Biding my time

It’s 9:00 am, Sunday morning. I’ve been up since a little after four, grading art history essays; the bank of windows that line my wall next to me have gradually changed from a densely black night through the various colors and values of a rosy dawn. And now the day beyond the glass looks marvelous. The sky is blue with only a few wisps of cloud. Nary a branch moves; there is not a hint of wind. A quick check of the internet informs me that the outside temps are hovering – for the moment – just below freezing.

I’ve set aside my rubrics and finished reading art history essays, and I could easily layer up and hit the road, but I linger. There’s no question I will get in a few hours of saddle time today. The question is when.

Do you ever do this? Bide your time until the “optimal” conditions present themselves? Well, I certainly have done…and from time to time it bites me in the ass to do so. Not so many weeks back the January weather promised a late afternoon window of opportunity. The morning had been freezing drizzle and the evening looked equally forbidding. But that afternoon of promise was forecast to be a small slice of heaven.

So I waited, and bide my time. The morning drizzle never appeared. In fact, the temps weren’t at all as miserable as the published forecast. Still, I knew that the afternoon would be terrific, so my bike continued to lean against the wall. The morning passed by, and as mid-day turned to afternoon, and the sky began to turn gray, so too did my mood. Rechecking the online forecast, I was shocked to see that the world had turned upside down. Instead of an incredible afternoon, conditions were only going to get worse. The morning freezing drizzle arrived late and by the time I realized what I’d missed the road was glazing over with ice.

I see that this afternoon promises to be in the upper forties. I could bide my time and wait for things to improve, but I can already hear a bird chirping outside my window. Squirrels are racing up and down one of the huge cottonwoods. And I think I’ll take what I’ve got right now.

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6 thoughts on “Biding my time

  1. Oh, you are talking to someone from Cascadia! There has been many a day where I waited for “that window” when the rain would let up a bit for a ride. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. One of the things I am thankful for in this modern world is the ease to access semi-decent weather info. Having a weather app with radar is a great way to see if that window will appear or not.

  2. Shawn, my modern weather app frequently lies like a dog! On the plus side, it WAS correct today, which is why I’m still out riding right now, and probably will continue to do for at least a couple more hours. (And by the way, it’s only taken a couple of years for me to finally spell your name correctly.)

  3. But how many years will it take you to properly “reply to comment” on WP? 😉
    I kid, I kid!

    Anyways, the weather app I use is based off of the National Weather Service data. And the most important feature is the live radar. I don’t use the “magic” apps like Dark Sky that say “Rain will start/end in 34 minutes”. Last year on my March camping trip, we had a soggy night of camping. Dark Sky was saying that, while my radar was showing steady rain stream in. Dark Sky lied.

    • Old dogs and new tricks, etc. 🙂

      I actually have a couple of weather apps, none of which ever seem to agree. The iPhone default weather app is especially egregious – at least with regard to Midwest weather – but it’s also the easiest and most ready at hand…which means that like many of my colleagues I am easily and quickly and conveniently informed with the latest and greatest – and typically wrongest information. It does tend to concur with our broadcast meteorologists though, who seem to be equally at sea.

  4. Actually, I have a NOAA app. Some things work fairly well, while others are a bit of a cypher. I may have to invest another .99 to see if there’s something better out there.

    Or, y’know, just look out the window.

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