Ah, February

First off, I’ll state the obvious and say that the feature photo above has nothing to do with the cycling I was doing today. It is a nice reminder however, of the much warmer place I was four years ago about this time, Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Jumping back to 2021, January here in the northeast was in many ways a great month. The weather was moderate, at least by New England standards. Most days the temperatures climbed up above freezing by midday. We got snow that stuck around, but it was infrequent enough that the roads cleared and stayed clear. I was quite pleased with myself. I managed to get in more miles this January than any other January since I’ve been tracking my mileage.

February however, is a very different story. It has been cold. It has been windy. It has been snowy. Frequently it has been all three at once. Riding has been much more difficult. I’ve gotten out some, but not nearly as frequently, and not for the distances I was doing the month before. And has it been fun? Well… of course, any day on a bike is better than a day not on a bike. And there is of course the good feeling of getting your heart rate up and working up a little bit of a sweat, knowing that you’re doing something for both your physical and mental health. And of course, there’s the sense of accomplishment from fighting the weather and coming out victorious, or at least playing to a draw. But fun? Maybe, sorta.

So, this weather has made it a little difficult to get myself enthused for our February challenge. It’s been just too uncomfortable to take the gloves off to get pictures. And really, the scenery hasn’t been particularly inspiring. Nevertheless, I did notice today a candidate for a hazard all us cyclists face.

The shoulder narrowing is pretty much never good news when you’re on a bike

The forecast for this week includes snow or freezing rain every day, so who knows when I’ll get out next.

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody.

Retired guy who likes to ride his bike in Vermont.

14 response to "Ah, February"

  1. By: The Navigator Posted: February 14, 2021

    I think I would find your scenery inspiring in winter, but I do understand how all those combinations of weather, temp, etc can make it really hard to get out to ride. I did a bit of cross-country skiing when I was in college, and I always figured if I lived somewhere that got a lot of snow that I would probably do that more in winter than riding. Then a couple years later I moved to Oz where it snows on less than 0.5% of the continent. I am lucky to live very near that 0.5%, but the snow is not very nice, it’s expensive to access the trails and there are heaps of people, so I’ve never bothered here.

    Maybe the sign should say “Shoulder narrows… and is likely full of frozen slush”.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: February 15, 2021

      You’re definitely correct about the frozen slush! The snow in February just tends to be not as pretty. December and January have that fluffy, white, pretty snow. By February, it tends to be brown and dirty. As you can see in the picture. Gets even worse in March. Darkest before the dawn I guess.

  2. By: Laura Posted: February 14, 2021

    I loved cycling on Jekyll Island. I was there a few times back before I started touring on the bike. I’m amazed how much riding you have posted about. I’ve pretty much given up the sport until it warms up. Even though I’m quite a bit south of you, I’m sitting here waiting for the start of snow they’ve been predicting for several days. Both my cars were iced shut this morning. I’m not leaving here for a few more days, but it concerned my daughter who came over and got the doors open, cleaned off the exterio enough I could see when I drove and let the car run for a while. There is about 1/4″ ice on the other one, but I plan to wait until it melts. Maine, Massachusetts and New York are the only New England states that I’ve ridden in, so your posts introduce me to new territory.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: February 15, 2021

      Jekyll Island definitely is nice for riding. Lots of bike trails that go all over the island with lots of beach access. If you’re into riding on the beach, that’s great too. I found after spending several months there, it got a little boring though. And getting off the island on a bike is challenging, since the main highway after going over the causeway is 2 lanes, 55mph, lots of traffic with shoulders completely consumed by rumble strips. Glad you like the Vermont photos. You stay safe with all that ice. Ice is no fun.

  3. By: Suzanne Posted: February 15, 2021

    I completely agree with you about the feeling of accomplishment derived from overcoming obstacles! For me the question is where is the threshold between fun and just grueling and punishing. This year I certainly have a lower threshold than last year. (That might have something to do with age. 🙁 ) But I do love seeing others out on their bikes having fun in the snow.
    Beautiful picture from Jekyll Island, by the way.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: February 15, 2021

      I know what you mean. I’ve found my ‘fun’ vs ‘I’m just suffering’ threshold has been changing a bit as well. Then again, sometimes half the battle is just getting out there. Once I’m riding, I’m almost always happy I did.

  4. By: Rocky Posted: February 15, 2021

    I’m so impressed that you’ve gotten out on your bicycle at all! I would be out walking or cross country skiing if at all possible for the mental and physical benefits. You are very inspiring! Hopefully, the weather will start improving.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: February 15, 2021

      That’s high praise coming from you Rocky! Posts from you and your sidekick inspire me almost every time I read them. Pretty much any day I’m not riding, I’m on our local trails either walking or snowshoeing depending on conditions. I used to xc ski quite a bit, but stopped with my antiquated skis and bindings finally gave out. I thought about getting back into it this year, but turns out there’s a huge shortage of ski equipment caused by pandemic demand.

  5. By: NancyG Posted: February 15, 2021

    I could have written the very same post that you have Bob 🤔. January same as you, February almost the same except that it does not snow as often. But this snow we have now will most likely keep me off my bike for much of the remainder of the month as it begins to transition with ice and then rain!! 😠. Sigh.

    Love seeing your posts and photos of Vermont. Though I have been there a couple of times with at least one bike ride somewhere, I am not at all familiar with the state. I have never been to Georgia (says she from the east coast) but have heard quite a bit about Jekyll Island. Have wondered how cycling there is. Nice photo of your bike at the beach ;-).

    • By: BobinVT Posted: February 15, 2021

      Yes, the east coast weather has not been great in February. My daughter, who lives further south, has been complaining about the cold and rain. Glad you like the photos of Vermont. Hopefully this summer will be better for travel and I can show some of the other great places in the state.
      Jekyll Island is great for cycling. Very flat, with a trail all the way around the island, about 18 miles total. Once you get there, you can pretty much park your car and bike anywhere you need to go, never having to go on the road.

  6. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: February 16, 2021

    Something sad about dead trees I think, yet others think they look cool. I suppose most trees in Vermont look a little dead in winter then come to life. All the best fighting cabin fever and covid.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: February 16, 2021

      To me, those leafless trees look kind of cool in the late fall, but by this time of year, they do look kind of sad. It’s always amazing to watch them spring to life in the spring though. Hmmm, maybe that’s why they call it spring. 🙂

  7. By: gregblood Posted: February 16, 2021

    All I can say is, this cold streak is starting to suck. Our HIGH temperatures the last few days have been below zero, so I haven’t even bothered to get all bundled up just for 15 minutes (max) of freezing pain. This morning it’s -15, but I’ve got to get out there anyway because it’s been several days since I’ve posted anything and that’s just not how I operate.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: February 16, 2021

      As we say in Vermont, yup. Our sucky weather is continuing right now with sleet and freezing rain. Yes, get out there for that ride. I need one of your posts for some motivation!

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