Saturday, December 29, 2018

So This Is Winter?

Magnum of Heineken or as my son in-law calls it "Lao Beer." The Verenti.

December 28, 2018
Des Moines, Iowa USA

It finally hit.  Sure, we have had a few cold days a few dustings of snow.  North of us they have a lot of snow.  After Thanksgiving south of us got hit with over a foot.  But in DSM, nada.  The previous post I mentioned the snow pile remnants in Indianola, IA.  Traveling south for Christmas we see the occasional snow pile but that day was warm.  I recall thinking my brother in-law was a wimp for donning hat and gloves to run dog food to the dog they have fenced in away from the house (he chases buses).  Discussions of climate change ect.  Enjoy this while it lasts, the hammer will fall.  Usually the weather is great until Black Friday since I now have that day as a play day after 20 years of babysitting away from home.  And then it is good until New Years Eve when it goes from good bicycling weather to 20 below Zerex.  I love riding in snow but when it dips to single digits with that 25 mph NW wind, only bike when necessary.

Photo credit: Rose Brooks
So it was.  Thursday it was almost 60*F and serious rain.  The weathercons showed the line between rain and snow on the map.  A nice warm mass kept it away for hours.  It did not feel like it would end.  Double rainbow to enjoy on my ride home.  Then a black sky and heavy rain.  Tornado weather.  Imagine my surprise when I let the dog out at 3 am Friday to see a dusting of snow on the ground.  Damn, party's over, well for a few days as 40*F+ forecasted later next week.

I took the "adventure" bike.  I left the winter bike at home for Mary.  We gave one of our sons her set of wheels with studded tires since he has committed to commuting via bicycle recently.  My old set of studded tires refuse to mount on her other set of wheels.  But we have not needed studs.  I was almost to the point of placing The Red Phoenix (my winter bike) back into storage.  I think I have commuted on it to work once this season.

The Verenti (adventure/cross/gravel) was fine.  Small snow drifts that I had to go out of my way to hit were the only issue.  Its wide WTB Riddler tires slightly under inflated worked well.  No slips or spills.  Mary took her pink mixte single speed.  Neither of us had any issues.

I learned how to drive in RWD American cars with V-8s.  FWD hit the masses later.  AWD was only for rally cars.  Now RWD is RARE but I see as many cars in the ditch these days as I did before FWD and AWD and SUVs took over the world.

Other people did.  Shortly after the sun was up my boss came out of his office and said that a car slid off the road and hit a tree.  Naturally, we went to the window to gawk at the misfortune.  A newer Ford SUV lost control and popped the curb and landed on a small tree.  The tree dampened the momentum thus preventing the driver from hitting the pole.  7th St is slightly downhill at this point.  Most drivers get a lot of speed when they travel on it.  Just enough snow to make it slick.  Americans drive like auto insurance is free and no one is ever held responsible unless they are drunk.

The ride home was fine.  I decided to pick Mary up from work since it was now colder and this would save time.  We had a few things to do and 17*F slow's down ones metabolism.  I had no issues driving except the doors on the Taurus were frozen and then refused to latch.  The Honda is what I drove anyway because it would except her bike inside without hassle.  I never felt the AWD kick in.

Today it may get above freezing.  40s tomorrow.  Then a freeze to single digit lows.  Then the 40s by the end of the week.  Much better than last year when it was -15*F January 2nd and the car would not start and my NiteRider gave out.  That's a real winter day.

No comments:

Post a Comment