Category Archives: weather

Heatwave to Remind Us It’s Still Summer

All of California is under a massive heatwave. Of course, this is Labor Day weekend, so that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Triple digit temperatures wherever we go!

When I left the Bay Area, it started out fine. At 5:40 am, it was a nice cool 57°, but as I got closer to LA, the temperature kept rising.

Before seeing dad, I thought I’d do a short ride around the Rose Bowl. I know it’s got, so it has to be short.

This is what it was when I left the parking lot. I did some rolling hills, and then fatigue set in, only after 8 miles of riding. Then I looked at the temperature again.

At 112°, I had to throw in the towel … No mas. No legs, so I limped back to my car.

Nice welcome home present, eh? Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!

Evacuation in San Jose due to Flood?

I have seen pictures of flood from Katrina and various other floods in the South, but I never thought we would see that here, in California, especially with us having the severe drought.  Well, with all the rains lately, it’s here in California too … and pretty close to home to … in San Jose.

When my dad called me asking if I was OK, then I just realized how bad it really is.  For this news to hit beyond the Bay Area, it’s big.  I’m about 30 minutes drive by freeway (without traffic) from the area, so I’m OK.  It’s amazing the amount of rain we’ve been getting, and even more amazing that San Jose is being flooded, and residents near Coyote Creek having to evacuate.

When It’s Cold, It’s Colder at Higher Altitude

Yes, it is winter, but this is California.  So when it stopped raining, I was all excited, because for one, it’s dry … two, I’m not working the weekend (I’m not on call … yay!!!)… three, it’s a 3-day weekend.  That means more free time, more play time, another day to ride!

However, the temps have been down, and the air temperature was around 45-50 F.  Not a big deal, I’ve gone through 25-35 F commutes … but that’s a commute.  

So if you’ve read my blogs, you know I like to climb.  Only thing is, when you climb, you get hot, and therefore, you’ll want to take off the jacket.  It’s pretty when you get to the top.

However, when you’re at the top, it can get pretty cold.  It gets worse when you descend … I forgot all about this.  

Usually, I bring a balaclava, for face protection against the cold wind, but I forgot to bring it.  Oooh … the descent was ccc-cold.  When I got down, I had to find the first coffee shop I could find, and thaw out.

So I guess next time, if it is cold, I think I’ll just revert to rolling hills, and not long sustained hill climbs.  At least I didn’t decide to go up to Mt. Hamilton.

Crazy Enough to be “Riding in the Rain, just Riding in the Rain”

We’ve been having a slew of rain storms since the beginning of the year, and it didn’t really let up.  This past Monday, it stopped long enough to consider riding into work.  My typical commute is riding out to the San Tomas Aquino Multi-Use Trail (MUT) .. what I like to call “bike trail”.  But I guess MUT is for all the walkers, joggers who also use the trail for those purposes.

Anyhow, my friend, who goes by the handle cyclicious, has a web site that gives you at a quick glance, flood status of the MUT.  Monday morning, I looked and saw that it was in the green, which means the MUT is clear (no ponding, no flooding).

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I thought great, the ride in should be normal, and will not have to slog through a 6 in deep puddle.  However, along with rising creeks, you’re bound to find mud along the route (which I did find … I had to ride cautiously here).  What I wasn’t prepared for was a buttload of crap, debris, tree branches …

Well, this was surprising.  Looks like there’s going to be some major cleanup needed.  There was no way I was going through there, so I made a quick U-turn, and went into work by surface streets.

A couple days later, I was able to ride again.  I’d try the same thing … well, they did clean up, but either they ran out of time, or more debris kicked in.

I could have ridden in by street, but I wanted to verify to see how accurate the flood detection tool is.  It is pretty accurate, but it has no way to detect debris on the trail.  I guess you take your own risk when there is heavy rain the night before.

I Should Stop Looking at Weather Reports

I normally would ride into work, no matter what the weather is … but lately, I’ve been looking at tweets from the National Weather Service … and then I see this

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Yeah, when you see flash flood watch, it does prompt you to change your habits.  Granted, it’s not raining now, but when you watch the news, and see all the problems others are seeing due to the rain, it makes you re-think.

I have actually done commutes without looking at weather reports … but that’s when I got stuck on flooded underpasses of the bike trail.  I’d like to avoid doing that again!

So here it is, 1/4/2017 … 4 days into the year, and I’ve only ridden once … at new year’s … I do hear Thursday and Friday will be dry, so maybe I’ll focus on that.  I guess I shouldn’t look at it as wimping out … more like keeping dry.  I guess I could always ride the trainer … but that’s sooo boring.

Who Says Winter is the Coldest Season

Welcome to Winter … but wait a minute, it wasn’t really too bad.  This morning’s commute, on the first day of winter, was a comfortable 36 F.  You might think, egads, that’s cold.  But yesterday it was 30 F, and the day before that, it was 25 F.  And I commuted into work, on my bike in those temps.

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Not bad for a Californian, eh?  Perhaps I could survive biking in Canada or east coast … but then again, I prefer 40 degree temps.  At least I didn’t let something like cold temperature stop me from bicycling.

Frost Advisory .. in California???

Ok, I admit, this post is just to make all my east coast blog readers smile, laugh … don’t laugh too hard … I don’t want to be the instigator of a heart attack.

It’s been cold this week … so much that they have a frost advisory.  Looking at the temps, San Jose is getting down to 32 F.  For Canada, that must seem downright balmy.

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And here are some temps … we are not used to this in California:

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So to my east coast readers, what would you consider this …. chilly, cold, or extreme cold?

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I’m fortunate enough to be on call this weekend, so I didn’t even have to decide if I needed to go bicycling in this weather.  If I wasn’t, I’m sure staying away from the local mountains … no Mt. Diablo, no Mt. Hamilton … unless there was snow on top (and last time I checked, there isn’t).

Made it Through The Floods

VIRB Picture

It was pretty dry in February, but March reminded us again that this is an El Niño year.  There were flash flood warning everywhere, for a good 48 hours (or something like that).  Most of the rain was up in the North bay (Wine Country, Sonoma County area).  There wasn’t quite as much down here in Silicon Valley, but still was about an inch or two.

VIRB Picture

While it did rain in the morning and afternoon, during my commute, I didn’t get hit too hard.  It typically rained during the start of my commute, then let up near the end of my commute.  Weird how that works out … even on the days where they said it was a dry period, it would suddenly throw in rain at the start, but not at the end.  It’s like Mother Nature was looking for me when I start the ride … then said, ok, he’s had enough … he’s wet … then, stopped raining.

At least by the time I got to the office, or got home, I wasn’t so drenched that I was dripping all over the place.  It’s amazing how some of the clothing material we wear can wick off moisture so well, that it can simply air dry itself within a couple of hours.

Oh, one thing that does help .. newspaper.  Stuff your wet shoes with newspaper … oh, that works wonders.  By the time I am ready for the commute home, it’s about as dry as you’d like.  I forgot all about the plastic bag in the feet trick … I still have my doubts on if that will prevent your feet from being extra squishy … but luckily I won’t have to worry about that.  The heavy rain is supposed to be tonight and tomorrow, and I won’t have to ride … instead, I’m on call 🙂

Stay dry folks .. keep your speed down, and watch out for the downed power lines.

Riding in Wind, Torrential Rain, and in the Dark Makes You Badass

Yes, I did see the weather reports that forecast is for rain on the commute home, but hey, I’ve  been through weather like this before.  I mean, I rode the last 50 miles of Camino Real Double Century in the same conditions.

Yes it was driving rain, with wind, which meant rain was going into my face, to the side, on back.  I was already wet, right?  It is interesting how without rain and wind, visibility is not bad.  Add wind, rain, and darkness, it becomes a HTFU rude.  If you ride in this weather, you are truly badass … Rule #9

Christmas in LA

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Merry Christmas everyone.  Is your Christmas a “White Christmas”?  I have no delusions of having a white Christmas here, but man, look at this view from my dad’s kitchen window.

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But look at this … It’s warmer on the east coast than it is here in California.  That’s sure a shift from last year.