17 February 2016

It's Too Cold....For What?

This afternoon, the temperature has risen to 55F (12C).  That's about 12F (6C) higher than normal for this time of year. 

Three days ago, the temperature dropped to -1F (-18C) at dawn, giving us the coldest morning we've had in over two decades. It was Valentine's Day--a Sunday, to boot-- and when I went outside, nobody was on the streets.  (That might mean that a lot of babies will be born in November.)  None of us who might normally ride on a Sunday were pedaling down the pavement.  Even the delivery men for the 24 hour diner seemed to have taken the morning off.

Before that, we had a week or so of relatively mild weather, preceded by a blizzard, which was in turn preceded by warmer-than-usual-for-early-winter temps.

In years past, there always seemed to be a spell of a few weeks when the weather was "too cold" for most people, including dedicated cyclists, to ride.  Of course, what people in this part of the world deem as "too cold" would seem absolutely tropical in, say, northern Quebec or the eastern plains of Montana.  But I would imagine that even in such places there are conditions which even the hardiest and most seasoned cyclists, hikers and other outdoorspeople dare not venture.

This year, though, we seem to have had almost no such stretch of weather.  Aside from a couple of abnormally cold days (like Valentine's Day or the weekend of the blizzard), we have not had terribly wintry conditions.  Within two days of the blizzard, the temperature rose to 50F (10C), so the snow didn't remain for very long.  And the snow that fell in the wee hours of yesterday morning is a memory, distanced by the warmer-than-average conditions we're having today.

Still, when I showed up at  my job today, one of my colleagues expressed disbelief that I cycled in.  "It's too cold!"

"Too cold for what?" I wondered aloud.

"Well, it is still winter, you know.  You must be cold." 

I wasn't, but I took her up on her offer of a hot chocolate.  It is indeed winter, whether or not "it's too cold".

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