Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Sunrise, June 21st, Palmdale, CA

Welcome to summer! Well, at least here in Palmdale it certainly is summer. The past three Junes’ here in Palmdale, the temperatures have stayed mild for a few days, and then rocketed to 100+ almost overnight. It is rarely a slow build up; 80’s for weeks, then suddenly 102.

Andy slides into summer!

I celebrated the summer solstice by riding the Surly Long haul Trucker to work. The weather forecast prognosticated a high of 93, so I though it wouldn’t be too bad in the afternoon. Suffice to say I am now giving up on the local weather forecast and just expecting 100 degrees every afternoon through the end of August.

Commuting in summer heat has its benefits and drawbacks. On the positive side, one enjoys lovely mild mornings, no woolly hats and jackets needed! Peaceful roads, and usually a nice sunrise are the order of the day. It is a wonderful way to start the day.

The view down Avenue Q...

Preferred parking for the Surly!

The view by the 'fridge, stowing my water bottle and lunch...

The helmet has a nice shelf to hide on...

The afternoons however are a different story. The Palmdale bike-commuter is met with a dry heat - around 100 degrees, and a stiff 20-knot breeze out of the southwest. I tell you, it is just too hot to even try hard! Just riding home is enough. As I surmised this past Tuesday, you know it’s hot when a 16-ounce water bottle is not enough water for an 8-mile ride. I just take my time; don’t care about pace or spin rate, and just ride the bike home.

I wish this photo could convey the 101 degree afternoon...

The flag is very descriptive of the wind!

If you have been thinking about bike commuting and feel overwhelmed or hesitant about giving it a try, check out a collection of bike-commuter profiles on a sub page of Web publisher, Alan Barnard has a wonderful commuting and bike advocacy web page, and along with the main page, created a collection of short commuting profiles from all over the world. All in the same format, they are brief accounts of how people address commuting by bicycle. Enjoy the profiles here.

So, maybe give some thought to enjoying some miles commuting to work. Don’t do it for the gas savings, or to make the planet greener, or to lose weight. Just ride to enjoy yourself! All the other ancillary benefits are too numerous to share. (Just enjoy the sunrises)