Weather Becomes More Important When You Ride Your Bike

I started riding my bike to campus this summer (started around May 2008). In the few months since then I have learned to pay more attention to the weather and my departure time. Beyond clear skies and moderate temperatures I treasure fewer cars on the road, adequate ambient light, and green traffic signals!

I saved the best for last: I want low humidity! This morning Austin is around 90% humidity and the ride into campus was miserable—despite moderate temperatures. With high humidity the body cannot cool off properly and it feels like you’re pedaling through a swimming pool.

And since I’m talking about weather, I’d like to share a couple cool sites I found recently. Umbrellatoday simplifies the weather interface and simply tells you whether or not you need an umbrella. Contrast that to the weather.com page; I see graphics, radar images, a lot of text, multiple different colors, and several days worth of forecasts. I just need to know if it will rain today so I can make an informed choice about riding my bike versus taking the bus, and Umbrellatoday comes to my rescue.

Another site that keeps it simple is Stormpulse, an excellent source for tropical storm information. Contrast the Stormpulse interface to the official government storm tracking website. There are times when I want to find out about weather events without wading through all the other stuff (think cnn.com); Stormpulse is perfect in those situations.

Note: both sites are still new to me (and the world in general, I think). We’ll see how accurate and reliable they are. As always, your mileage may vary.