Monday, December 14, 2009


Well, it started out that way: mid-40s upon departure. The forecast (which I'd dutifully checked last night like a good commuter) said that it would drop down to 18°F by the time I'd be getting out of work. I loaded a pannier up with extra warms for the ride home. I took the Baxter this morning and rode to the bus stop in my work clothes, leaving a bit early so that I could savor the relatively warm weather, and avoid sweating on the way to the bus. The Swobo Baxter BEGS to be ridden and enjoyed; It's hard to ride it without a goofy grin on your face. It certainly doesn't lend itself well to speed, but makes up for it with the fun factor.

At around 8:00 this morning, I was hunkered down over my computer monitor, chipping away at the epic pile of Monday workload. Prodigy - Breathe was setting the pace for my day, being pipelined into my skull through a hefty set of noise-cancelling DJ cans, like a rush of heroin coursing through an addicts veins directly to the deepest reaches of the brain. Tunage gets me through the day. It muffles out the din of gossiping peers, the shuffle and clatter of clumsy co-workers who insist on smacking and dragging their hands on my cubicle wall as they make their way to the coffee machine, the shitter or the copy room. Then I saw the blip. A tiny distraction on my screen. cDude alerted me to the fact that it was, in fact, 19°F already. In just two hours or so, temps had plunged nearly 25 degrees. It looked like this:

I'd dragged enough warmth downtown with me to sustain a 15°F commute home, again, including my work clothes as a functional part of the getup. After all, it's only a few miles when I bridge the trans-urban gap with mass transit. My mind went into graph extrapolation mode, and I had fears of getting out of the office to single digit temperatures. A few miles wouldn't kill me, but it would suck. Plus, I had to hit the post office on the way home.

Fortunately, the final temperature for the end of the work day was spot on. The graph above leveled out and stayed at 18°F most of the day. As I write this, though, the mercury is dropping further, and single-digits are likely for the morning.

At any rate, this is a reminder for you to make sure you look at the whole day's forecast. This time of year, it's not unheard of to have a colder evening commute than your morning commute was. This event was a close call that even has me thinking about leaving one extra layer of warm clothing at the office, just in case evening weather turns out to be more brutal than originally predicted. I already keep a full change of biz-casual at the office (just in case) as well as a towel (Ford Prefect would be proud!) but maybe a set of sweats and a pair of wooly socks left in the filing cabinet drawer or something would be wise.

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