24 January 2013

Our Winter Is Their Sunrise

As I've mentioned in my previous two posts, we in New York are having the coldest weather we've had in two years.  Everybody's talking about it:  I think we were spoiled by such a mild season last year.

Still, we're getting off pretty easy compared to people in other parts of the world.  Either of the past two days would have been utterly balmy in, say, Duluth, Minnesota.  On an average January day, the high temperature there is 18F(-8C)--about what it was yesterday.  Today it was about five degrees (F) warmer.  And our night temperatures have been nowhere near as cold as the  -1F (-18C) folks in Duluth experience on a typical January night.

Aside from the mild winter we had last year, the cold is affecting people in the Big Apple for another reason:  wind.  The wind has, at times, gusted to nearly 30MPH (50KPH), and has steadily blown at 10-12MPH (16-21KPH).  That, of course, gives the cold a "bite" it wouldn't otherwise have.

However, there is one area in which, barring dramatic climate changes, New York winters will never compare with those in Duluth:  snow.  We should be thankful for small things:  The cold and wind here have been dry, and the skies almost preternaturally clear.  (Somehow, skies seem--to me, anyway-- clearer when it's cold.)  The city by Lake Superior, in contrast, is almost always covered with snow at this time of year, mainly because when snow falls, it tends to stay for longer than it does here in the New York islands.

So, I have to give major "props" to any year-round bike commuter in Duluth--like Doug, the author of MnBicycleCommuter.  When the roads are covered with snow, he rides a Surly Pugsley with the widest tires he can fit. 

Now, if I had to ride in the kind of cold Doug regularly experiences, I wouldn't mind a view like that.  I've pedalled into the sunrise:  It put me in a good mood for work.

Doug definitely deserves such views. So does anyone else who rides in those conditions!


  1. Sounds like we had the same weather pattern last winter! The lack of snow last year made everyone cranky here, but we're doing well this year, thank heaven!

    I dream of having a bike like Doug's to take on the trails here!

    Sending warm thoughts your way--

  2. Justine, I love the beauty of winter and being out in it...no matter what the temperature. It took a long time to figure out how to dress for it. I haven't always ridden in the winter. But now I have it down. I stayed plenty comfortable on the way in to work yesterday even though the air temp was -19F (-28C). Today's temp of 8F felt balmy. I didn't even cover my face except during one downhill.

    During the 6.5 years I wrote the blog MnBicycleCommuter that first picture you used in your post was the most viewed picture of the hundreds I used.

  3. Go Doug!

    Justine, looks like you reversed the mph/kph conversion for the wind speed. Kilometres per hour should be a higher number than miles per hour, as km are smaller units.

  4. Cherilyn, It's great to hear from you again. From reading your blog, I had the impression you had some tough times. How are you

    Adventure!--Actually, I the MPH numbers were right. When I converted them, I used the formula for converting metric to imperial rather than the other way around! I guess I was momentarily dyslexic with measurement systems.

    Doug--I loved what I saw on your blog. Do you plan to post more? I found that first photo when I surfed the Net in search of some winter cycling images.

  5. Justine

    There are six and a half years of my bicycling life in that blog. I put it too rest back in July of last year. No plans to continue at this time.


  6. Doug--I thank you for those six and a half years. Very few blogs last that long. This one is just over two and a half years old; my other blog (Transwoman Times) has run four and a half years. If either one makes it to six and a half, I'll consider it an accomplishment!