I think Spring may have finally gained a toehold. Based on the past month, though, who knows? It seems like I've been doomed to commute and teach classes in the snow for months. This shouldn't be happening.
Please don't take this as excessive whining! I know that there are huge floods in some areas and lots of snow still on the ground in others. Places that aren't covered in some form of water have been blown away. What we've been dealing with here is small potatoes in comparison. Even at that, though, we're not supposed to have these kind of adverse weather conditions. Actually, I wouldn't really even care if it weren't for trying to teach motorcycle classes.
According to the weather guy this has been the second coldest March in three decades. My first class of the year got snowed out. I posted that story earlier. We've seen lighter snow showers all along. This last week, Spring Break, no less, saw me taking part in two classes. Both, at the end of March, almost got cancelled out by snow. Can you believe that? Check out this video. This was last Wednesday in Portland. Just a couple of miles East of Interstate 5. It was a midweek class at Portland Community College's Sylvania Campus. The elevation is about four hundred feet. I usually don't include videos here. This one proves my point in spades so I had to put it in. A KGW news person was taking pictures of the snow. They happened to catch a little bit of our class. The video's about two minutes long. Watch for us about halfway through. Click here to see it, but please come back!
Friday afternoon Katie and I left for Medford. I mentioned that before. Between here and there are four passes. The lowest is a little over 1700 feet high. The highest of the four is 2020 feet high. The transportation department report said there was slushy snow on the freeway. One of my friends had come back through there and verified the report. I'm sorry to disappoint those who expected me to be more hard core, but I did have Katie with me, you know. So we drove. I know, what a sissy! All I can say is that I didn't want to blatantly endanger my sweetie. A heavy snow and rain mix fell the entire way down. The temperature hovered at 34 degrees (f). We would have been ok on the bike but Katie would have been pretty darn miserable.
Medford is at an elevation of 1280 feet above sea level. When we went out into the parking lot at 6 AM Saturday the pavement and all the cars were covered in a thin sheet of ice. Fluffy snow flakes, in turn, covered the ice.The temperature was down to 22 degrees. Traction on a bike would have been really dicey.
We almost had to cancel class but managed to get it in. Part of the problem was with trying to keep eye protection on the students. We require either glasses or faceshields be used whenever they're on the bikes. It was so cold and moist that the eye protection would instantly fog up. What a struggle! Eventually we got above freezing. Right about the time to go into the classroom, unfortunately.
Sunday was the last day of March. It snowed all day. Fortunately, the snow melted as soon as it hit the ground. We still froze. I was acting as a mentor to an instructor in his very first class. This meant we were pretty much joined at the hip all morning. All for one, and one for all. All three of us froze. At least the students had warm motors under them! What an eye opener for a brand new instructor. He was awesome despite all the adversity. We also had a few very difficult students on top of everything. There were some interesting stories this weekend. Maybe I'll share some later.
We're known for our rainfall, not snow. I like snow but I hope it ends so we can get on with our training season. Commuting, however, hasn't stopped. I ride all year but I have to admit I like warm better than icy. Things are looking up in that regard. Here's a couple of totally different pictures from today. I stopped in for lunch at the Oregon State University campus.
This is one of the bike only parking spots on campus. There was actually one more cruiser earlier. On the way back to Sophie I snapped this picture with my camera phone. Sorry these pictures aren't totally clear. The sun was so bright I couldn't see my phone's display so I sort of guessed.
Today the temperature climbed to a dizzying 50. The weather guessers say we could see lower 60's by Thursday. Maybe Spring is finally gaining the upper hand. I've got several meetings tomorrow. My biggest challenge is to figure out how to get the most miles in between meetings and still be on time!
Miles and smiles,
P.S. Thanks so much for all the comments on the last post. Life gets so hectic that I'm sometimes tempted to let the blogging go by the wayside. Your comments remind me of how many friends I have in the blogging neighborhood. My enthusiasm get rekindles once more!