Friday, August 06, 2010

Half Summer Velo News

The sun is half way toward the fall equinox about now so we are definitely heading for the down side of summer. A month ago, first light came before 5:30. These days it's dark for another 30 minutes at either end of the day.

Today I made my first early morning ride in Olympia--out at first light. I used to ride very early back in Phoenix out of necessity but the climate here is far more conducive to riding in the sunlight. Today I have things to do and I'll be in Seattle the next couple of days so I did a short 14 mile loop first off.

The morning was cool and overcast. I started out wearing shorts and a mid weight jersey but threw on a wind jacket within the first quarter mile. A few miles later I was warm enough to ride without the jacket. Olympia is pretty quiet between 6 and 7 am. About half of my route was on the Olympia Woodland and Chehalis Western trails which were mostly empty. Even coming through some of the neighborhoods on my return, few cars were about. I saw mostly other cyclists, walkers and runners.

Today will be much cooler than the past few days, which were in the mid 80's--not bad but hot enough. We had even hotter weather a couple of weeks ago--high 80's mid-90's. I rode from Tenino back to Olympia via the Tenino-Yelm and Chehalis Western trails on an 87 degree afternoon. Along the way I noticed large numbers of (mostly young) people congregated at every river crossing, jumping from bridges into the Deschutes River, hanging out on its banks or swimming in pools. When the CWT came alongside the river at about the mid point of my ride, I, too, succumbed to the waters' lure. The water was shockingly cold and I did not stay in long but it washed away the sweat and cooled me down. Wet shorts, tee shirt and hair kept me cool for rest of the ride home.

Last week's ride was perfect, low 70's, partly cloudy, partly sunny.

A fine summer, indeed.

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