I finally broke my February curse this year. I rode to work 14 times, twice as many as any previous February. Granted, this is only the 4th year I’ve commuted by bike regularly in the winter. Bad weather has sidelined me a couple of years in February, and last year it was injury. This year, illness was the primary threat. Around Valentine’s day I came down with a bad cold, and I am still feeling the effects of it. I missed 3 days of work, and took the car to work a couple other days because I wasn’t feeling up to riding. But it wasn’t enough to keep me from getting 14 rides in. Before I got sick I had already ridden 8 days in February, and I managed to slog to work 6 more times despite not feeling 100%.
Another first for this winter: this was the first year that the service road connecting River Rd in Elkridge to Patapsco State Park was never snowed over. There’s usually a good 2 to 3 weeks each winter where it’s impassable. I have lots of not-so-fond memories of half-dragging, half-carrying my bike through several inches of snow there, to avoid having to bike on US 1. Didn’t happen this year. Matter of fact, unless we get some significant snow in March, this stands to be only the third winter in the last century or so where central Maryland saw under 2″ of snowfall for the entire winter (I read that on a weather blog somewhere; if I can find the reference, I’ll link to it here).
So now it’s March, and spring is right around the corner. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be taking the studded tires off my mountain bike. At some point this spring or summer, I would like to try commuting to work through Patapsco State Park on single track trails. I’ve plotted out a route from my house to UMBC that is around 80% trails. I’m not sure I would want to do it regularly, but I’m going to give it a shot and see how I like it.