Monday, March 1, 2010

Is it Spring Yet?

Spring is in the air but the accumulation of snow from a harsh winter is preventing me from becoming overly excited; give me a couple weeks. I've got a hunch our sump pumps will get a workout once the real thaw begins. I say 'pumps' because I've got two for our basement. When we finished the downstairs 5 years ago I thought it best to protect our investment by installing an additional pump on the opposite end of the basement from the other in case one of them were ever to fail. The extra pump also has a battery backup. Long steady all day rains cause them to kick in and I'm guessing the huge snow melt we'll soon experience will also trigger them.

I may have a couple rides yet on my rollers this winter/spring but for the most part I'm doing my rides on the road again. It feels so nice to be out. If I get on the road much before noon it's a bit dicey/icy with the refreeze that occurs overnight especially under overpasses where the road is shaded. I can usually manage alright along the shoulder but where it's covered with ice I've got little choice but to take part of the lane. What's equally as bad or worse than ice are the many potholes I've got to work around. I can't remember seeing the roads as pitted as they are now.

Saturday's ride took me into St Paul under a beautiful blue sky with light west winds and a temp ranging from the low 20's to mid 30's. My bike was a filthy mess by the time I made it home (47 miles later) due to all the melting snow but cleaning it was a small price to pay for being out in the sun.

Although I complain about our difficult Minnesota winters I do realize that living in this part of the country actually works well for me. The cold months force me indoors to work on stained glass projects while giving me a break from my riding routine. It's a bittersweet tradeoff but one that keeps my interest high in both pursuits.

I got out again this morning and did a shortened version of Saturday's ride. I like what the warmer temps and more daylight hours are doing for my mental health; a new contract at the salt mine also helps.

Tammy and I have an introductory glass blowing class this Saturday at Foci glass studio in Minneapolis. I gave it to both of us for Valentine's Day. How cool is my wife for being excited about the class? Glass blowing is often done in pairs from what I've seen. I've wanted to do this for a while but I can just about guarantee that it's not something I'm going to become very involved with until after I've retired; not unless a glass blowing studio opens somewhere south of the river.

Edit: we took our class today (March 6th) and I'm not sure this is something we want to wait another several years to do. We're seriously considering jumping into this much sooner.

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