Could this be it?

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Could it be the weather is finally going to start turning to more Spring like temps? After a couple of weeks of temperatures hovering around the freezing mark today seemed to be the day that signaled a change. The forecast for today was calling for temperatures 10 degrees warmer than yesterday. Not only did it reach that mark but warmed an additional 10 degrees higher than the forecasted temp. I got out for an afternoon ride around town. I put in 19 miles. Yes short, but I also climbed 1350 ft. You can see the route and an elevation profile here://ridewithgps.com/trips/8468602/embed

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This used to be my secret mile of gravel road in the middle of town. Today I discovered it’s been paved. What a surprise.

Fresh legs.

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In town gravel riding.

The past three or four years I’ve been having an increasingly harder time recovering from rides. All my life I’ve always struggled with recovery. I’m not a natural athlete to begin with, yet I have an ability to push beyond my limits. When I do go beyond my limits I take longer than most people to come back. For the ten years prior to 2015 I rode the most miles I’ve ever ridden in my life. I rode between 5,000 and 8,500 miles a year. To do this kind mileage I used a strategy of consistency. I rode 6 or 7 days a week, every week. I didn’t do a lot of big miles days, I just rode often. I felt like I was always in recovery mode. After ten years of this it took a toll on me. So last year I didn’t set any mileage goals and simply rode less. Since I don’t own a car I use my bikes for transportation. This meant I still rode a bike most days. I cut down on my pleasure rides due to not always feeling good.

Now with a new job and a new commute, only 3 miles, I find the commute is not as taxing. Even more so because of certain logistical problems of this commute I have been taking the bus to work most days. To get home I’ve been taking the bus or walking. My work site situation and my required work attire lend itself better to a walk than to a bike ride. The only exception is the use of my Brompton on a few days when the weather has been nicer.

All this to say, when the weekend comes around I find my legs are especially fresh and ready for some serious riding. It’s so different having fresh legs. It makes me realize it’s been years since my legs have felt good for a weekend ride!!! I seriously feel like I’ve been consistently in recovery mode for……forever! What a delight to ride along without effort, tackle hills like I don’t need to save anything for the next day and just enjoy riding along without that dead feeling in my legs. It’s wonderful.

As you might have noticed in the above picture it’s still winter here. We had a cold week with light snowfall on most of the days. In some locations it added up to several inches of snow. The promise of an early Spring with a 60degF Saturday four weeks ago didn’t hold up. That’s life in Northeastern Minnesota.

Commuting on a Brompton in the snow.

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Only a 20% chance of rain today in the forecast. It was for later in the day. Weather app was reporting clear skies when I got up this morning. It was still dark outside, so I didn’t look outside to see for myself. Temperature was around freezing. Fairly typical weather pattern for the past few weeks. You can imagine my surprise to see big snowflakes coming down when I headed out the door with my Brompton in hand. I was prepared for a cool, uneventful ride to work.

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The snow only lasted as long as my 20 minute commute. It was heaviest in the picture above. The flakes of snow were the big wet kind. The kind that can momentarily blind you if they land right in your eye. Many did. It turned an expected uneventful ride into a mini adventure.

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I even ran a quick errand on the way. My new commute takes me right past the main Post Office. I finished our taxes last night. The tax software I used gave us free e-file for Federal taxes, but wanted to charge me $24.99 to e-file the State Income tax form. I printed it out, stuffed it in an envelope and paid 71 cents to “mail” file it instead.

The ride home was sunny, dry and windy. There was a stiff, cold Northwest wind. It felt completely different than the ride into work. But that’s life near the Big Lake during the shoulder seasons.

I’ve had my Cycliq Fly6 tailight/HD camera since January. It records in 10 minute splits. When I’ve shared them in the past I just uploaded a full ten minutes. Well, today when I got home I finally learned how to edit it down to only the segments I want to highlight or share. Here’s a video from the rear taillight/camera during the peak snowfall during my short commute. It’s 1:27 in length. Enjoy: