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First Snow

First Snow

   It started snowing this morning and we had some accumulation.  Temperatures were around 38°F/3°C and thus too warm to stay.  Still, this is one of the earilist snow accumulations I've seen.  Furies this time of year are not uncommon, but build up is.  This October has been rather strange.  We have had days in the 80s nearly setting records, and freezing a few days after that.  Overall the month has been cooler than average, and a lot more wet.
   Windy day and I was hoping the forecast would be correct and that I would have a tailwind on the way home.  It was not.
   Yesterday on my ride home from work I broke a shift cable.  Oddly I was already on my way to the bike shop because I was pretty sure my chain was shot.  I got there just before they closed, but they got a new cable on so I was able to get home.  Today I returned and had my chain and cassette replaced.  I think the last time I did this was in mid May.  I've ridden about 3,000 miles since then.  Generally I can tell when the chain is done for because I cannot keep the bike in gear.  I started noticing that last month sometime and it has slowly been getting worse.  The guys at the shop tell me it isn't too common for people to go through a chain in 4 months.  I don't buy cheap equipment, but I put on a lot of miles and haul a lot of weight.
   Went skating at my normal rink in Watertown this evening.  I didn't resume skating last year when the weather started to get cold as I usually do.  This was because I never stopped biking, and actually began to increase my monthly miles.  It has been a year and a half since I last really skated hard, and I felt it hard on the floor this evening.  While I could get my speeds up for a song or two, I didn't have the continuous push like I was used to having.  Clearly there is an additional mussel group I'm not working out from cycling that skating is hitting, and I know I will be sore as a result. 
   Pictured are the flood waters at Paunack Park.  The waters had just begun to recede but another round of rain has again pushed them back up.  My bike trails are still open but water has again started to cover parts of them.  Madison normally gets about 35" (89 cm) of rain a year.  Mid October and we already have 46" (117 cm)—131% of our annual rainfall—and we have 2 and a half months of the year left.