|A bitterly cold and snowy day a few years ago. I made it to work on time!|
"I spent the entire month of January locked up in my cell."--Electronic
January is the month that I dread. I know the hammer will crash down and crush hope, kill dreams and freeze us within an inch of our lives. Usually this occurs on New Year's Day. The night before all is well. Sure, most likely there is snow on the ground but bicycling is still easy. Bundle up and pedal on. Then the hangover hits. It was no different this year. However, the cold did not last long.
Final days of January, 2015, and tomorrow will be near 60F in Des Moines, Iowa. It has been a wonderful month. Many days in the 40s and 50s. Despite two morning rides at - 3F this January will be considered the best ever. Both of these bitterly cold mornings quickly warmed up and we forgot about the negative temps. In fact, the cold spells barely lasted two days each before warming up. And those two mornings the wind shifted to the south and brought in warmer air as I rode to work.
A glance through my bike log reveals that last year there were 2 days this month that the temperature reached or exceed 50F. Yet there were at least 5 days of bitterly cold temps failing to reach the + side of Fahrenheit. There was a lot of snow in 2014. Hardly any in 2015. It all has melted.
Saturday it is supposed to be 40F with rain and snow. 1 to 3" predicted. So the month will end on a sad note. The first week of February will be about 20 degrees colder than it it has been lately. Still, no 20 below Zerex forecasted.
My winter bike, the one in the photo, the one with studded tires, has only carried me to work 8 times this month. One time because I was afraid of refreeze. It really was not needed that day. The remainder of the month and the last three commutes scheduled, have all been on road bikes with skinny racing tires, refreeze be damned. Quite unusual for this month. Last year all but two commutes were done on the winter bike. One of those was because it had a flat. This is fine with me since the winter bike is slower. All Saturday grocery trips have been with a different bike. In fact the red bike has not moved in 11 days. Less wear and tear.
We have made it through the worst month. February can be brutally cold as well, too, but it is short and ends with the month of March. Things start to warm up and turn green. We may get a foot of snow in one day but it will melt quickly. And every day we move further and further away from the possibility of -20F.
Enjoy it while you can. If and when winter returns there will the devil to pay!
FYI I had 640 miles in January of 2014. 700+ projected for 2015 barring injury or getting fired. That will be a new January record for me.