M?otorcycles are rumbling, lacrosse players are selling ??mulch, and shoulders are being endangered. Spring must be here - even though the temperatures still seem wintry. The obvious signs of the change of season - spring officially arrived yesterday - are forsythia buds and singing birds.
M?otorcycles are rumbling, lacrosse players are selling ??mulch, and shoulders are being endangered.
Spring must be here — even though the temperatures still seem wintry.
The obvious signs of the change of season — spring officially arrived yesterday — are forsythia buds and singing birds.
Less-obvious signs also abound in central Ohio.
Here are some indicators that have nothing to do with robins, daffodils or Florida vacations.
If you haven’t seen them yet, you will soon:Lawn lines
Jerry DeVine braces for it every year: On the first warm Saturday of spring, a flood of mowers arrives at his shop in the Clintonville neighborhood for service.
“It would not be unusual to take in 100 mowers in a day,” said DeVine, owner of Como Mower, 3741 Indianola Ave.To ease the rush, he started offering free pickup and delivery for customers who had their mowers serviced before the end of February.
About 1,500 customers took advantage of the offer this year.
Roush Worthington Lawnmower, 430 Schrock Rd., offers a similar service.A warm spell, though, still inspires a crowd of procrastinators.“We’re backed up four weeks right now,” said Mike Wilson of Roush.DeVine noted: “ Most people tend to like to wait till the last minute to do anything, as a rule.”Motorcycle mania
In a temperature-sensitive pursuit, 50 seems to be the magic number for many motorcyclists.“ We are usually pretty consistent about riding as long as the weather is sunny and about 50,” said Derek Beggs of Columbus, noting that some members of his motorcycle club don’t mind colder weather. “Fifty degrees or above,” said Jess Savage of Newark, who rides on her boyfriend’s bike.
Cyclist Doug Kamerer concurred with the majority.
“Fifty to 55 with sun, pretty much anybody is on their bike,” said Kamerer, who works in marketing for A.D. Farrow, which has Harley-Davidson dealerships in Columbus and Delaware County.Farrow conducted its first new-rider classes of the season last weekend.Sore shoulders
After a long winter, a few days of warmth in March invariably prompt inactive people to go outside and strain something.
“Anytime your body suddenly does something that it’s not used to doing, you’re at risk,” said Dr. Joe Ruane, medical director of the Spine, Sport & Joint Center.
“If they have not been exercising, if they’re not conditioned, if they go out and lift 50 mulch bags, they’re putting themselves at risk,” said Ruane, who also serves as team physician for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Shoulder injuries are a common springtime malady.
A task as simple as window washing can inflame a shoulder, Ruane said, because working with your hands above shoulder level pinches a tendon.
Unconditioned golfers, too, risk shoulder and elbow injuries.
Preparing muscles for activity, he said, takes a month to six weeks of conditioning.Dandelion desire
If you spot people staring intently at your lawn, they might just be hungry.
For folks who see dandelions as a salad rather than a nuisance, the emergence of the first tender specimens poses a springtime joy.
Usually by the end of March or early April, dandelions are abundant enough to make foraging worthwhile but small enough to still be tender, said Kate Hodges of the Franklinton neighborhood.
Even young dandelions are bitter, she said, so they’re best used as an accent — not the main attraction — in a salad.
You can also cook them in a lot of water, which reduces the bitterness. (But know your lawn: Dandelions doused in chemicals shouldn’t be eaten.)
Hodges and Rachel Tayse Baillieul will teach an April 13 class on foraging at City Folk’s Farm Shop, 4760 N. High St., in Clintonville.
At this time of year, Baillieul said, her eyes stay focused on the ground.
“On walks around the neighborhood and my yard, I’m always looking for something that we can eat."Mulch merchants
Mulch fundraisers, particularly for the spring sport of high-school lacrosse, are a March staple in central Ohio.
There are competing theories about whether cold or warm weather is better for sales.
“It is harder to sell the mulch when there is snow on the ground, absolutely,” said Bryan St. Clair, an organizer of the mulch sale that supports the Hilliard Davidson lacrosse team.
But Laura Ball, an organizer of the joint mulch sale that benefits the Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne teams, has found that students going door to door do better in the cold because customers feel sorry for them.
“They’re less likely to buy if the boys aren’t out there shivering,” she said.
Most teams also arrange for deliveries, some of which began this week.
Deliveries, in turn, lead to another sign of spring: mulch bags stacked in driveways.