Signs of Spring: The Perils of Cycling After a Long Winter
by Eric Pinder
Every year around this time I take my bicycle out of mothballs, inflate the flat tires and go huffing and puffing across the sand-covered roads of Northern New Hampshire for the first time since autumn. Today I rode up the longest, steepest hill I could find, until the road stopped and a wall of snow began. (They had stopped plowing at that point.)
Ode to Spring (on a Bicycle)
by Eric Pinder
Potholes, potholes deep and wide.
Potholes, potholes on my ride.
Look out bikers. Look out, bikes.
Uh oh! Pothole! Watch out! Yikes!
Buy funny cycling gifts this one at Two Wheels Good. (Just click the dog bowl above). Or read more bicycle humor on this site: Bear with Me and Cyclingís Greatest Misadventures.
I wasnít riding merely for the sake of exercise. Oh no. My bicycle is part of an important scientific research project. Hereís what Iíve observed about the New Hampshire landscape during the past decade: The hills are always much higher and harder to climb in the spring than they are in the fall. Itís most peculiar. What could cause this strange up-and-down motion in the topography?
I speculate that northern New Hampshire is currently undergoing rapid tectonic uplift. The flood of tourists each summer, however, results in millions of feet and tires walking and driving over the bedrock, temporarily eroding the land faster than it can rise. This erosion continues right through the autumn leaf-peeping season. By the time the first autumn snow falls, the hills are so eroded and worn down that I can quickly and effortlessly pedal to the tops of the same mountains that leave me gasping for breath in the spring. What other possible explanation can there be?
Further research may be required. Iíll continue to test my hypothesis during the warm months ahead, then submit my paper to the American Geological Society. Please send grant money. And new bicycle parts. And a bigger water bottle.
Continued - More Cycling Tales