Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cold, hard data

I was thinking ahead to tonight’s cold ride when I came across this 1920s-era image of two men in Washington, D.C., reading the weather report from a government kiosk in a park across the street from the Washington Post building.

Old photographs are great for illustrating how things have changed, especially in the area of information technology. Back in the day, everyone knew that weather observations and forecasts were at least several hours old before the public got access to them.

When I want to check the weather before a ride, I just click a button and get temperatures that are updated every five minutes from points all over Anchorage. And I don’t rely on a forecast that’s 8 or 10 hours old; I watch a web site that changes around the clock. For the real-time temperature on the trail, I check a digital thermometer that hangs from my handlebar.

All of these things are a great benefit when choosing clothing layers and the timing of a ride.

But when I know the ride will be taking me past the Campbell Creek Science Center—consistently the coldest spot in town on really frigid nights—I could do without the constant reminders that the temp is going to drop from zero to -10 along the Salmon Run trail.

1 comment:

gwadzilla said...

I was going to say something... but Vadahodges 12111 said it all!