Thursday, May 6, 2010

The north wind blows COLD

I almost rode yesterday. My pattern this spring has been to ride right after lunch. Yesterday after lunch I was pretty sure I wasn't going to ride. I settled in to watch (on ESPN2) the extremely important football, Tottenham v. Manchester City. Fourth place in the Premier League and a spot for next season in European football were at stake. At about 2pm the sun came out and I figured what the heck, it isn't raining, I have the gear, come on, don't be a wuss.

It was cold.

The wind was absolutely howling, gusts said to be 40mph from the southwest.

I got dressed in the full winter costume including full finger gloves, full length leg covering, two layers on the torso, arm warmers, a vest and my warmest jacket. I went out to the garage (it felt cold) and unlocked my bicycle. I wheeled the bike over to the garage door opener and gave the button a punch.


I wheeled out and closed the door behind me.

Windy. No, not just windy, really, really windy.

I closed the garage door and stood there for a bit. I love my bicycle, anyone who reads this blog knows that. Yesterday that bicycle never had a chance. I stood there thinking about maybe removing the cleat covers from my shoes so that I could mount the bike and eventually just really couldn't. I never threw a leg over the top tube. I just opened the garage door back up and put everything away.

Don't give up, don't ever give up, right. What a wuss. I watched the football.

Today was just as cold but the winds have diminished. Not having to face those winds convinced me that today riding would be just fine. I recostumed in pretty much full winter gear and set out. Mostly it was just fine. Except for the first 10 or so miles that is. The wind was light but it was from the north. Oh boy, that was cold. I rode as far as I could thinking that the northern ride takes me to Lake Vadnais. Eventually riding north into that wind started to give me a headache so I turned back at the Shoreview water tower.

It wasn't a completely empty ride. Keeping a bike log means always being aware of the little milestones. Today my new bike was lifted out of the position of being the least ridden bicycle of all the bicycles I have owned. Today the NewLOOK rose from the cellar and is now second from the bottom for most miles ridden. It is a bit of a ways before NewLOOK encounters number 3 from the bottom but out of the cellar is a good thing.

But I rode. It was cold. I have the gear. I love my bike.

In order to make any ride from my house of more than a couple of miles it is necessary for me to find a way to get across the car traffic heavy barrier of Snelling Avenue. There are a few ways to negotiate that crossing but almost all of them require at least some deviation towards the south. I was taking one of the less often traveled routes today. I arrived at the south end of the loop but I spotted a tent in the field across the road in the area where the Farmers' Market was last year. I headed over to find out what was going on.I assume the UofM Horticulture Club is safe? It sure looks safe. Safe except for the occasional SUV parking in the clearly marked "Bikes Only" lane.

Here's a picture from two days ago of a really nice old stone church.That's the House of Hope Presbyterian church on Summit Avenue. It is an impressive pile of stone, a pretty distinguished building that stands out even on that Avenue of distinguished buildings. This building is distinguished enough that I was able to look it up in my copy of the Architecture Guide to the Twin Cities. That guide refers to the church as one of the Summit Avenue's major monuments and as the most sophisticated example of the Gothic Revival style in Saint Paul. The principal architect was Ralph Adams Cram whose work also includes the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. Lots of folks from Minnesota may recall that the funeral of Hubert Humphrey was in that church (on an extremely cold day as I recall).

Major monument.

Not as major as this one.That's La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, located on Montmarte, one of the highest points in Paris. Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower are the two things you can see from virtually everywhere and with those two points of reference it is nearly impossible to get lost in Paris.

From Wikipedia: "The inspiration for the Basilica originated in the wake of the division in French society that arose in the decades following French Revolution, between devout Catholics and legitimist royalists on one side, and democrats, secularists, socialists and radicals on the other. This schism became particularly pronounced after the Franco-Prussian War and the ensuing uprising of the Paris Commune of 1870-71. Though today the Basilica is asserted (officially) to be dedicated in honor of the 58,000 who lost their lives during the war, the decree of the Assemblée nationale, 24 July 1873, responding to a request by the archbishop of Paris by voting its construction, specifies that it is to "expiate the crimes of the communards".

Now THAT's a major monument.

1 comment:

Retired Professor said...

Good call on not riding in 40 mph wind gusts. NW winds are cold even when they aren't coming across cold water? Hmmm..... I didn't know that.