Thursday, April 30, 2009

That wasn't in the forecast!

Ah...life is funny sometimes...!!!

So today I finally got the bike out for my first commute in to work this year. I last rode in to work on September 8th. While the temperature wasn't forecasted to be super warm the sunshine has been really nice out and I'm jonesing to ride outside more.

It was a bit chilly this morning at -3C (27F), but I bundled up and had a great ride into work. It is downhill most of the way, with a net elevation loss of around 450 feet. A super easy ride, just shy of 13 miles... I was looking forward to the ride home in the sunshine, and to see how well I would be able to handle the uphill ride home. Around 3:30 I looked out the window and saw a big, nasty black cloud directly over my neighborhood. Hmm, that looked kind of interesting. As I checked the weather over the next hour the temperature dropped slightly. (Hmm, obsess much?) Fun times!

I bundled back off and headed home. The wind had picked up a bit, but I've been out in worse. I kept riding toward the black cloud...into the wind...and hoping that I would be able to avoid whatever that cloud was bringing with it.

To describe my commute home a bit, it is flat and easy sailing for about 4 miles or so along pathways by the Bow River. After that I turn north and start riding through various neighborhoods to make it home. Once I turn off the pathway I head up Home Road. You gain 80 ft of elevation over less than half a mile. This was my first test! The quads were burning as I rode up, but this is probably the strongest I have ever felt riding up that hill. Good times! From here on out it is pretty well a nice and steady climb home. A few minor reprieves here and there, but pretty well uphill the whole way. I was about 5 miles from home. I made a right turn and right then and there the wind picked up. Dust and junk was blowing about in the air and it got so dark out that the street lights came on. This is generally a tough part of the ride home for me regardless. The uphill is a bit harder and by this time the legs are tired, the quads are burning, and you are close to home, but not quite close enough. And just then, something started to fall...

At first I wasn't sure what it was. Rain? The beginnings of hail? Snow? As it started to pick up it was confirmed...it was snowing! That wasn't in the forecast for today!! It seems like I have some bad luck getting caught up in snow while commuting on the bike. Just check out what happened last year!

The snow picked up, but it wasn't sticking on the ground. Time to just gut it out and make it home! Just as I turned into my neighborhood the snow let up and the sun started to peek through the clouds. Oh well! You can't control weather conditions on race day so it definitely doesn't hurt to ride in a little bit of inclement weather.

***As an aside, on my way home I passed another guy on a bike. He was weaving and it looked like he was trying to look down and see if he had a flat. Before I passed him I called out to ask him if he was okay. No response. As I passed him I looked at him, he looked at me, and I asked him if he was okay. Still no response. He was wearing his iPod and couldn't hear me at all. Who wears their iPod while riding their bike in traffic?? Don't you want to hear if there is traffic around you or not??

Alright, I have to go pack for a weekend out of town! Hope everyone has a great Thursday night/Friday!!

13 comments:

Run Sarah said...

Wow, I can't believe all the crazy weather you're getting there! Sounds like it's a tough ride home, especially with the initial elevation.

Missy said...

Guuurl, I bitch about that all the time. I don't understand it, an iPod on a bike, you're going to break your next forilla!

You're hardcore - I only go down to 40F, that's my temp cut off. Niceee.

Keith said...

You just never know in Calgary. Being on a bike when it's snowing is no fun at all. Good on you for toughing it out.

Was the ipod wearer at least wearing a helmet. I tend to think of these people in Darwinian terms.

Marlene said...

SNOW??!!

Sounds like a tough ride for more than one reason - awesome job!

I can't imagine wearing headphones in traffic. So dangerous!

Melanie Tait (Mel Tries to Run) said...

Excuse me Leana, but did you say -3 degrees celcius?!

It's 30 degrees all year round here. I think -3 would put me in the foetal position and you're out on your bike?!

Nice work even if the SNOW won this time... :)!

Molly said...

I HATE the riding with an ipod thing - how annoying and completely unsafe!!!!

Great job getting your ride in though - your commute sounds similar to mine but I mostly reserve biking there for warm spring mornings that we haven't gotten yet!

Melanie said...

Yuck! You can keep the snow! LOL

Wes said...

You are hard core! You will be hard as nails by the time these 70.3(s) come up...

lindsay said...

ok wow. i'm a fair-weather biker for sure. i commute to work too in the spring/summer/fall when there's more daylight before/after work, but you would not catch me out there in 27*F! brrr! more power to you:)

Judi said...

i wear my mp3 while riding in traffic! you totally knew that was coming! LOL.

glad ya made it home ok.

Run For Life said...

I'm glad the snow wasn't sticking and started when you were almost home. That is something I do not miss about Calgary, haha.

I can't believe that guy had his iPod on...some people!

Badgergirl said...

Nice job with the commute in the snow! I wish I could bike to work, especially since it's only 3 miles.

I admit, I use my iPod on my bike. But there isn't much traffic where I bike.

lilmeg said...

Eek! -3?! I was in flip flops and a skirt today.

It blow my mind how many bikers seem to have iPods on. Insane.