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Flood waters rush in to the HOboken PATH station through an elevator shaft (Port Authority NY&NJ)

As Hurricane Sandy pummeled the northeast coast of the U.S., flooding much of lower Manhattan, media were calling it the Frankenstorm. Sandy is 1000 km wide and was due to collide with cold air and a storm coming from the west. Facebook friends were posting links to emergency preparedness. Friends of Facebook friends were checking to make sure their friends were ready. And me? I was hoping for a day off work.

And while I wouldn’t have wanted to be in New York City or the New Jersey coast last night, I was a bit disappointed that the weather warning didn’t materialize here in Ottawa. No weather warning means commute by bike. The wind was not going to be in my favour heading into work. That makes it doubly hard because I’d rather not go to work. It’s much easier cycling into the wind heading home.

I couldn’t believe how mild it was this morning, already about 12 degrees when I left. I did something unheard for me in late October: I was wore quick-dry capri pants! And while I was tempted to wear my sandals, I opted for running shoes, just in case there was pelting rain after work. I wasn’t sure if I would beat the approaching green splotch on the radar. Figuring there was a 50/50 chance, I decided to wear my yellow gortex jacket, but not put on my rain cover on the pannier bag.

Cycling into that wind felt like riding the Kona on its exercise stand at about #9 tension. Only the old clunker doesn’t have clips so I was forced to stand up to pedal at times. But of course that makes you less aerodynamic. The wind was in my face for the most part, and I extended my ride through the houses trying to find shelter from the wind. The worst part was along the Ottawa River and over the bridge. With construction on the Chaudiere Bridge and a strong crosswind that could blow me into traffic, I decided to cut through Victoria Island and ride along the sidewalk.

Only a few stray bikes huddled together at the bike rack, all their noses touching the wall, hoping to be sheltered from any bands of rain that come our way today.  And while I wouldn’t want the flooding or wind damage, I am a bit envious because West Virginia’s ski hills will be opening soon!

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