As the weather cools this time of year, my anxiety increases.
Winter means fewer opportunities to ride my bike.
Riding can still be possible; I probably rode outside an average of two to three times a week last winter.
But that what we now call an unusual winter. It might become more common in the decades to come, but only time will tell.
This year we might see a winter like we had two years ago, when I took my mountain bike – which I ride during winter – inside in November and rode my old bike on a trainer in the basement until February.
I’d settle for something in between with enough snow that there will be some moisture in the soil for farmers next spring, but enough breaks that I can do some snow biking.
So far weather has alternated between sunny and cloudy. A few days before Thanksgiving, it was foggy and frosty.
The fog seemed to have cleared by about 9 a.m. so I took off on my bike for some nearby gravel roads.
On the way, I came across patches of weeds glazed with ice and stopped to photograph them.
As I continued my ride, the fog ahead of me seemed to thicken rather than dissipate.
When I reached the gravel road I usually turn on to, I had to stop.
Visibility was just too low. I could barely see Willmar Senior High School, which is located just across the road from where turn on to 30th Avenue Northeast, a gravel road.
I amused myself photographing the fog until it dispersed.
Right now it appears slightly warmer than average weather will be with us through early December.
But there’s ice on sloughs and some lakes in the area and it has snowed – just a little – a couple times.
It seemed like more than a little Thanksgiving Day afternoon when I was driving back from a family celebration in the Twin Cities just after sunset.
Visibility was badly degraded by snow that was flying nearly horizontally.
Around Willmar, however, snow was much lighter. The minute amount of moisture it added to the gravel roads I frequent seems to have made them easier to ride.