Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Weather Update

A solid foot of snow in my area has brought the snowbanks back to full height. They slump into the road, eliminating riding space. In other places the plow has scraped back an imaginary lane, skimming the snow at the level of the pavement, regardless of how the land really drops away underneath. Cyclists probably won't be fooled. It's more a trap for drivers trying to give each other passing clearance. If the right wheels stray onto the unsupported snow, the car suddenly lurches to the right. If the ditch is deep enough, you can require a lot of help to get out.

On this sunny day after the storm, the temperature has climbed just above freezing. It is supposed to get a little colder over the next few days, and plunge for the holiday weekend.

As far as I'm concerned, winter weather calls for winter sports and transportation, so I'm off on the skis and snowshoes until the weather changes again. It's all good, as long as I can get out at all.

This is all in keeping with the theme of Jarch, since March has always brought the whole bag of weather with it. It doesn't bother to conform to any standard like "in like a lion, out like a lamb." It will act like anything from January to May, sometimes in the space of a single day. And being 31 days long, March may be one of the biggest challenges in the New England winter calendar if you let yourself fixate on springtime. You really have to take things as they come. Ride in shorts one day, ski glades the next, all within a five mile radius of home. And I don't even live up in the actual White Mountains. For a bit longer travel, a resident of this area can play in full winter conditions in the morning and take that springtime ride the same afternoon, especially once the days pass 12 hours in length.

All that lies well ahead, beyond conditions we can't realistically predict. Mild conditions, even if snowy, give a deceptive impression that winter itself will be short.

You're not through with winter until winter is through with you.

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