Weather forecasting! It has to be a tough gig when everybody depends on your latest prognostication to plan their day, at least that portion that is out in the elements. Either get it right or duck the slings and arrows that will be coming your way. Even with the vast amounts of data being masticated, digested and spewed out by supercomputers to arrive at a reasonable guess as to what the next day or 2 will bring, they still manage to pooch it sometimes. I guess they should be allowed a few transgressions but it sure sucks when plans are made and cancelled because of an ominous looking forecast.
Take today, for example. Last week, I had arranged to lead a group ride in St. Albert. Yesterday’s forecast promised an absolutely brutal day for today – rain, high of 7C, and winds gusting to 70 kph. Not wanting to subject anyone to those conditions, I sent out an email to everybody last night, cancelling the ride (actually postponing it to Thursday). At 7 a.m. this morning, I could hear rain being lashed against my bedroom window. Boy – they sure got that forecast right I thought, glad I cancelled the ride. By 9 a.m. there was bright sunshine, light winds and it was already 8C. Well crap! By 10 a.m., and clear in every direction, I ventured out to do a solo ride for the next hour and a half. Needless to say, it was a perfect day for a fall bike ride. A little windy, but no rain and lots of sun. I expect to take a lot of flak from my group come Thursday and I fully intend to pass on the blame to the local meteorologists who led me astray.
The day wasn’t a complete loss though. It gave me an opportunity to pre-ride the route that I intended to take the group on, and search out a suitable coffee stop. Some of the areas that were under construction a few days ago are now clear – the dirt piles on the mult-use trail on 137th Ave have been removed – and parts of the trail beside 142nd St are being trenched, which will necessitate a detour into traffic. I wanted to find a coffee shop at around the 20 – 25 km mark, one with decent bike parking, and it looks like the Starbucks at the Servus Place rec centre will have to do. The forecast for Thursday is for sun and high of 10C. Let’s hope they don’t screw it up twice in one week.