Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Winter Commute

This morning I had a mild interruption to my routine that interfered with my checking behaviors. I was so bundled up that I was five minutes from home before I realized I had forgotten a minor detail--- my helmet. On any other day, I might have considered skipping it, but there was even more snow and ice than the previous day. I conjured up memories of previous crashes, and returned home to pick it up. It was not worth saving ten minutes. Of course I made it round trip without a mishap, but you never know.

This evening I left my laptop at work so I could put the tires through their paces without worrying about crashing-- or at least not destroying the laptop.
This is the lovely changing facility that I use. There is a coed locker room near the workout room, but it is completely occupied. I actually prefer this dungeon environment, as it allows me to hang my clothes up to dry wherever I feel like. Nobody uses it-- at least not often. Sometimes a stinky guy hangs his clothes there-- clothes that smell, not him. It is nauseating to smell whatever it is, but I digress. These snowy days leave me with free reign of the place. We have showers, by the way, in the fallout shelter. No, seriously. They are decent, although the place still smells funny from a fire that started in the sauna.
The view from the bike parking lot. They went a little nuts with the sand last night.
Through the forest. I can make it home without touching more than a few meters of pavement if I choose.
It stayed cold all day, and the snow stuck to the trees.
OK, there is a little more pavement under the icy tire tracks. It leads to a pasture bike route.

It is getting darker. Some days I take this back road home. Today I headed up the hill off road.
It still grows dark quite early. There is a gravel path beneath the snow. There were kids sledding everywhere in the darkness ahead.

I have decided that I like snow biking better than rain biking. I stay dry. I tried skidding a few times, but the studs really dig in, and I probably have better stopping than in normal conditions. After all, loose gravel, slippery rocks and roots, and dirt do not offer the best traction to begin with. It really is not very cold out either. And best of all, it is a better workout. Living in Minnesota has proven to be a huge missed opportunity for snow biking. I guess we can always move up north to Finmark.

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