Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The First Enforced Bus Ride

I suppose I could have ridden to work today.

Yeah, I could have, to be totally honest.

But man. I woke up to fine, blowing, falling snow, and the spectacle of car after car fishtailing it down the street below my apartment building. After watching a bus slide to a halt at the stop sign - and after agonizing about whether or not to get the bike packed up for entirely too long - I decided that although I really did actually want to ride to work, it was probably not the safest or smartest thing to do. Especially since I was completely unsure about what route would be best to take: did I want to try the path? How deep was the snow out there? Would I find myself trapped at Hurdman Station, like last year? How clear was Bank Street? What about the Rideau Canal path? Had it been cleared? How bad was it out there anyway? And was it likely to keep snowing all day?

I remember this... the winter-morning decision making. Funny, that all the rest of the year I just don't work "bus" into my list of options. But a couple of centimeters of greasy, new slush and unploughed roads does make a bit of a difference, and I have to start remembering to keep bus change around the house. Raiding my piggy bank on bad mornings.

But I'm sort of regretting not riding. After all, there isn't really much reason not to be on the bike: it's slippery, sure. I'll get used to that. I'd have had to ride way out in the street and piss off a few impatient drivers, yeah. I'll have to resign myself to using my winter route (more roads, longer, less pretty) sooner or later. And dammit, it would have been a rough slog, but it would have been fresh air, blood pumping, the kind of wake-up call that I really need on grey December mornings.

I'll ride tomorrow. It'll feel good.


  1. I did bike today. the city didn't plow the side streets or sidewalks that I could see. Bronson was busy and messy - and so I jogged over to Bank which was useless in the Glebe but openned up downtown.

    So I walked half of the distance to work. Tomorrow and the rest of the week looks better. Bring it on.

    Winter riding in Ottawa requires firing up channel 21 to get the temperatures, wind direction and warnings before making the decision to bike (at least when I had a 10 km commute). Now my commute is only 5 so I can be much less prepared. And I found underground bike parking near the office - just heavenly.

  2. I tried biking to my Tuesday writing group last night. Nope. Not when the route was down Heron and the south end of Bank Street. I started sliding around way too much, had to hop to the sidewalks, and that slowed me down so much I missed the start of the group. So I gave up, stopped at a sports shop to pick up a new taillight and turned right back around.

    The sidewalks were at least better than the roads - the snow was flattened down and hadn't been churned up and rendered greasy by passing cars. And maybe bikes aren't allowed on the sidewalks but I contend that no jury in the world would have convicted me for running to the sidewalk last night. It would have been foolhardy to stay on the street.