According to Wikipedia, Nemo is a Latin word meaning "no man" or "no one". So it seems that "no one" banned vehicle traffic from Massachusetts roads for a day (much to the delight of the plow drivers, not to mention local pedestrians and cyclists). "No one" shut down public transportation for almost two days, much to the chagrin of folks trying to get in and out of town without a car, bike or xc-skis. "No one" helped sell every bit of bread and milk and batteries in the region. Then "no one" came to town and left more than 2 feet of snow at our door. Interestingly "no one" seemingly told folks in Long Island about the pending storm, but that's a different story, although maybe those folks should upgrade their smart phones, so they get the message next time. Finally, and the point of this post, is that "no one" made me use and abuse lots of non-cycling muscles over the weekend.
Today as I write this, I am back home in Massachusetts, looking out at snow falling on our eerily quiet street, as our governor has taken the almost unprecedented measure of banning all non-essential driving on roads state-wide, with the threat of 1 year in jail for violators. I was surprised to learn that in addition to exceptions made for public safety, there are also exceptions granted to the media. This will enable them to interrupt regular television programming with frequent updates on the growing height of snowbanks, as well as demonstrating how dangerous it is to be out, by showing a low-in-the-pecking-order reporter standing in the surf without a hat or gloves, so we can appreciate the blizzard-force wind-speed based on the frozen reporter's soggy and windswept hair. But the more surprising (to me) exceptions are for vehicles supplying essential businesses like convenience stores and hardware stores. I was one of the lucky folks who got that very loud blaring blizzard warning through my smart phone a day before the storm even started. After I changed my underwear, I headed out to the shops to join everyone else in the northeast stocking up on bread, milk, beer and driveway salt. Actually, since I don't really live under a rock, I was already well aware of the storm forecast from many news sources (both traditional and new media) and had already purchased plenty of fresh bread and milk before that panic-inducing alert was sounded. But I can say that this new cell phone based Emergency Warning System was very effective in causing general panic and clearing the shelves through the northeast of all bread and milk.
I headed out on unfamiliar roads. A change is as good as a rest, some say. So this should make for a nice adventure. But let me back up a little first. I'm a little removed from my usual stomping grounds here. My father moved to a retirement community in Durham a few months ago, and the only riding I have done here so far is to and from his old home in Sanford. Not needing to ride to Sanford on this day, I decided to look for some new roads in a different direction. I looked around on various online bike route mapping sites trying to find a good route. I wanted something relatively rural and quiet and rolling, maybe about 60 miles.