Monday, April 23, 2012

Meteorological spring

According to the meteorological institute the local "meteorological spring" started on 11th April, when the average daily temperatures climbed above zero degrees Celsius. The summer will start on late May.

Even though the snow has been melting fast and I've even seen some motorcyclists on the streets, if a cold spell comes it can get below freezing even during the day and the snow stays on the ground for a moment. Like it did last week.
The sea outside Oulu seems to  be still frozen. I tried to go to the old docks to get a closer look, but there was too much snow to ride through. Here used to be a sawmill and tar barrel storage area, but it burned down and now the lot is empty. Good area for walking the dogs. I'd have thought this wide open area would be clear of snow pretty fast, but the snow was still knee deep.

No sign of anything green on the bushes around the lot either.
Until yesterday I thought all streets and bikeways would be ice free already, but I was wrong. 10 cm of ice! I rode between the ruts, it was easier than trying to balance in them. I have been thinking about switching to a summer tyre. Maybe it's time as it seems the ice is gone. 

Oh, I bought a studded tyre on the 'end of winter season' sale a month ago. Even though it was almost too late as the bikeways were clearing fast I did get to ride on ice with them. Having one on the front wheel helps a lot and I don't think one on the rear wheel is necessary with my riding style. The rear wheel tends to follow the front wheel. In fact it was a bit funny to have the front wheel go straight over icy ruts and bumps and the rear wheel would slip left and right. :-)
One more iceberg photo. This one was so high you can barely see the cyclist behind it! Inspired by all the documentaries and movies about Titanic shown these last weeks.

I noticed one funny thing about the documentaries. There was two of them one after the other on a certain tv channel. Each claimed to tell the truth about the sinking, but they disagreed. One claimed the steel and rivets used were of good quality. The other found substandard iron rivets had been used near the bow because the machine used to punch the steel rivets was too clumsy and couldn't work there. The steel rivets couldn't be installed manually, so they had to used iron rivets. Did the first show even know iron rivets had been used? Well, it's fun to watch them and nitpick!

A shiny bikeway. This time it's not ice, just wet asphalt. Notice it has been cleaned, and all mud and gritting sand has been swept to the sides. They made the snow dirty. :-/ The wall you see is a noise barrier between the bikeway and the street.
This one shows the brown grass and a too narrow (maybe 2 meters) paving on the footpath to a bus stop. The snow plow machine has been so wide only one wheel was on the asphalt, the other was on the shoulder. Heavy machines will disfigure the shoulder (how do you say it in english?) and crack the edge of asphalt requiring repairs in a few years.
Another example of things found under the snow. The snow plow has been plowing more on the grass than on the bikeway. There isn't any snow plow sticks to mark the edges, so when everything is under the snow and ice even 3 meter wide bikeways can get lost.

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