Spring time cycling can be one of the most invigorating experiences. The air is still crisp and there is a smell of warming earth in the air.
I think it is also a time when the cyclist should really stay alert on the roads. Each season has its own set of dangers and the cyclist needs to think about these things.
Things I think about this season in cycling are:
-many motorists are also enjoying the warmer weather and the increasingly bright sunshine. For some reason they feel that the clear roads mean the cyclists should be far to the right of the lane and in my perception get annoyed with the cyclist a little easier than in the winter. In the winter I find cars give me a wide berth as they are aware of my possibly falling on a patch of ice.
They also seem to be driving faster. I see them bouncing to the tunes in their car and basking the sun, driving a little foolishly.
-I am constantly reminding my children not to be cycling in the puddles this time of year. The melting snow deposits who knows what (glass, for example) in those luring puddles. Plus the emerging new potholes are hidden under that glassy surface. In the late summer once the road crews have gone through and I’ve driven on that same roadway several times, I do drive thorough those puddles. Just not in the spring!
-ice! I find there to be a lot more ice in the spring. I find there are more patches of ice on the roads in the shadows. So you go from wonderful blinding sunshine into shadows and ice! While its frustrating for my children, I still caution us to use a winter pace at this point of cycling. My children have only wiped out once on the snow this past winter, but already lost control 4 times in the last week due to black ice.
-last seasonal cyclists. Like sap in a maple tree the sunshine draws out cyclists. It is fantastic and I love seeing some of my daily commute friends returning to the roads. But, they’re a bit rusty. I had one fall down unexpectedly in front of me and realized she wiped out on road sand. She hadn’t adjusted her speed. She had actually whipped around me on the left, cut in front too sharply and down she went. I’ve also seen a number who have had bike failures. It’s not a danger, but something to consider when on the roads!
Yay spring! I can’t wait for the first crocus and daffodils!
Can’t you tell I’m excited? [picture taken to show off my lobster claw gloves, I should have really thought about hand placement, but oh well!]