I was beginning to wonder if it was just me—being lazy, depressed by winter. Perhaps a bit of both. But, no, the records confirm it. This has been the coldest April in Chicago in 137 years.
When I left for Grand Rapids a week and a half ago for my writer’s conference, I had the idea of riding my bike back. This is not too unrealistic as I’ve done it about 3 times already. I say about as the first time I didn’t quite make it. Around New Buffalo, MI I retired to my tent for the night. I slept soundly as the woods were super quiet. In the morning when I unzipped my tent I was astounded to discover a world of white. During the night it had snowed about 3 inches. My husband phoned me and asked if I was alive—it had gotten down to 23 degrees. I had no idea as I was snug and cozy in my sleeping bag with a fleece liner.
But once I got on the road it was clear that the roads were icy and the wind off the lake felt even colder. So in Michigan City (Indiana) I called and asked him to come get me. What would have taken ¾ of a day took 60 minutes to get back home.
You win some and lose some when it comes to weather and outdoor activities. One year I was surprised by how hot it was for the middle of April and got a bad sunburn. Often I get rained on. So I usually try to come prepared. Yet I was unprepared for last weekend’s weather. Rain, freezing rain, snow, oh and winds 25 – 30 mph. The amount of slush on Grand Rapids’ streets on Sunday was ankle high. It was a good thing I cancelled.
But now I am left with having to put in extra hours training. I simply need time in the saddle to condition the fanny for an upcoming long-distance ride. This weekend the weather though still a bit chilly was glorious. By the lake temps were in the 50s, but away from the water it got up to almost 60. The wind was from the NE but relatively calm. I rode a 44 mile loop from my house up to the Botanical Gardens via the North Branch Trail and then southward along the Green Bay and Channel Trails. Once home I sat out in the garden and observed green blades coming up=irises. The daffodils were out as well as the crocuses. Siberian squill filled in. I drank tea from my thermos and pondered: What a difference a week makes!