. My rear wheel slipped slightly as I turned into the lot. Then I had a bit of trouble walking to the door as the stone path was icy. So now I’m wondering if the roads were slicker than I realized and if my tires did a great job, or if it was just that path that was slick.

Small town living

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Noah, of KC Bike Commuting, rose to my challenge to design a sticker saying “Warning: Do not lick bicycle,” per our previous conversations about the matter here. You can see Noah’s post about his design, although I’m including it here for the fun of it.

UPDATE: I meant to post a link to a semi-relevant article, “Indiana Boys Left With Bleeding Tongues After Licking Flagpole” when I first wrote this. I forgot. Choice quote: “I decided to try it because I thought all of the TV shows were lies, but turns out I was wrong.” These boys remind me of many, many people at my high school. Gotta love Indiana …

Anyway, I had promised a print of one of my photos in return; Noah chose this one.

Bike Path
Bike Path

I had already dropped it off at my local camera shop, Cord Camera & Video. Yesterday I went to pick up the 8″x10″ print, by bicycle. I rode from my apartment to the camera shop, leaving my bicycle within sight in front of the store. I didn’t bother locking it. Then, I rode to the post office to mail it — again leaving the bicycle in front, unlocked. There was no line for either the walk-up windows or the APC, so I chose the APC. After I finished that, I rode to our apartment office to pick up a package there. I returned home having ridden probably about one mile total.

I have lived in bigger cities, and at least based on my experiences, there’s no way I could have run all these errands in such a short distance. And I certainly wouldn’t have left my bike unlocked, even if I could see it the whole time. These are some of the advantages of small town living, at least in this particular town, with my apartment located where it is. I’m very lucky. Even on a bicycle, I can be at any of these places within a 15-minute ride: work, downtown, the library, the mall and other shopping centers, any number of excellent restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Or, in that same 15-minute ride, I can be out in the country. It’s fantastic.

The more I think about it, the more I think it’s a shame I don’t run more errands by bicycle. It’s fun and very doable around here.

Anyway, my commute this morning was pleasant, in the 20s. Windchills were in the teens, but it wasn’t bad at all. Tomorrow’s commute should be interesting, as we have a winter storm warning predicting 2-5 inches of snow/sleet accumulation tonight. One downside to this town is that they do a pretty crummy job of clearing the roads, although they have gotten a bit better about it in recent years. I’d be surprised if schools are in session tomorrow — once when I was in school, they closed schools in anticipation of snow. Weak.

Here’s the text of our storm warning. I’m sure the alarmist tone will amuse those in colder areas of the country.

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 PM EST FRIDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN INDIANAPOLIS HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 PM EST FRIDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

A MIXTURE OF SNOW AND SLEET WILL DEVELOP THROUGH MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. AFTER MIDNIGHT…A MIXTURE OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN WILL OCCUR. ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF ONE QUARTER TO ON HALF INCH WILL BE POSSIBLE ALONG AND SOUTHEAST OF A VINCENNES TO BLOOMINGTON TO SHELBYVILLE LINE. A MIXTURE OF RAIN…FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET WILL GRADUALLY CHANGE BACK TO SNOW FRIDAY AFTERNOON. TOTAL SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 5 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE.

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW… SLEET… AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.

Seven degrees

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

During my ride to work this morning it was 7 degrees Fahrenheit, with a windchill of -7. I could really use some goggles; for a while, I thought my glasses were going to freeze to my face, especially when I crested a hill and was greeted with a blast of extremely cold air. Otherwise, I was fairly comfortable, although I could have used another layer on my legs.

In cold weather, my bicycle gets some condensation when I bring it in the building. When it’s really cold, like today, water condenses on the bike and immediately freezes. All from being out in the cold for about 15 minutes. Granted, this is nothing compared to what some Minnesota commuters are going through, but for here in southern Indiana, this is extremely cold.

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