Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday weekend

As we are going into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, one of the very few long weekends in the US, the weather has turned nasty. Last weeks started with record high temperatures, often reaching in the low eighties (25-27C), and ended with low fifties (12-13C) and rain. Now the rain is gone but we are suffering from record cold. Last night, San Francisco dipped into the low forties, a phenomenon not seen since 1906 (41F/5C is the record for this day in history).
America's Harvest Festival

The appearances are deceptive. The rains have turned the hills green and since most trees around here are evergreens it looks like spring. Yesterday the sun came out and when you are standing in it, it feels very warm indeed. Yet the air temperature is very low. This morning Berkeley was at 1C/33F and sunny. Looking outside you'd guess it was summertime. The sun is out, the sky is hard blue, but the air is icy cold. So different from last year.

This is very tricky weather for cycling. You need several layers to protect yourself from the cold, but then when you ride uphill in the sun, you sweat buckets unless you remove all of it. As soon as you reach the top of the hill, and especially when you go into a shaded and wind-protected canyon like Redwood, you can't have enough layers to stay warm. It can get so cold at the bottom of Redwood that there is ice on the road at midday. That too has caught many cyclists off guard with disastrous consequences.

Speaking of disasters, two days ago Alistair crashed the new Parlee that I just built, and it suffered a major blow to the top tube. I had to take it into the store to check it out. We tapped on it and it appears the carbon was damaged. Bad news and an expensive repair bill no doubt.

Have a great holiday. A lot to be thankful for.

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