Monday, January 17, 2011

You never want to believe what you hear on the radio...

When I woke up this morning the voices on the radio told me it was around -25, and the windchill was driving it even lower. That's not something you want to hear while you're in a very snuggly bed with a purring cat. But I rolled over, looked at the window, and saw what a bright day it was shaping up to be, and sleepily ran through, in my head, the last place I saw my merino wool tights. By the time I was up and having breakfast, I was actually looking forward to the crunchy-crisp ride across town.

When I got to the office, my friend Leslie looked up and said, "Tell me you didn't ride the bike today." To which I said, "Okay, I'll tell you that, but I'll be lying..."

It was a great ride. Bright and sunny. The snow was dry enough to keep me from sliding around too much, and aside from two moments at which I yelled at passing cars for cutting close and gunning it past me, it was fairly easy. Folks were out skating on the canal as I crunched by on my big tires. The air was super clean. And I was actually almost too warm. Sure, my fingers got painful, and my eyes watered a lot at first, but my body was toasty. I got onto the canal path, got CBC radio going on the headphones, and remembered, once again, that this winter thing is actually pretty awesome, as long as you can get yourself out the door. And the numbers you hear on the radio - you just don't want to pay too much attention to those. Sure, they sound scary. But they're really not so bad.


  1. I don't get it when I'm at a store and someone looks at my helmet and panniers and asks me incredulously "are you cycling?"

    The last time somebody did, I simply lied and said "no, I just walk around with a bike helmet and panniers. (After which I apologized and he asked me for advice on winter cycling)

    I'm waiting for someone to ask me while I'm walking from my bike to a store with my helmet on. When they do, I'll tell them "Did you realize that more pedestrians suffer head injuries than cyclists?" then, when they say that I make a good point for wearing a helmet as a pedestrian, I'll throw them another curveball and say "that's why I ride a bike--the odds are better!"

    - RG>

  2. Like-minded, you are. Crunchy snow is good snow.

  3. I have cycled for many years and I have developed simple rule of thumb for myself - that makes it easier to make the early morning winter biking decisions.

    Minus 20 is my limit - mostly because of frozen hands which I hate - and I wear skidoo gloves which are the best I can get.

    Second rule - freezing rain - very dangerous and not fun.

    So this morning - minus 25 so NOGO... I need battery powered gloves!!! Maybe that is the answer.

    Looks good for the rest of the week.

    I'll be biking the canal in 9 hours.

  4. Hats off to you guys. Anything below -5 and I hole myself up in my apt and rock back and forth crying.

  5. I find rain worse than cold or snow.
    I have observed an inverse relationship between the number of other cyclists I see during morning commute and extreme winter weather.
    On the snowy days in the last couple weeks, there have been 4 other cyclists. When it was -24C, I saw 6 other cyclists. Strange...