Apr 6, 2009

Frustratin' Weather

The weekend was semi-warm, after a weird snow on Saturday morning. I got out on the 250 Saturday afternoon and put in a few early morning dirt biking hours on Sunday. Just enough riding, in fact, to remind myself of why I hate my car.

Boredom, that's why. In another life, I was a field service tech for industrial equipment. I drove 100,000 miles a year, ever year for 7 years. Those miles all came first in a Chevy 3 /4 ton pickup followed by an F200 Ford Econoline. The Chevy got about 4mpg, but it would clip along Texas highways at 100mph without complaint. The Econoline up'ed the mileage to 15mpg, but topped out at about 95 screaming its pitiful 240 cubic inch in-line 6 an unsafe distance past redline (if it would have had a tach installed). By the time I quit that occupation, I was unable to stay awake in a cage after 50 miles of any kind of driving. I resorted to sticking my head out the driver's side window on -20F mornings and dumping cold water on my head while I drove to stay awake. Nothing worked, but I managed to live through the job long enough to find another line of work. The residue of that career has been an extreme dislike of being trapped in a car and an inability to find anything worthwhile about four-wheel transportation, outside of weather protection and an ability to haul crap.

For 10 years in California, we owned a variety of cages and I rarely knew if they worked or needed repairs. My bikes (petalled and powered) got me everywhere and I even did grocery shopping on two wheels. Colorado wasn't much different, but I needed slightly better rain gear for the winter months. Minnesota is kicking my ass.

If this damn winter doesn't end soon, I'm going to do something desperate; like move south or west or to another country.


  1. I guess this probably is as close to a "normal" Minnesota Winter as you have had since I've known you, which I believe was not a huge amount of time after you moved here from California. Most of the folks that don't believe in Global Warming, haven't lived in Minnesota 40+ years. This Winter was easy compared to the ones I remember in the sixties. There were times that so much snow would fall that it couldn't be plowed -- it had to be "excavated" with front end loaders, and hauled out. Temps. in Jan. and Feb. were consistently below zero, and we had no modern miracle fibers like Gore-Tex, and Thinsulate. To some extent, I miss those huge snowstorms. Having all the proper "emergency" supplies for being snowed in (food, spirits, our dogs, heat, good books, etc.) was kinda fun, in short dosages, and a great break in school, work, and whatever everyday roles one must play. We always looked at our Winter weather as good for keeping the riff-raff out of Minnesota. Now with the miracle fibers, Global Warming, and other issues I won't get in to, our violent crime rate is up to par with other big cities in the country, conservative politicians have taken a foothold, and there has actually been pollution in Minnesota. Guess I might have to move further North, if things get any worse. PK

  2. I think I've experienced two semi-traditional MN winters. When I moved here, in 1996, the area had record snow fall. The next year, we set a bunch of low temp records. Mostly, though, you're right. At least six of my 12 years here, I've ridden my bike every month for more than "statement" miles.

  3. I have a cure for dealing with crappy weather: “I will not, under any circumstance, live anywhere it snows”. This “cure” has worked very well for the last 26 years.

  4. Other than the population and economic problems associated with your solution, it makes sense to me.


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