Tag Archives: weather

The winter of my discontent?

27 Feb

What I feared has come. After three excellent winters in a row, Oslo has finally got a bad one. We’ve had very little snow and now spring has come horribly early.

Even though the calendar says February, temperatures are now regularly climbing up toward the teens. Today skies are clear but a good bit of the little precipitation we’ve had has come as rain.

So now it’s already Easter conditions requiring sticky klister wax if you go classic. I’ve preferred to skate to avoid depression. The up side with that is you can climb fast on an icy track. Then, whatever technique you choose, you scream through the downhill. Just requires steely nerves because ice is not forgiving, particularly when you’re going fast.

But maybe the risk is bigger to my mood than to my body. Skiing keeps my mood on an even keel. Happily it’s still possible to ski right now in the Oslo forest. But I have to travel because conditions on my home trail are getting hopeless.

In years past that trail got prepared double-wide for skating. I would go before work on a new prepared trail and it was pure joy. I could hone the way I took every corner and every change in elevation. It was great technique practice and extremely pleasurable. This year the trail has only been prepped single-wide because there’s not enough snow. And now conditions are such that it’s not even worth skiing classic.

But no use being bitter about what you can’t change. Maybe there are other things in life than skiing. Maybe. Perhaps I should just hope for an early rollerski season. Less heartbreak there.

Still, maybe there’s hope. I spoke to a very kind conductor on the train to the closest remaining snow. She assured me that we would “get another winter” in week or two’s time. Let’s hope she’s better at foretelling weather than her employer is at predicting train arrival times.

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Alive and cold

3 Feb

Sorry bloggy-blog. I’ve been neglecting you lately. But rest assured I’m alive. And cold. When you’re cold you feel alive! And happy.

Finally snow in Oslo!

7 Dec

The weather forecast didn’t see this coming. Happy happy happy! More later on how the skiing turned out.

A Peace offering from the Norwegian weather gods?

30 Aug

There were rainbows all over the valley today. And for once it wasn’t pouring rain. Shall I take this as a sign that the Norsk Weather Gods have grown bored with evil?

My ski boots still got soaked from the wet road, but at least the rest of me stayed dry during today’s rollerski tour.

Blame it on Spain

31 Jul

It’s been hot in Norway. Literally on fire:

Personally, I blame this on Spain. The nearly car-free calm I’ve been enjoying while rollerskiing in the Maridalen valley results from most of Norway leaving the country for Spain. And why wouldn’t the Norwegian weather gods, the ficklest and most black-hearted of the lot, follow suit? Maybe they’ve been inspired? Or are just too drunk to function?

But I still have to train, even in the oppressive heat. After all, the Spaniards do it:

This video reminds me of a very frightening experience in Spain. I was walking past a gym in Granada when I heard this American woman with an unbearably nasal accent screaming “encouragement” in English at her students:  “C’MON C’MON, GO GO, MOVE MOVE, FASTER FASTER!!!” or something like that. I really don’t understand how the Spanish mind ticks because I can’t conceive how that could be remotely motivating.

But then I guess the voices in my head that motivate me are even nastier. But please, don’t worry. They’re very specific. They never tell me to do anything other than (roller)ski faster. So it must boil down to different strokes for different folks, even if Spaniards are freaky masochists.

Moreover, Spain is responsible for a fashion atrocity. The last time I was there the 40+ degree heat pushed me over the edge and forced me to buy a “Marcel” :

(Image: http://www.fabuleuxmarcel.be/)

I was comforted as I wore it training yesterday when I saw that I had not sinned the worst fashion wise. A man cycled by in nothing but skimpy boxer shorts.

Oléron, rollerski paradise

12 Jul

After the business trip to Spain I stopped at the Island of Oléron. Sharp contrast with Granada. In Andalusia I had a pancake flat bike path. The only thing that slowed me down were temperatures hitting 40+ degrees Celsius.  In spite of the terrible heat I kept my speed up over 20 km/h with slow wheels. A new record.

The next day, at Oléron, I found the sea breeze and a completely different kind of path. As swooped through the Oléron pine forest I could imagine myself on a Norwegian ski trail. There were quick climbs and drops, sharp turns and the occasional rough bit of asphalt better to avoid. Beautiful forest routes with just enough nervous tension to make them interesting. A totally unexpected rollerski paradise. Highly recommended!

Neither snow nor rain nor wind nor dark of night

2 Jun

So, there go the last bits of snow at the Tryvann ski area above Oslo. I keep tabs on what’s going on at higher altitudes in the Oslo forest via the webcam up there. While the snow-base is partially man-made,  I can check whether precipitation is falling as snow or rain by looking at the trees.

April was the warmest on record according to the very informative Voksenlia weather station website. They measured 76cm of snow at the start of the month and bare ground by the 15th. They tracked  the abnormally warm weather trend right up to the end of April.

But then May went to hell weather-wise. If it wasn’t rain, then it was wind.  And sometimes both. Temperatures hung resolutely around the 10C mark. But the wind was the worst. Oslo normally has remarkably light wind conditions. But not in May this year. It gets very tricky to control your rollerski poles when they’re being blown all over the place by random gusts.

The forecasters keep promising us better conditions, albeit at an ever-retreating date. Hope springs eternal. Today looks a little better, though still breezy.

Needless to say I’m getting better at skating through sticks and twigs and gravel and mud blown down or washed down onto the road surfaces.

However a big benefit of the season is that I’ve got time to wait out bad weather. Here in the land of midnight twilight, in June it never gets totally dark. I take advantage of that by going my long route from my house to Bæarums Verk, a little more than a marathon round-trip.

But that’s nothing compared with the Raid Roll’x 4 X 100 km happening this weekend. Wish I was there. Good luck (and good weather) to all the participants, and particularly to Oliver and the rollerski contingent!