Bike Commute Notes

Today was most likely my penultimate bike commute of 2023. Unless I decide to go to the office an extra day somewhere, my final commute this year will be on Wednesday, December 20. The morning leg of today’s commute was pretty nice, with temperatures hovering in the low 30s and light winds. We’ll see how the afternoon leg goes. I was initially considering commuting by mountain bike, but ultimately decided to stick to pavement, mainly because we got a lot of rain this past Sunday, and have had a couple of freeze-thaw cycles since then. I figured that the combination of the two would be a recipe for muddy trails this morning. I am pretty sure I made the right call. The one or two areas in the park where I ride over dirt were not completely frozen, and rather soft. While other areas that see less sun were still frozen, this afternoon’s upper-40s temperatures will likely make them muddy for the afternoon commute. For optimal winter off-road commutes, you either need solid below-freezing temperatures all day long (rare, and even then, areas that get a lot of sun will still turn muddy), or you need several days with no overnight freezes and no precipitation (also rare). As a result, I end up braving the salty roads in the winter more often than not, and getting my mountain biking fixes in during “dawn patrol” sub-freezing rides before work on telecommute days. If it gets cold enough tonight (the predicted low is 26), and I can get myself out of bed, I may see if I can do that tomorrow morning.