Smoking May Be Hazardous To One’s Health

Last month, most of us Minnesotan’s were getting pretty darn cocky about our winter weather. I can’t tell you how many times I participated in some form of the following conversation with dog walkers while out walking my own dog:

“Nice day, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it’s a GREAT day. In fact, this whole winter has been fantastic.”

“Yeah it has. We’ve gotten off pretty easy this year.”

“We sure have. By the way, that’s a cute dog. What’s his name?”

“Diggity. What’s your dog’s name?”

“Oh, this is “Fluffy.” She’s loves other dogs.”

Sometimes the conversation will go on a little longer, but I won’t bore you with such banalities. The point I wanted to make is that once in a while I’d run into a more curmudgeonly dog owner. When the conversation got to the point of “we’ve gotten off pretty easy this year,” he’d respond with something like “yeah, but we’re going to pay for it, you can be sure of that.”

Nothing like a negative Nellie or negative Nathan to ruin your positive vibe. Usually they had the kind of dogs that snarled at Diggity and were named Spike or General or Killer.

Unfortunately those stone cold dog owners were right. Our temperatures have not been above 5-degrees (F) for a week now. We’ve endured air temperatures of 17-degrees below zero and windchills of 30-below zero. The last three days haven’t gotten above zero at all and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t ride my bike on any of them.

Today I was absolutely determined to change that trend — if for no other reason than to show my Cycle365 friends what it looks like on a really cold Minnesota day. The thing is, pictures don’t really show “COLD.” I knew I’d have to come up with alternate ways to photograph coldness. I provide the following screenshot to show I’m not just joshing you.

Full disclosure: This was taken at 7:00 a.m. I didn’t actually start riding until around 9:00 a.m. when it was up to about -9. It was still pretty cold though.

Layered up from head to toe, I’m ready to ride.

Heavy clothing and weather reports aside, the only other thing I could think of to demonstrate coldness was the various forms of smoke I was seeing. Every building, machine, and person seems to emit smoke in this weather. Check it out.

Furnaces are working overtime to keep houses warm. They generate the smoke that emanates from the roof of every house in MY Town.

Bigger furnaces in bigger commercial buildings spew out bigger plumes of smoke.

It’s not the canopy on the playground generating smoke in this one; it’s the school behind it.

Automobiles are also generating tons of smoke. The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong is choking as he poses next to this tailpipe. People warm up their cars in driveways and leave them running while they run into stores while they shop.

It’s amazing how many people warm up their cars in their driveways before getting into them. Remote start technology allows them to click a button on their key fob so they can minimize their amount of outdoor exposure. It only takes a couple of seconds to run from one’s warm house to one’s warm car. Kinda sad.

Sadder still are the people who leave their cars running while they run into stores for a little shopping. Wouldn’t it be awful to have to get into a cold car with the half-dozen fresh donuts you just purchased for $16 from the local bakery?

I took this picture of a car idling in front of a store. Only when I started typing this caption did I get the incredible irony of somebody leaving a smoking car while going into a smoke shop for some smoking supplies.

Heck, you can even see smoke coming out of ME in this video, and I assure you I wasn’t smoking ANYTHING.

I showed one of my pet icicles in the video. Here’s the other one.

I’m glad I could get this ride in before it warms up to about 8-degrees today. A warming trend is coming for the rest of the week. I THANK THE POPE OF THE CHURCH OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS FOR THAT!!!!

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.

5 response to "Smoking May Be Hazardous To One’s Health"

  1. By: The Navigator Posted: February 17, 2021

    Thank you for sacrificing your safety for the video. Your face gets pretty pink, so I can’t imagine how cold your hand was! It was very generous of MN to share all that artic weather (there are no Canadians here to blame) with such a huge chunk of the US. It looks beautiful though – too bad the warming trend brings the slush that refreezes! Stay warm and safe.

    • By: gregblood Posted: February 17, 2021

      Ah yes, the slush. I’m not going to say anything more about biking in slush because it would only involve a lot of swearing.

  2. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: February 17, 2021

    I just thought of a great challenge for you. Ride in a negative 40 degree day coz Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same. Actually don’t, I can’t imagine how cold that could be.

    • By: gregblood Posted: February 17, 2021

      The coldest temperature I’ve ever ridden my bike in was -32, which is also the coldest temperature I can ever remember seeing. If we ever get to -40 I will definitely remember your challenge.

  3. By: Rocky Posted: February 18, 2021

    You are amazing getting out in such cold weather! I’m surprised you can even bicycle with all those layers of clothes. I would probably fall over sideways and never get up again. I wish I could send some of our weather your way!

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