With colder weather and shorter daylight hours looming, I’m starting to fall into my wintertime routine of only going in to the office once a week. I rode my mountain bike the past two times, and as a result, today was my first commute on roads in over two weeks. It almost certainly was also my last bike commute before we set the clocks back this weekend. That, of course, means much earlier sunsets, which was a big deal back in the day, when I commuted multiple days per week and left the office later. Nowadays, I try to roll by 4:00pm in November and December, which gets me home before dark. I only ride in the dark on rare occasions when I’m delayed leaving the office, or in the mornings in early November and early March (the beginning and end of daylight time).
November is probably my favorite month of the year, but as with any other time of year in Maryland, the weather can be fickle, and this morning was exhibit A. The forecast was for a brisk, chilly day, and they got that part right. When I left the house, it was about 40ºF with a gusty breeze. Then, as I was riding through Patapsco Valley State Park, it started drizzling. I thought it might be just a few stray sprinkles, but it kept drizzling off-and-on for my entire ride. Fortunately, the rain was light enough that it didn’t soak into my clothes. Had I known it was going to rain, though, I likely would have traded my trusty REI cycling windbreaker for a rain jacket and hood. All’s well that ends well, but it does go to show that you always have to be prepared for inclement weather (and darkness) this time of year, in spite of what the weather forecast says (or doesn’t say, in this case).