30 Days of Biking Day 2: What a difference a year makes!

30 Days of Biking Day 2: What a difference a year makes!
Courtesy of www.30daysofbiking.com

I’m starting to get used to this 30 Days of Biking thing…

I wait until mid-day, throw on a couple of layers, put on my North Face jacket, pull my knit cap over my ears, slip on my full-finger gloves and head out to one of my favorite “lunchtime loops” for a half-hour or more. What a difference from last year at this time!

My plan for Day 2 was to tackle the 6-mile crushed limestone path at Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve in Lake Zurich. I had to scrap that idea after I discovered district staff conducting a controlled burn. It’s hard to ride with smoke in your eyes…

Option 2 was returning to the Deer Park East Forest Preserve in Palatine where I had already ridden on Day 1. Coincidentally, I was there on Day 2 in 2012, so I thought it might be fun to snap some images and compare this year’s bleak conditions with last year’s early spring.

Day 1 Deer Grove 24-2-12 Deer Grove sign

The image on the left was April 2, 2013 – the right, 2012. Look how tall and green the grass was last year!

4-2-13 Northeast 34-2-12 Northeast 3

Once again, the dreary image is the spring of 2013. Looking on the bright side, well, um, there probably won’t be a bright side until May…

4-2-13 West 24-2-12 West 1

Looking back at my notes, last year was a full 10 degrees warmer with the wind coming from the exact opposite direction. Incidentally, most of my riding days in April 2012 were a full 10 degrees colder than they had been in March.

I can fully appreciate how spoiled we were last year, but this spring is downright disheartening…

Still, it’s April and it can only get warmer as each new day breaks. Just the thought of squeezing in a ride – any ride – has brought me out of my winter funk and cured my SADness. Today, I’m hitting the road and looking forward to testing some trails in the Edwardsville area downstate (where it’s hopefully 10 degrees warmer).

I’ve uploaded more pics from yesterday and the rides I remembered to take pictures of in April 2012 on my Facebook fan page.

Keep riding and be safe!


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