Date: Jan. 4
Ride type: Commute
January mileage: 34
Year to date mileage: 34
I had a nice ride home tonight, even though my meeting ran late. I took the bike path along The River Road and I think that was much faster than my Minnehaha Ave route. With the bike path being much clearer than the bike lane I can cruise along with no stoplights. And now that the Raleigh has the studded tires, keeping momentum is critical. This is also a safer route. I'm on the road for a few blocks downtown and then I'm away from the cars until after I cross the Highway 55 bridge. Ironic, since I bought a big ol' rear light yesterday. I went with the Cateye TL-LD1000 taillight. It's sweet. And super bright. And nearly the size of my fist. I was amazed when I hooked it up to the bike last night in the garage. I picked it up at The Hub on my way home. They also gave me a bundle of AAA batteries with my purchase. 14 of them! The TL-LD1000 takes AA batteries (included, nice work Cat Eye) but all my other blinkies take AAA so I'm hooked up for a while. How cool is that?
Speaking of the Highway 55 bridge, the warm weather of the last two days has really made a difference. On Friday morning when I went to work I was the second person to cross the bridge and it was smooth as silk. When I rode across yesterday morning the bridge was all rutted and just plain horrible. I think it took me close to 10 minutes to cross. But yesterday afternoon and today it was much better. It's weird though. The bridge itself is much better, but the short sections of trail on either side of the bridge are not in good shape. I don't know why the snow would melt faster on the bridge. I know it's not a difference in traffic, because to cross the bridge you must ride/walk on these sections as well. The bridge is concrete while the trails are asphalt. Theoretically black asphalt should melt snow faster than beige concrete. My theory is that when the plows go by on the car portion of the 55 bridge they throw snow over into the bike path. That snow has salt mixed in with it and helps the snow on the bridge melt faster.
There was an oddity tonight. I met another cyclist in Fort Snelling. I see cyclists in Minneapolis on a regular basis. I saw 5 yesterday on the way home and tonight I passed one on the River Road trail. But I haven't seen anybody that far south in over a month. I see plenty of trails in the snow, but it's rare that I see a rider. Tonight when I was in one of the bad sections leading up to the bridge I was riding way on the left side of the path. That's where the cleanest line throught the ruts is. When I looked up I saw another cyclist coming toward me in the same line. We both pulled up and stopped for a minute. General chit chat, Sorry for being on the wrong side. Not a big deal. Where are you headed? I'm going south to Eagan. Have a good ride! You too! It was nice to see another soul out and about. Though I miss the guy I used to smile and wave to every day during the summer and fall. He was riding through November at least if I recall correctly, but I haven't seen him for a long time. I think he may have given it up until spring.