Ok. So we are not alone in this. Like much of the north eastern US, we here in Buffalo are gripped with cold and snow. Did I mention cold? For my friends across the pond 7F translates to almost -14c. Anyhow, it is cold. And it’s gonna get colder (check out tomorrow’s low). It’s interesting though, even though I had to get off at a few points and actually push my bike (even with the studded snow tires) it still felt good being on a bike and out in the elements.
#557 (above)…Construction debris on its way to a dumpster.
#558 (below)…$110 in groceries, sundries, and dog food.
On the bike…Christmas presents.
How to go Christmas shopping on a bike in the cold rain…bring heavy plastic trash bags with you to wrap purchases in. Bring a plastic tote to carry items in. Even if you think the tote will not leak it likely will (it did)…hence the plastic bags. Accept that you will get wet. Really wet, if it is raining hard (it was). Be prepared to be cold once wet. Acceptance, I find, is key here. But also, be prepared to see some beautiful rainy/foggy city scenes along the way, such as the photo below.
The corner of Allen and Elmwood on a very cold night. I was on my way home from the community center after a steam and swim. The air on my face was cold–really cold–and my fingers were freezing (I really need to get better gloves). I was feeling slightly stressed because of the self-inflicted nonsense that is often happening in my head. And I looked up and saw that full moon directly above. How could I not snap its picture. Anyhow, I thought I’d share.
#548…Crates and boxes of food on their way to a food pantry.
#549…A Christmas Tree.
I came upon this while riding my bike the other night. It was frigid cold out; my fingers ached, but I thought this was beautiful. So a took a photo and thought I’d share. Click it for a slightly larger view.
Despite the cold temps, these plant still manage to push through the damp soil and reach for the sun. Amazing isn’t it? In a few month’s time the crocuses will be a memory and the tiger lillies (two below) will all but have taken over my garden.
I was in NYC over the weekend and snapped a few photos along the way. I was busy for most of the weekend but took photos as I walked to-and-fro. What’s interesting (I think) is that in my continued efforts to travel light (or at least travel lighter) I brought only one camera with me and it was this small pocket sized point-and-shoot. So yes, it was difficult to hold my hand steady for some of the dusk or evening shots on such cold nights. But still it is possible to capture the feel of a place while looking through an inexpensive lens…
One of my favorite things to do is ride around the city at night or during dusk and take photos; if I was an early bird–which I am not–I’m sure I would enjoy the dawn as well. Sometimes I really do question whether I am this guy reincarnated (but I’m getting off topic as I often do). Anyhow, tonight I did just that…rode around and took a few photos. I was inspired to do this because tonight is a full moon (wolf moon) but I couldn’t seem to get a good shot of it. Despite some of the warm colors in a few of these photos it was still cold tonight (20f/-7c), so besides my shivering hands and a shaking tripod I was unable to get a good shot at the moon. But I did get a bunch others, and here’s a few. The photo above I took earlier in the evening (around 6pm) with my trusty little point-and-shoot camera. It’s a view of Buffalo’s West Side looking west over Lake Erie at dusk. The images below I used another point-and-shoot camera–albeit a slightly better one–plus a DSLR. The first image below is our majestic City Hall. The next photo is of Prospect Park. And lastly, is a zoomed in view of Lady Liberty 23 stories up and on top of the Liberty Building. Click any image for a slightly larger view.
So this is pretty cool (yes, pun intended). It’s a time-lapse of cold air moving in then retreating, then moving in again, across the US. It’s as if Mother Nature is exhaling then inhaling. It’s the 40 seconds to watch it.
Okay. So if you are an all-weather cyclist you likely already know this. I do have a tendency to state the obvious (or at least the known), and for that I apologize in advance. But I read somewhere years ago, and it’s something that I found out really works, is that if you lower the pressure on your tires (ever so slightly) you will get better traction in the snow. The theory behind this is that more tire will be touching the ground (or snow). You don’t want to deflate them so much that it is difficult to ride or dangerous…just a bit that it’s barely noticeable (air, I’ve also read, naturally compresses when it’s cold, thus the tires lose a little pressure on their own when the temps drop). Anyhow, I just thought I’d pass this on. I’d also be interested in hearing if other winter cyclists have tried this or have other tips.
On the bike…a gym bag full of wet clothes and a case of red wine (I get thirsty with all the exercise and biking).
Despite the warm colors in the photo below, like much of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada we are still in the grip of a cold-snap. It was/is cold today. As I type these words the Internet tells me it is still only 10f/-12c. As long as I stay warm I don’t mind it; it feels refreshing. I keep a scarf across my mouth, and layer clothing. But I do need a better pair of gloves. My fingers are okay until I remove the gloves to take a photo (doesn’t take long for an extremity to get cold in these temps) and then they don’t recover until I get inside.
But I also realize there are much worse problems to have in life…I have way more than I need (or deserve).
Yup. That’s a screen shot from my computer as I was getting ready for my (thankfully) very short commute to work this morning. 5f = -15c. How cold was it, you may wonder. Well, the only part of my body exposed was the area around my eyes (my pugs recently chewed my goggles, which I would wear in extreme conditions). Because of the cold my eyes were watering. And as I blinked my lashes were actually freezing together. I never had that happen before. The below image was taken this evening on my way back from the community center. The streets seemed empty even though the temps made it up to 12f/-11c.