First Ride of Spring

OK, there was a tiny bit of Photoshopping involved in this image, but it is basically a true representation of my ride to work on the first day of spring, 2011.

Monday was a pretty nice first day of spring. I had to go in to work a bit later than usual and as a result I was treated to sunshine on my morning ride down the Hank Aaron State Trail. The sunshine and warmth allowed me to pedal in wearing only a sweater and cap.  As hip as I look in the photo to the left, you may find it hard to believe that I was sort of a geek in high school.  In fact I was president of the Muskego High School Astronomical Society.  That is actually how I got into photography, through deep-sky astrophotography. I have forgotten most of the astrophysics I knew then, but events like March equinox dislodge some of those old bits of information from the darkest corners of my 49-year-old brain.

March Equinox actually occurred Sunday at 6:21 pm, but Monday was the first full day of spring.  March Equinox marks when the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north. It is also when night and day are about the same length with the days getting longer and nights shorter. In the northern hemisphere March Equinox is also called Vernal Equinox because it kicks off spring.  In the southern hemisphere it is called Autumnal Equinox for the start of fall.

All this happens because the earth is tilted on its axis by about 23 degrees, so as the earth orbits the sun, the sun appears to moves up and down across the sky as the seasons change. While I couldn’t integrate my way out of a paper bag anymore, I enjoy it when one of these tidbits of knowledge comes to mind. 

The weather forecast looks like my memory of that spring ride will have to carry me through the rest of the week. Did you manage to take a memorable vernal ride?


About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
This entry was posted in commuting, Rides and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to First Ride of Spring

  1. TosaGroupie says:

    Hank Aaron Trail was finally passable from 6th to 94th! Woohoo! Spring has (had) sprung–the trail was clear! With the clear sailing of no traffic lights and only 2 crossings, combined with the gentle, continuous uphill slope of the HAT, my commute time dropped by 10 minutes….ah….

    And the bestest part? The number of people on the trail! When I started commuting people thought the isolation of the HAT would be dangerous. Nonsense. Here was a cloudy 50 degree afternoon and I never went more than 1/4 mile without seeing someone–young, old, traveling by ones and groups, commuters and sightseers. Granted that isn’t the trail traffic of some cities, but it is a very encouraging sign.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      Yeah Hank Aaron! That extension is a nice addition. They are doing trail counts now, so every time you ride, you count! Of course that is true even when they don’t have the counters up as well.

  2. Russell says:

    I got out with a few others for a lesiurely ride south from Tosa on the Oak Leaf trail. It was good to see the trail is completely ice free.

  3. Sam Dodge says:

    I took my touring bike out for its first ride of the year, did 19 miles on Lake Drive and the Oak Leaf. It was very nice, though reminded me how out of shape I’ve become this winter. Need to start putting in hard miles so I can keep up on your Spring Classic rides! Hope to join the next one.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      I’m thinking about another Spring Classic this weekend. The weather is supposed to be Belgian-like. Stay tuned…

  4. Paula says:

    Hi Dave!
    Love the picture and first day of spring posting!!

  5. I spent a couple hours on Breakaway’s cargo bike hauling 550 lbs of mail to the Post Office. Taking that bike (recumbent trike with rear cargo bed) up the hill to Riverwest three times is no joke, but got the job done nicely.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      Nice Pete! I have had 350 lbs in my Burley and in my Mexican cargo trike. Can I call Breakaway when I need drywall delivered?

  6. Barry Stuart says:

    I had my own touring bike out yesterday to enable me to take care of a lot of business. The weather for this past Monday was OK but today and the rest of this week, for that matter, Fuhgeddaboutit! Ol’ Man Winter doesn’t want to leave Milwaukee, even if he’s worn out his welcome.

  7. d'Andre Willis says:

    Great picture and post, Dave!

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