Friday, March 6, 2015

What's the worst month for bike riding in Boston and why it's March?

Let's be honest, I don't mind winter. Actually, I even like it. But not in March. It's so obvious that it's going to snow a lot in January and February that I learned to accept it. It may be a bit more difficult to ride a bike because all bike paths are covered with snow but it doesn't even compare to the mess that happens in March. The snow on bike paths turns into ice. If you thought that it may be difficult to get through that snow on your way to work, try to ride on a skating rink. And a very bumpy one.
 That's how poorly plowed the Minuteman Trail was in Arlington, in February. I cursed whoever was supposed to plow it as it was extremely difficult to ride bike there.

However, now in March we can "enjoy" a skating rink-like experience on this popular bike path, which is even more unpleasant and dangerous than the situation from February.

Therefore, I officially declare March to be the worst month of the year. Here are the reasons why:
  1. It's still winter. Seriously, after 1.5m (5ft) of snow and two months of -20C (0F) temperatures, I had enough. Knowing that spring is coming, I would finally want to see those mountains of snow to melt and warmer weather to arrive. But no. March in Boston is usually still cold (such as -12C or 10F this morning) and  snow won't be completely gone until April.
  2. It's icy. Yes, it gets warmer in March - warmer than -15C but not really spring-warm yet. Average daily temperatures are around 0C (32F) and drop down at night. This makes everything melt during the day and freeze again at night, which translates into very icy roads in morning.
  3. It's ugly. Because snow starts to melt, it gets muddy, grey. Roads get messy and everything is covered with a mixture of melted snow, salt and sand.
  4. It's salty. Roads are white from salt and because snow melts now, the salty slush finds its way to all steel parts on your bike or car. Corrosion is imminent.
So there you go. March is not only bad weather-wise but also psychologically. We are all tired now of this winter and want it to end quickly. But the long month of March and slow transition into spring means that we still have to wait for the warmer weather to arrive.

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