April In Minnesota

Spring is in the air here on this sunny Wednesday morning.  All the signs of a Minnesota springtime are on display:  The temperature is a tropical 18-degrees Fahrenheit.  (Somewhere around -8 C.)  Yesterday’s snowfall only amounted to a paltry 8 inches.  The weathermen have even less of an idea what they’re talking about than they usually do.  Robins are digging the snow out of their nests.  Northbound geese are making U-turns and flying back south.  Icicles are slowly melting.  Hard packed snow is no longer the biggest nuisance on the roads–that would be ice and slush.  Squirrels and rabbits and bicycle riders are getting anxious to start moving around within a couple of months.  Yes, I feel sorry for anybody who only gets to enjoy three or four or five months of wintry weather.

Of course, I’m not like most of the bicycle riders in my town–I went for a ride this morning in the aftermath of the storm.  I should say that I went cycling AFTER I shoveled the driveway, scraped the ice off my car’s windows so my wife could go to yoga class, and took my dog for a walk.  By the time I completed my chores, the air had warmed up to about 25-degrees.

 

Easter? Christmas? Hard to tell in Minnesota.

 

The roads have been plowed and, despite the below-freezing temps, the angle of the sun quickly melts the snow.

 

But don’t get too cocky, lest you want to fall victim to the occasional slippery, slushy spot.

 

No bike ride is complete without a visit to the Mississippi River–unless you live in Tasmania or California or some other foreign land.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

14 response to "April In Minnesota"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: April 4, 2018

    Sorry we missed you, Greg – we just flew back from there yesterday. You’re right, the snow never amounted to much after all. We forgot to pack our bike clothes, unfortunately – otherwise weof course would have gone out for a ride ourselves.

  2. By: gregblood Posted: April 4, 2018

    Hi Scott,

    Actually, you might have left a little bit early. The 1″ we had in the morning did turn into 8″ by midnight. Even by Minnesota standards, that’s a pretty decent amount in April.

    I’m glad I was able to figure out how to post something on this site. It was pretty easy. Thank you for the message and say “Hi” to Rocky for me.

    Greg

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 5, 2018

      I didn’t notice it either until I had another look. Yup, there it is. Thanks for pointing that out Janet.

  3. By: Tony Cullimore Posted: April 5, 2018

    No I didn’t – had to go back for another look! I like snow when it falls and sits for a day making everything look sparkly – and then goes away.

  4. By: The Navigator Posted: April 8, 2018

    Good to see you, Greg – at least the snow looked like a wet one and the sky looked spring-like. You can’t get rid of winter, and we can’t get rid of summer. Highs of 95 this week – we should be in the mid-upper 70s! Em

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 8, 2018

      Hi Emily,

      I know there’s global warming going on, but I also have a theory that the seasons are shifting. Over the last five or six years–around here anyway–I’ve been noticing that the warm weather seems to go longer into the autumn, and the cold weather stays longer into the spring. I’m surprised that I haven’t heard any of the local weather experts make the same observation. If my theory is correct, your ideal autumn bicycling season is coming soon and it will continue for several months. And my summertime riding will be coming by July.

      I’m so full of it.

      Greg

  5. By: Bikerdockeith Posted: April 8, 2018

    Hi Greg,
    Thanks for reminding me why I left Minnesota. I’ve even sold my skis now that I don’t have enough snow to use them on. Do you have studded tires? Back in the day, they were very nice to have when I rode in the “hard water” months.

    Cheers,
    Keith

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 8, 2018

      No studded tires. They are expensive, and for years my knobby mountain bike tires always served me well enough. Sure, a few slips and slides and falls, but nothing too serious. But come on, you MUST miss those wild rides down Summit Avenue just a little bit.

  6. By: Bill Stone Posted: April 8, 2018

    Hi Greg,

    I hope everything has settled down on the home front. Any plans to restart your aborted tour of the Southwest, or head out in an entirely new direction? I keep trying to figure out how and when I’m going to pull off my next Death Valley ride.

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 8, 2018

      Hey there Old Grumbleface,

      No, I don’t foresee heading back to the desert this year, unfortunately, but since I got cheated out of completing that trip I do hope to get out on another one late in the summer–probably closer to home. Things ARE better on the home front, but my son has a long way to go. Thanks for asking.

      My best wishes are with you for your quest to get to Death Valley (one of my favorite places on earth.) I know it would be pretty hard to ride there with basically one arm. Actually, it would be hard to ride anywhere with only one arm.

      Well, good luck to your Giants. If, come late August, my Twins and your Giants are serious contenders, I will do everything I can to try to get a pair of World Series tickets. Wait, maybe I better get three so the Goddess can come with us.

      Greg

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 9, 2018

      I’m back. I thought I read on one of your posts that you had to ride your bike with one arm because of your shoulder. I guess that was an older post or else I was mistaken because I see you are getting around pretty well now. Glad to see that.

      • By: Bill Stone Posted: April 9, 2018

        Hi Greg,

        Actually, my right arm continues to be mostly useless. Due to (apparently irreversible) nerve damage (for which no one can really pinpoint a cause) dating back to the end of November, I can’t lift the arm more than a few inches. I need to use my left hand to put my right hand on the handlebars, and I can only ride a bike set up so that my right hand can steer, shift, and brake all in one position, because I can’t move it once I get it in place. But the Ogre (unlike the Trucker) works fine in that regard. The docs and my ace support crew are unhappy about my bicycling, but I’m not about to give it up. I just need to be careful and remember the limitations of my right arm.

        By the way, this afternoon I practiced setting up my tent with one arm. I think I have it figured out. On the other hand, so to speak, anything that requires two hands above my head is out of the question. There goes my favorite dance move. 😉

        • By: gregblood Posted: April 9, 2018

          Bill, I sure am glad you’ve found a way to continue riding despite that miserable condition. I hope there’s not much pain–the limitations in your range of motion are bad enough.

          I hope you’ll excuse this moment of levity, but your description of having to raise your right hand with your left reminded me of Dr. Strangelove.

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