The Iceman Cometh

I grew up in Awbunny New Yawk. After 18 years of freezing winters, I moved to Bahston. After 5 years, including the Blizzard of ’78, I moved to Prawvidence where there’s a ubiquitous poster that says “in the rainy season, when it snows like a bitch.” Awbunny usually has a couple of weeks with below zero temperatures. Bahston has howling winds and dormitories located a mile walk from class (go BU!). Prawvidence turns into a glacier for a month every year. 

After 28 years of coping with winter, I gave up and moved to DC. After a month of my first DC winter, I gave away my green Mr. Michelin coat, It was simply too warm for even the coldest days. Every year or two we have a legitimately cold day. Tonight and tomorrow is our time.

This morning I left early for work in the dark. It was raining with temperatures in the mid forties. Properly clothed this was actually pretty comfortable riding. There were patches of ice here and there along the way but nothing I couldn’t ride around or through. The rain stopped by the time I made it to work. 

I spent the day with one eye on my work and one on the weather. I could see the rain leaving on the radar and the cold air approaching. If the rain from this morning didn’t dry up, the ride home could be an icy mess. Freezing temperatures reached the DC western suburbs at 3:30. Time to boogay.

I left the office at 4 and, after nearly getting blown over, turned into a strong wind. The Mule would not be tamed. In a quarter mile, I turned off the streets and picked up my own personal tailwind. As I rode along the Potomac River, I could see that most of the rain had indeed dried. Now the problem was all the dead tree limbs littering the trail. Good thing it was daylight because I would have hit a few of them in the dark for sure. 

South of the Memorial Bridge the trail started to get slippery. The problem wasn’t ice; it was the poo from a thousand geese.  I pedaled through the messes and the masses and watched as they skittered left and right and flew over my head. This weather was fowl indeed. (Sorry.)

All the way home I kept an eye on the temperature read-out on my bike computer. It started at 39. By the time I cleared Old Town Alexandria it was down to 33. Occasional twists in the trail would momentarily send me into the wind. Oof! Brr! Pedal, pedal.

In the few wet spots on the trail under the Wilson Bridge, it looked like black ice was forming. With no one on the trails or roads I could easily ride around these. Take me home tailwind. 

As I rolled into the driveway in the twilight, the temperature read “32”. 

I’m working from home tomorrow. The read out will be in the single digits with howling winds. That;s cold enough to make you tawk funny or drop some ahs.


3 thoughts on “The Iceman Cometh

  1. I’m an Awbunny native as well! (Well, suburbs thereof.) I’m not missing the temperatures there right now, although it was terribly nice having a white Christmas when I visited my parents a couple weeks ago.

    1. I spent my first 5 years in Slingerlands before moving into town, walking distance from my Catholic elementary school. Loved going sledding at Albany Municipal Golf Course. Took my kids (born in DC) there once. They went crazy. Wore their old man out!

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