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Old 08-22-07, 08:08 PM   #1
will dehne
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Biking and Mid West weather

I do not know if you guys noticed the weather mess around here. I mean it rains and rains and there is thunder and the sky lights up with lightening. Rivers are overflowing, bike pads under water and the roads to the bike pads also. There is T.storms predicted daily and I would never bike if I go by forecasts.
Of course I do not.

Here is my story of this afternoon. Look at the radar if you read this.
I bike North from Brodhead, WI to New Glarus this afternoon (23 miles). Access roads are under water. A foot of water on part of the raised Rail to Trail. The weather is muggy, buggy and looks wet. Get to New Glarus and snack. Turn around and return. The trail goes through forest restricting view of the sky. About 9 miles of the return leg.
Suddenly I hear serious thunder. I look around and see big ominous clouds at SW and I am going South.

What to do? Turn back? There is no shelter. I am in a swamp. Those clouds are coming fast.
WTF. Full speed ahead. Lets see if I can outrun that storm. Going 20-25 MPH. The storm is at 3 o'clock and very close. Lightening and banging away. I go faster like you would with some big dogs behind you. Storm is at 4'oclock and finally behind me. I go like hell and make Brodhead and look back.
Man, it was very black and looked scary.
That was a very interesting bike trip.
I am now sitting on my enclosed balcony seeing and listening to that same huge storm hitting this town.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:37 PM   #2
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I am surprised you went out in this stuff. And I don't know how you rode that fast on sloppy, muddy, soft trails.

I would have stopped in Albany, at the picnic shelter and waited out the storm. But then again, the storm would have caught me.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:38 PM   #3
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will-haven't you heaard? the trails are closed!
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Old 08-22-07, 08:45 PM   #4
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I am surprised you went out in this stuff. And I don't know how you rode that fast on sloppy, muddy, soft trails.

I would have stopped in Albany, at the picnic shelter and waited out the storm. But then again, the storm would have caught me.
Tom- Did you look at the radar? This thing is humongous. You or I would have to stay overnight at Albany.
I think I got lucky and made a correct decision for once.
I could not stop looking at my mirror and seeing that storm behind me. Now we got another storm here.

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Old 08-22-07, 08:50 PM   #5
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Were the tornado sirens going off?

I know what you mean about big ugly clouds and watching lightning giving you wings.

BTW, you are not in the Midwest. You are in the UPPER Midwest. Here in the real Midwest, it is still hot and dry. Huge difference.

We will be in Shabbona for a dog trial this weekend and will be packing our cool weather clothing. What a relief that will be
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Old 08-22-07, 08:51 PM   #6
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will-haven't you heaard? the trails are closed!
You may be correct but I found that those rules can also be ignored with impunity.
County T in WI was officially closed. I went anyway. The road was just a little wet. Some bloody fool did not want the county or whatever get sued if someone has an accident. At that rate we will soon all stay home. (see bridges in the USA)
If someone is looking for 100% safety, he/she has to go into a casket.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:52 PM   #7
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.

BTW, you are not in the Midwest. You are in the UPPER Midwest. Here in the real Midwest, it is still hot and dry. Huge difference.
You are not in the center of the Midwest, you are so far south that you are barely in the Midwest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:C..._Divisions.PNG

Southern Wisconsin is closer to the geographic center of the Midwest than Springfield, MO. The center of the Midwest is roughly about where the Quad Cities are located. That's about 100 miles from Monroe, WI.
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Old 08-22-07, 09:00 PM   #8
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Were the tornado sirens going off?

I know what you mean about big ugly clouds and watching lightning giving you wings.

BTW, you are not in the Midwest. You are in the UPPER Midwest. Here in the real Midwest, it is still hot and dry. Huge difference.

We will be in Shabbona for a dog trial this weekend and will be packing our cool weather clothing. What a relief that will be
I live here for 25 years and have not seen these kind of storms. Perhaps the weather is changing?
I am no fan of Gore but things are changing so it seems to me.

I read about your neck of the woods. It is really hot there. Of course we think of you as the South. I remember my days in Chicago. Indianapolis was thought as the South. That has changed. Even KY and TN are now embraced as industrial Midwest.
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Old 08-22-07, 09:01 PM   #9
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Wikipedia does not know diddly squat about the midwest and apparently neither does the U.S. Census. Everyone knows that the real Midwest consists of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois. All other states are mere pretenders.
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Old 08-22-07, 09:10 PM   #10
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Ha! Listen up you Southerner!

If one drew a circle stretching 200 miles from the center of the Midwest, this area in south central Wisconsin would be well within that circle. While you and the rest of your Southerner clan would still lie about 200 miles *outside* of the heart of the Midwest.

You can't sit 50 miles north of Arkansas and be in the heart of the Midwest.
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Old 08-22-07, 09:19 PM   #11
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My bone with those regional boundaries has always been the inclusion of West Virginia in the South. WV left the South during the Civil War. I grew up watching Pennsylvania TV stations, went to college 8 miles south of Pennsylvania, we were taught the "Yankee" side of the Civil War in school, play in the Big East sports conference, and for the most part, never identified with the South in any way.

Maryland is also lumped in the South and is an ill-fit there.

Where I grew up in WV is north of Springfield, MO.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:16 AM   #12
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I went out yesterday on a 44 mile ride to Cambridge and the weather went from great to horrible in 10 minutes. Must have been the same storm system you describe Will. I got back just in time.

Best motivator for doing Zone 5 workouts is an oncoming thunderstorm. I averaged 18.5mph for the last 15miles.

We got 2 inches of rain in 30min!
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Old 08-23-07, 07:26 AM   #13
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I went out yesterday on a 44 mile ride to Cambridge and the weather went from great to horrible in 10 minutes. Must have been the same storm system you describe Will. I got back just in time.

Best motivator for doing Zone 5 workouts is an oncoming thunderstorm. I averaged 18.5mph for the last 15miles.

We got 2 inches of rain in 30min!
Yes, the same storm system. I checked the radar screens and that storm stretched North South from Green Bay, WI to the middle of IL and West East from MN and IO east to Detroit. Very mean looking affair with multiple storm systems and many thunder storms.
I am glad I did not look at that before the bike ride. The experience was exhilarating.
It is my experience that I get the best bike rides in this marginal weather.
As someone once said:
It is 78 F, wind from the back and the birds are singing. Where is the challenge for a bike ride in that?
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Old 08-23-07, 07:39 AM   #14
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Wikipedia does not know diddly squat about the midwest and apparently neither does the U.S. Census. Everyone knows that the real Midwest consists of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois. All other states are mere pretenders.
And just where would you put us Buckeyes
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Old 08-23-07, 08:03 AM   #15
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Until this thread enlightened me, I was under the opinion that the Mid West goes from the foothills of the Rockies to the foothills of Appalachia. From Canada to the Rebel states of the Civil War.

I am glad to hear that there are other fuzzy definitions.
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Old 08-23-07, 08:47 AM   #16
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Until this thread enlightened me, I was under the opinion that the Mid West goes from the foothills of the Rockies to the foothills of Appalachia. From Canada to the Rebel states of the Civil War.

I am glad to hear that there are other fuzzy definitions.

Many will define the basic Midwest as those states that were part of the old Northwest Territory---Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Westward extensions, both culturally and geographically are Iowa and Minnesota. Eastern Nebraska and Kansas and the eastern Dakotas are the Midwest. One travel writer noted that when travelling east across the northern plains the boundry between West and Midwest was where men in one town wore cowboy hats but in the next town east wore seed-caps.

Missouri and Kentucky are tricky; geographically much of both states could be considered Midwestern but both were slave states and that sets them apart culturally. On the other hand during the War of the Rebellion most of the white population of both states was loyal to The United States and provided far more men to fight against the rebellion than for it.

I consider Illinois the heart of the Midwest and the greatest state in the Union.
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Old 08-23-07, 09:42 AM   #17
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And just where would you put us Buckeyes
Oh the answers that spring to mind!
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Old 08-23-07, 09:47 AM   #18
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Man, that reminds me of why I am happy to have left Illinois. There was a an old rail box car on a siding on one of my longer routes, and I remember taking thunderstorm shelter in it several times. I always worried that the railroad would come and take their car while I was using it for shelter, but they never did.
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Old 08-23-07, 09:53 AM   #19
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Many will define the basic Midwest as those states that were part of the old Northwest Territory---Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Westward extensions, both culturally and geographically are Iowa and Minnesota.
Yes, the classic definition of the Midwest. That's what always comes to my mind first. And that's what I thought of when T-man jumped in with his Missouri comments. Heck, I don't even consider Missouri to be part of the Midwest, much less the heart of it. And the Dakotas, Nebraska, etc., are the Plains States, not the Midwest.

The line of states that comprise the border between the North and South have no clear place. Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri. Sometimes Delaware & Maryland are grouped into a Mid-Atlantic group, which includes New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but leaves out West Virginia - despite portions of it being much further east than western Maryland and portions being further north than all of Maryland, Delaware, and even parts of southern Pennsylvania and NJ. One can live in WV and be within 85 miles of Cleveland, OH.

Here's a map showing the classic vs expanded Midwest:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:US_map-Midwest.PNG

In this, one can see that Chicago is the hub/center of the classic Midwest.
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Old 08-23-07, 10:13 AM   #20
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Hopefully all of this rain will cease soon. We are now over 11" for the month, an all-time high in recorded weather history for Dane County, WI. We still have 9 days to go this month and rain is in the forecast for some of them.

One of the reasons for the trails being closed is to prevent damage to them. When they are soft, bike tires sink into the trails and create ruts. When (If) the sun comes out and dries the mud, then the trail is much bumpier than it was before.
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Old 08-23-07, 11:05 AM   #21
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"Those clouds are coming fast. WTF. Full speed ahead."

WTF? Is that "Watchout There, Fred"?
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Old 08-23-07, 11:51 AM   #22
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When (If) the sun comes out and dries the mud, then the trail is much bumpier than it was before.
The sun is out now in Milwaukee - I'd better hurry out as it will only last 15 minutes.

Seriously, I have not been on my bike for 10 days, it's all I can do to keep the lawn mowed between the rains - mowed three times in 7 days. Saturday morning I hit the roads - the grass can wait.

Oh, and I am a classic Midwest interpreter, though I have always thought of Ohio as east . I guess they're in the Big Ten, so I'll allow it. But I will not extend the same courtesy to Pennsylvania.
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Old 08-23-07, 01:06 PM   #23
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Classic riding weather over here. Temps in the 70's and headwinds not too strong- That has been the case for most of the year and still able to get out 3 days a week for decent dry rides. In fact- I think I have only put off one ride this year due to rain. That is on the ride nights- In between- lots of high wind- lots of rain and cool temps. I don't think I have known a year when the hosepipe has had less use. Last winter was not too bad either so I have nothing to complain about. It would appear that we are getting warmer, dryer winters and Cooler, wetter summers. But that is just locally as Several parts of the UK have had floods this year.

I know it is purely regional but we can normally expect some Storms at this time of the year in the South East. They just have not come. Few heavy rain days that have caused localised flooding but nothing serious. Only problem is that our weather comes from the West- so if you have it bad now- How long before we call out the Lifeboats?
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Old 08-23-07, 01:15 PM   #24
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It's been hot as Hell here in the Bluegrass so I get out around 7:30-8 in the morning and ride around until 9:30-10 o'clock. By then I'm really leaking.

Then I do my situps and such and jump in the shower, then have coffee and a cigar on the porch.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:11 PM   #25
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There is a lake falling out of the sky right now on Naperville. I was picking up my daughter at the HS and watched some poor wretched biker struggling mightily through nearly a foot of water on the nearby road, torrents from the sky, and repeated drenchings from passing vehicles. It was an amazing display of tenacity --up off the saddle pedaling with great determination. I watched until he disappeared from sight. Wow.
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