Sunday March 17th, 2013

Update-Northern lights possible tonight! Hat tip to Kosir’s guide Keith B.

Greetings and happy St. Pattie’s Day!

I woke up this morning feeling lucky. I didn’t find the pot of gold or anything like that, but I can actually go ride decent trails today. That is pretty lucky considering that our normal high today is 37 degrees, and today we cross into 12 hours of daylight with the sun almost 45º high in the sky. Last year it was 78 degrees today.

I am feeling pretty lucky about having the support of so many wonderful friends and fellow riders. I have gotten to meet a lot of you, that has brought a lot of friendships and good times. Looking through one of my film cards last night brought back a lot of fun memories.

Many of you have been very generous with donations, and that brought a lot of good miles on the trails this year, and even a really nice RXL.  I am very grateful for that too. Thank you very much!

I am also felling lucky that after all of the miles that I put on this year, I didn’t have to do the helmet walk once. RXL #2 lost a cylinder, but I still made it back home. The little Indy Trail got service in the nick of time, with the drive shaft bearing about to fail catastrophically, and less that 1/8″ left on the slides.

I guess if I had to start complaining it would be that I didn’t have enough play time this Fall and Winter. Work kept me unusually busy, which other than cutting into my trail and side work time, is mostly a good thing.

Yesterday my travels took me to Wausaukee for truck parts, and down to X and Parkway for some laptop service. The trails along the road looked good everywhere. Normally in late March I would expect semi truck sized bare spots, and it just wasn’t there. There were a few minor imperfections, but it was full coverage on the trails. From what I heard, there were pretty many riders out.

I am disappointed that I didn’t go to meet riders & site visitors yesterday, but I think it was the right call. I sat it out because of a cold. It ended up being a quick recovery, which I guess is another reason to feel lucky. Only one cold got me this Winter, and it was a quick one.  I am sorry to miss you guys yesterday but I think that I am a lot healthier today for it, and so are some of you.

It was a cold one last night. When I got up this morning Athelstane Weather had a temp of 0.3º, though checking back the low for the day was right at 0.0 about a half hour later. Yesterday only got up to 32.7, but there was some sunshine mixed in with the clouds.

Today looks like a sunny one, but we are only expecting a high of 27. I’d bet my last Oreo that the March sun will move that high temp up into the mid-30s, but the cold air mass that we are in will stop it from being in the 40s or 50s.

We are expecting teens overnight tonight, and maybe a 2-4 snow Monday, with a bonus inch possible Monday night.

Looking at the coming week, I don’t see a lot that says that there won’t be one more weekend. The high temps behind Monday’s snow are all low to mid-20s, with some low and mid-30s for next weekend. It is expected to stay cloudy until Wednesday night, and then partly sunny Thursday and Friday.

The last part is the scary part. The March sun is wicked at this time of year, and as I mentioned above, we now have crossed into 12 hours of daylight. While I expect that there will be a lot of good trail, I fully expect some sun burned spots and slushy spots, along with the bare roads of late season. The weather is staying well below normal, but sun is undeniable. Not only can it burn through sunny spots on the trail, a sunny day can bring up temps an extra 10 degrees or so.

A little FYI, partly sunny is a lot like partly cloudy. According to NOAA

Partly Sunny- When the predominant/average sky condition is covered 3/8 to 4/8 with opaque (not transparent) clouds. Same as Partly Cloudy..

In my glass half full world partly sunny sounds nicer when they use it in the forecast, but it and partly cloudy are the same, and not good at this time of year.

There is a decent chance of system-wide riding next weekend if you are willing to overlook some bad spots, and a very good chance of decent trails farther north and in sheltered areas. The scary days look like Thursday and Friday, so we won’t have a straight answer until late week.

031213aThe only event in the short term is the St Pattie’s Day party at Curve Inn. They will have corned beef and cabbage starting at 4 and karaoke starting at 7pm. It was a pretty fun night last year.

That is about it for our visit this morning. Have a good Sunday and thank you for visiting!



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