But we've regularly had temps down into the 30's at night, and when I was out last weekend there were stray snowflakes drifting down out of the sky with the thermometer reading 36 degrees.
The oldest trick in the book - call it spring and it's going to snow. Older than books even. And I'm not convinced yet that we're not going to have this oh-so-funny prank pulled on us this year. I still look out the window when I get up in the morning with a sneaking suspicion that everything is going to be covered with a layer of white. It will definitely be a while before I believe winter is gone this year.
|That's fresh snow on the Western Reserve Greenway on March 25.|
As the seasons start to change I start looking forward to changes in the things I can do outdoors. We've had a temporary pause in our trail building efforts, since the area we're working in has a tendency to hold water in the spring. But I think I'll be heading out that way this weekend to see if the dirt is starting to firm up yet. It doesn't have to be dry enough to ride - just dry enough that we don't sink in the water and mud up to our shins.
Another one of the things in flux this time of year is the bicycling destinations. During the winter its more likely that I'll be riding on pavement - rail trails or the road. And as the weather warms and dries it allows me to get off the pavement and get back to riding singletrack in the woods. This change is starting to happen now, but most of the trails are still not ready for bicycle traffic.
But with the snow pack starting to diminish in March I was lucky to be able to get in quite a bit of pavement riding - my total for the month was just over 230 miles. That meant a bunch of rides on the Western Reserve Greenway, and also quite a few rides on the Little Beaver Creek Greenway.
|Open trail on the Western Reserve Greenway.|
|Little Beaver Creek Greenway, and the creek with some water in it.|
|Active rail line next to the LBCG trail brings commerce from Youngstown.|
|From the left - road, Stavich bike trail, railroad, gravel maintenance road, and Mahoning River.|
I've also taken the bike to work so that I could try to get over to Mill Creek Park and get in a little bit of a ride during lunch. Turns out that it takes just over 15 minutes to get there, so I'm limited to less than a half hour of riding. But I just discovered that if I head out parallel to the river that I can get to the Stavich Trail parking area in exactly 10 minutes, so I can get in 40 minutes of riding during lunch. So I'll be doing that on nice days this year for sure!
|East Cohasset bike road in Mill Creek Park, Youngstown.|
|My car with boat and bike, parked at Kennerdell overlook above the Allegheny River.|
|Sandy Creek Trail bridge at Belmar.|
|View of the Allegheny Trail bridge over the mouth of East Sandy Creek.|
|Sandy Creek Trail scenery.|
|East Sandy Creek from one of the trail bridges.|
|The west portal for the tunnel on the Sandy Creek Trail.|
|Leaving the bike, and getting ready to get in the boat.|
|On the bank, ready to put-in.|
|At the take-out. The creek runs into the Allegheny River just out of frame to the left.|
|Looking up at the Sandy Creek Trail bridge, from the Allegheny Trail.|
|'The Cardiac Climb' - time to carry the kayak up the 66 stairs.|
|Taking a break on the carry back across the high bridge.|
|Matt at Bavington.|
If it doesn't snow that is.
|The natives are restless.|