Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and Gilbert

Yesterday's combination of snow/ freezing rain/ rain-  charmingly known in local parlance as "wintry mix" left giant puddles of slush at every intersection, and this morning a thin film of very slippery ice on everything.  I nearly fell twice as I walked to the train in vibram soled boots.

Today I was down at a site on the cape all day- a long day of driving down and back. A highlight was a late lunch at Pain d'Avignon,  a cute little cafe' oddly nestled up against the Barnstable airport. I'm a bit of a french bread fanatic, and theirs in the real deal- definitely worth tracking down if you're down there.

I bought an extra loaf for dinner, but didn't really have anything to eat with it,  so despite a bit of drizzly rain, I coaxed Gilbert out from the bike shed and set off to the store for some pate', and salad fixings.  It's not terribly cold, and the rain was more like heavy mist. Despite taking the short route, which is narrow, heavily trafficked and pothole infested, it was really nice to be on the bike, even for just a mile each way.

I doubt that the riding conditions will get much better in the next days.  The rain is supposed to turn to snow tonight, leaving us with an inch of slush,  and then Friday we're supposed to get a couple more inches.  Blech!

Oh well,  I'm glad I got at least a short ride in-  now off to dinner and an early bed after a long day. After a couple of days off the bike, a short damp ride is better than no ride at all!

I remember about 3 years ago when I started commuting regularly to work (after breaking my hip!) reading some kind of old  bike page that started off something like "imagine it's a cold rainy night, and you decide you want some milk,  You happily jump on your bike and bike the mile to the store and get it"  It was a meditation on lighting or good raingear or something like that, and google is not bringing it back to me.    At the time, I thought, "yeah, right"  but now, I'm realizing that that's just exactly what I did, without a second thought.


  1. We might get some "wintry mix" in the next couple days down here in North Texas, but here it's a rare opportunity!

  2. Amazing how a short ride even in the worst of conditions can make you feel so much better! Most people who don't regularly read this blog probably wouldn't agree, but I know just the feeling you're describing.

  3. Tuesday night was pretty wet. While pedaling through a fairly deep puddle, a taxi passed by and sent a wave that soaked me from shoulder on down, and even despite the rain jacket and my normally water resistant lobster claws, I was pretty drenched by the time I got home. Hooray for waterproof panniers though. Baked a couple loaves of Pullman style white bread, which was a nice way to warm up ... though now I'm envious of your baguettes.

    The ride this morning was actually surprisingly nice. No slippage and it was even warm enough for me take off the coat and the balaclava for once. The wintry mix tonight was bit of a return to form, though I'll take it over snow and real ice. There's a new batch of potholes that have emerged from the thaw, but the old commuting route through Broadway was more or less its normal self (though the bike cutoff at the Longfellow is still snowed in)

    well agreed that a short ride is better than none at all!

  4. Ah, wintry mix!

    For walking in ice, I'd recommend a set of "ice grips" or somesuch. They go over shoes/boots and have little studs on them. They are wicked awesome for ice, and that's what I use here when it's warranted. They're usually $20 or so at outdoorsy stores.

    The poor man's (god, I hate that term) version is to slip a pair of socks OVER shoes for extra grip. I tried it out during a particularly nasty ice/snow storm here several years ago, and it suprisingly works well!

  5. adventure!,
    Research into the socks over shoes trick was one of this year's InNobel winners, a fun group from New Zealand proved that it really does help.
    I'm with you on the purpose-made ice grips for your shoes though.

  6. I heard on Friday it's supposed to be more like 10 inches!
    Well, what doesn't kill you...

  7. "Well, what doesn't kill you..."

    ... makes you wish for death anyway? :)

    some friends of mine and I were trying to organize a winter hiking trip to the Middlesex Fells and someone sent us a link to the weekend forecast saying, "more snow on Friday ... do you think we should cancel?"

    "what's the weather forecast for Saturday? clear? 22? ah, let's go anyway!"

    I think we're all getting a little stir crazy.

  8. Awesome blog. Loved reading you. Keri