Friday, February 28, 2014


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

The first wave of the Winter Storm expected to hit St. Louis fizzled out. I went to bed thinking I would be driving today and that didn't happen. I left the condo expecting to ride home it the rain and that didn't happened either. It was a lovely riding day.

Mardi Gras is upon us. City Hall is ready.

It could be rainy, cold and miserable tomorrow for the festivities, but it will be a better day than Sunday. Sunday I truly expect we'll get hit with a doozy of a, sleet, and snow, oh my.

  • 20F/-7C and partly cloudy for the ride in.
  • 46F/8C and plenty cloudy for the ride home.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I Found This Odd

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

I spent some time with Vulcan Rider today. He hasn't rode the last two days. We've chatted a number of times in the past, but have never really talked about our commutes. He was surprised to find out mine was over ten miles. His is more than half that and a straight shot down the highway. He's at work in eight minutes. Me? It takes me nearly three times longer, especially if I stop to take a photo or two.

I told him about the interaction I had with one of the judges last evening. He thought I should have asked if being brave got me a raise.

There was one surprising moment it our conversation. When we were talking distances I mentioned how the ride home varied whereas the ride to work was the same. He didn't seem to grasp the concept of the evening ride elongating simply because it could. I must admit I found this odd.

Today was a sunny day. I had sun in my eyes coming and going.

Because it was clear all there was was glare.

Another Winter Storm seems to be on tap for the weekend. Warmer tomorrow just to tease us. Even so, it may be a drive day. We'll see.

  • 20F/-7C and clear for the ride in.
  • 27F/-3C and painfully fair for the home ride.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

We Both Laughed

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

I'm in one of those times of the year when I have beautiful sunrises. That's the good news.

The bad news is the sun is in my eyes. This is a case of the good outweighing the bad.

After work tonight, while Billie was warming up, one of the judges came by. She commented on thinking me brave for riding in the cold. Somehow we got talking about the sunrises. She commutes in on one of the major highways and does so just because of the view of the sunrises along one particular stretch of the road. I knew where she was talking about. I used to commute in using the same route. She added how beautiful the sunrise was this morning, but then she found herself at work. "Damn it,"she said and we both laughed. She made my night.

  • 11F/ with enough clouds to make a lovely sunrise for the ride in
  • 27F/ and clear. Not enough clouds for much of a sunset on the home ride.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

Even though I'd check the forecast over very carefully and was as convinced as one can be here no snow or freezing rain was expected. Still riding in and seeing the telltale lines of de-icer on the streets made me nervous.

I was relieved when I pulled into the parking area and saw Vulcan Rider's bike parked in its place.

I had another elevator conversation today. It was with a young man who I think is a new hire. I don't know for sure but I'm guessing he's an attorney. He wanted to know if I ever get cold. The conversation followed the usual script with me assuring him I'm warmer on the days I ride than on the days I The twist came at the end when he said perhaps he should try it. I assured him on days like today there was plenty of parking available. As he exited the elevator he said, "We'll have to talk gear sometime." Cool.

  • 26F/-3C and overcast for the ride in.
  • 28F/-2C and overcast for the home ride.

I'm told the sun did make an appearance in the afternoon, but I didn't see it. Merely hearsay evidence.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Worlds Within Worlds

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It was mostly cloudy all day with the exception of a couple of hours midday when it was completely overcast.

This evening the trucks were out treating the streets again. As I look a the forecast I'm not sure why. Later I'll look more closely at the National Weather Service site and see if I can make heads and tails of it.

On my commute there are a number of people I get worried if I don't see for a few days. I've never given much thought to there being others who look out for me. I've been riding into work a little earlier than I used to. This allows me some settle in time before I begin my day. This morning I went upstairs to the 7th floor to fill up my water bottle. As I was getting back on the elevator to go back to my "cave" a woman was getting out.

"There you are!" she said. I must admit I didn't recognize her.

I responded, "I've been here."

"I've not seen you. I would see you on around your motorcycle, or when you're walking in. I guess I've just missed you," Then she added, "I'd hoped you were okay."

"I'm fine," I said, "I'll try to be more visible."

I guess she thought that funny because I heard her laughing as the elevator doors shut.

We are part of worlds within worlds.

  • 24F/-4C and mostly cloudy for the ride in.
  • 35F/2C with a milky sort of mostly cloudy for the home ride.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

After last evening's adventure with 50mph+ wind gusts, I hardly noticed 30mph+ wind gusts this morning. Piece of cake.

  • 35F/2C, breezy and fair for the ride in.
  • 57F/14C and partly cloudy for the home ride.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It rained.

It rained from start to finish of my ride Downtown. As always, there were comments of surprise I rode in the rain. Truthfully, I almost didn't ride today, but it had nothing to do with the rain in the morning. No, it had to do with the Wind Advisory for the afternoon. There was talk of wind gust up to and perhaps over 50mph.

The original forecast was for some Thunderstorms, but there was no mention of them being severe until 10AM this morning. By noon it looked like I just might have an adventure on my hands.

Around 3PM a ferocious band of storms sped through the area. It left Downtown completely untouched. Many other areas weren't so lucky. North City and County suffered power outages. Where Heather works had power surges. With this front came the winds.

When I came out at 5PM the rains had departed. The wind remained. I had great difficulty making progress into the wind as I walked to where Billie was parked. I knew or hoped a big part of this was the canyon effect. It always seems windier Downtown.

I'd parked Billie in the little nook area between the stairs and restraining wall. This would be the first big test of this new strategy. Billie has been blown over twice in the and I'm not eager for a three-peat. I found her upright.

It was a challenging ride out of Downtown. I was blown all over. The wind was swirling and slamming its way into me from unexpected directions. There was no leaning into it.

Once I made it out of Downtown things weren't quite so bad. Still I'm glad it wasn't flying lawn furniture season. I mentioned this to a friend who told me she'd found her recycling bin a half a block away from her house. I told her that was why I always tried to ride in "single stream" recycling neighborhoods.

When I got home I checked with the National Weather Service. The wind was 38mph sustained, with gust as high as 55mph. I don't like wind. It is my second least favorite riding weather hazard. Ice/snow is number one.

Tomorrow it is still going to be breezy, but the gusts will only be around 30mph. That's much more sane.

  • 50F/10C and rain with a thunder clap or two for the ride in.
  • 55F/13C and cloudy with a stiff breeze for the ride home.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

Once again the weather was grand.

This is what I walk into every workday morning. It has lots of stone. I like that.

Today I discovered this window off in a corner. It looked like the ideal place to sit and watch the world.

And it was. That's me knee.

Traffic was heavy for the ride home. I don't know why. It just is sometimes. And the sky was slyly  charming. Even the contrails seemed to belong.

Rain tomorrow. Thunderstorms likely, but there is no indication they will be severe. We'll see.

  • 36F/2C with the sun  in my eyes for the ride to work.
  • 50F/10C, hazy and brightly overcast for the home ride.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Started Out Beautiful

Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

It was as beautiful this morning as it was ugly yesterday. Yesterday was a Holiday called President's Day and I had the day off. We had freezing rain Sunday night and I was grateful to not have to take on the ice. The worst of it was north of us. In my neighborhood the streets weren't so bad, but the side walks were very slick. Much to the forecasters and my surprise the day warmed up much more rapidly than predicted. By afternoon I was able to go inline skating. The trail was wet in places and even had some snow here and there, but I've skated in worse conditions.

I'm not certain, but I think this was my first skate of 2014.

Today was a much different day. It started out beautiful and just got more so.

The only good excuse for not riding today was the salt and chemicals still on the streets. This stuff is rough on motorcycles and scooters. Mike, my technical wizard hates the stuff I spray on my bike to protect it. It makes working on my bike this time of year a messy proposition, yet even he admits it's pretty amazing as much as I ride during the winter months that I don't have any marks on my rims or on my aluminum engine parts.

I wasn't the only one riding.

Yep, Vulcan Rider and I were in our places with bright shining faces.

After work the clouds moved in some.


And orange puffs.

My Dad sent me some photos he took yesterday. If I was still living in Mid-Michigan this is what I'd be living with.

Ah, but I'm not. I'm in this St.Louis, not the St.Louis I grew up in. And you know after seeing those photos I just had to take the long way home. Truth be told, I'd probably have taken the long way home anyway.

  • 41F/5C with some clouds for the ride in.
  • 61F/16C and partly cloudy for the home ride.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

And . . .

The predicted one to three inches of snow didn't materialize.

The morning was just gray.

The bad news is we got freezing rain and sleet instead.

When I got to my car after work, my fellow co-workers were all busy scraping at the ice on their windows. A couple even offered to help me. I thought that sweet, but declined their offer. Instead I just started the car and waited for the ice to melt. I find it delicious to not have to be in a hurry. There are times when one must hurry, but tonight was not one of them for me.

The streets were fine, until . . .

I got to mine. It was pretty slick.

It is a cold and dreary night. We went out last evening and decided to forgo Neve Shalom tonight and just stay in.

  • 31F/-1C and overcast for my morning drive.
  • 24F/-4C with a few snowflakes for the evening commute.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

I was pleasantly surprised when I checked on the traction available on my street this morning. I'd expected the runoff from yesterday's melting to freeze over, but instead it dried out. It was easier getting out of my street this morning than it was yesterday afternoon.

When I got to work it seemed obvious where I was suppose to park.

It warmed up nicely during the day.

A lot of snow melted today. Tomorrow we are probably going to get more snow to replace what left today. And so it goes.

By the way, I did a time test on the Fly gloves. Set at 50% power they last a little over 6 hours. I was surprised and pleased. I mentioned this to my Supervisor who is an avid hunter. His comment was, "Yeah, wait a year and see how long they last."  So much for sharing the joy.

  • 22F/-5C, calm and pretty clear for the ride to work.
  • 47F/8C with a few clouds for the home ride.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lincoln's Birthday

Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

But . . .

I did ride.

The Courts in Missouri were closed in honor of Abraham Lincoln's Birthday.

By the afternoon the temperatures were above freezing.

With the snow melting there was decent traction in the alley. Once I was on the main streets all was dry and clear.

I rode over to Carondelet Park. The roads inside the park were much like my alley. I got a chance to play a little in the snow. It was fun.

Give people some snow and a hill and you know they'll be sliding down it. I'm thinking it was a pretty wet ride down today. I'm thinking it wouldn't be much fun. I wonder what they thought of me?

Of course the lake was frozen over, but if you look at the end of the dock you'll see a guy making a whole so he could fish.

This sign was accurate according to my phone. Now I know where I can take a photo with time and temperature if I need to.

I don't know if I'm going to ride tomorrow or not. There was lots of melting going on today and the temperature is supposed to drop into the teens Fahrenheit tonight. Sounds like a recipe for black ice. Not good. Ah, but, the forecast high for tomorrow is 45F/7C with sun. How can I pass that up?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I Could Have

Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

But . . .

I could have. My side street would have been a challenge, but I've ridden on it when it was worse. I might have tried it if the Billie had been out of garage more of late. And if I'd been a little less lax in keeping my gasoline treated.

Tomorrow I'm off and on my list of things to do is get them both started and the gas treated.

For some reason when I downloaded this photo onto Blogger it got very pixelated. Oh well.

I went the freeway for a change and was rewarded with a nice view of the sunrise.

The view was even better for my walk from the parking lot. It was a nice true 0F/-18C. It almost perfectly calm.

In the evening the moon welcomed me when I came out of the Courthouse and kept me company on my way home.

Look how bright it still is at 5:15pm CST.

  • 0F/-18C for the morning drive
  • 18F/8C and crystal clear for the evening commute.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Once Again

Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

Once again, if I could have gotten out of my neighborhood and onto the main streets I probably would have been fine. I suspect the same will be true tomorrow.

It is obvious the days are getting longer even as it seems to get colder. Having grown up in the land of cold and gray it is difficult for me to complain when there is sun.

Wednesday is a Court holiday in observance of Lincoln's Birthday. Next Monday is a Federal Holiday called Presidents Day. I've come to like February very much since beginning to work for the Court.

  • 6F/-14C and mostly cloudy for the morning drivetime.
  • 14F/-10C with a few clouds for the evening commute.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Nope, still not able to ride to work.

And . . .

It is cold for these here parts.

The heated gloves are nice for the drive and for the walk from the parking lot. I'm suspecting they won't last more than three hours at 100% power before running completely down. This is about what I was expecting.

There was another wonderful sunrise this morning and another nice brisk walk.

More cold on the way. Hopefully this is a winter folks will be talking about for years to come and not the new normal. We'll see.

  • 2F/-17C with a few clouds for my morning walk.
  • 19F/-7C and overcast for the evening commute.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Snow Squeaked

Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

And . . .

Today the snow squeaked when I walked on it. It seldom gets cold enough here for the snow to get the sound I remember from my growing up. Nor does it often get cold enough for the snow and ice to have a moment of sticky to it as you plant your foot. Today it was just barely cold enough and I delighted playing with the changing viscosity under foot. I even extended my morning walk from the parking lot a little.

But, I've had plenty of fun to last me for a while. It can warm up now.

  • 1F/-17C with a few clouds for my morning walk.
  • 11F/-12C and some clouds for the evening commute home.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Gearing Up

Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

And . . .

For some reason I was getting more of the, "You didn't ride your bike today did you?" type questions than usual. I think this has to do with me dressing for the walk from the parking area with the same care I take gearing up for the ride to work.

Some of the equipment is even identical. For example, I most often wear the same snowmobile pants whether I walk from the parking area or ride. And, now, I added a new piece of equipment over the that  will go both ways as well.

Battery powered heated gloves. Mike, my technician, owns a pair and loves them. They were on sale so I took a chance on them. I've worn them once while riding and  between the heated grips, hippo hands, and these gloves it was a toasty sweet ride. I've worn them on two days during the "walk of shame". I like the mobility these gloves give me by not being tied to the bike. A potential downside is the batteries running down. It's early in the game, but so far I'm pleased.

The Courts didn't open officially until 10am this morning. I still went in quite early. I suspected the roads weren't going to get any better and I figured the traffic would be lighter the earlier I went in. Traffic was very light. It was almost like driving Downtown on a Sunday. It was a good choice.

A number of my co-workers ride Metrolink which works very well if you don't need to connect to the buses.

  • 20F/-7C with a snowflake or two for the morning drive.
  • 17F/-8C and overcast the my evening commute.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

They Were Right

Nope, I didn't ride to work today.

And . . .

I won't be riding to work tomorrow either.

The forecasters said it would snow and it did.

We're not in the area expected to get the real snow. Here only 3-5 inches. It's looking to me here at the Condo it will be more like 3 inches.

The Presiding Judge decided to release many of us at 3 o'clock. I think it was a good choice. I've driven in much worse conditions and may well do so again, but I was grateful to be home before more luck was involved than just skill and care.

A more disturbing development is the discovery our cat Leo is doing "selfies".

Heather fears he may have a twitter account.

  • 25F/-4C and overcast for the morning commute
  • 27F/-3C with snow for the drive home

Monday, February 3, 2014


Yes, I rode to work today.

And . . .

Tomorrow I won't.

Another Winter Storm moving our way. They say there is only a 100% chance of snow beginning around noon. Oh well.

It was wonderful to ride today. I was a little too warm during the morning commute, but I adjusted for the after work ride. I got it so right I turned the 35min. commute home into a nice hour and then some ride.

  • 8F/-13C and clear for the ride in.
  • 28F/-2C and cloudy for the ride home.