Yesterday the temperature hit 77 degrees here in central New Hampshire. I rode in shorts and a jersey.
Spring-like weather is nice. In what we would have considered a normal year we don't expect to see much of it until May. Early warm spells on a day or two in April would usually be punished by weeks of retribution. It was all part of New England's famously character-building climate and terrain. So anyone who has lived here for more than a couple of years enjoys the pleasure of nice days with an uneasy eye on the horizon.
Last year the nice weather burst upon us in March as well, but it followed a somewhat normal winter, with feet of snow and a spell of subzero cold. It is a rare spring that progresses so agreeably without some harsh setback. Following a nonexistent winter it feels unearned. On second thought it feels like a justifiable reward precisely because we got no real winter to let us enjoy normal winter activities. Even so, it's hard to set out on even a short ride without the usual layers and spares one carries for cold weather expeditions.
Had I been a devoted indoor trainer I might launch the full commute right now. Instead I let the season get to me. I'm laying down some base miles before I jump into the whole route.
The second trip down the Cotton Valley Trail found it much better and still far from good. The ice was more rotten, the dirt still squishy. That was before these days at 70 degrees could work on it. I wallowed to town from my parking area and trudged back out in the evening, diverting again onto pavement for most of the return trip.
Parts are arriving for the generator wheel for the mountain bike commuter. It's good to have options. Effingham and the surrounding area have a lot of dirt roads in rough shape. A mountain bike with night capability could prove interesting beyond the commute.