Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow down

Yesterday it snowed most of the day: little flakes. I had to leave Mike at home, though, not because of the snow, but because the day's plans involved me catching a lift to Barrhaven with a friend at the end of the day and I didn't want to have to leave him at the office. So I didn't have to try and navigate the roads with new snow down (and possibly a large number of drivers who didn't have winter tires yet.)

But this morning I woke up to the radio telling me that it was -6 out and there was a predicted low of -8, and the sidewalks were all white. And I discovered: I want some kind of formula to apply so I know what to wear in the morning. Something like this:

Temp > -5: jacket/sweater combination A
Temp > -5(R) where (R) = rain: jacket/sweater combination B (including rain pants);
Temp < -5(S) where (S) = slush ... you get the idea.

As it was, I overdressed, in my puffy winter coat and a sweater, and wound up with an overly warm torso, chilly fingers, and a cold breeze running down my neck. (My new Writers Festival toque does, however, fit under the helmet, so my ears were fine.) But the ride wasn't that bad. And it was bright! The sun on all that snow absolutely lifted my spirits.

Once I got to the pathway I started to realize that I won't be able to take that route much longer. It was white from Hurdman to the Queensway underpass. Then it was clear - someone had actually put salt down - as far as River Road in Overbrook: and then suddenly the path was white again - a thin flat layer of snow. My treads are pretty good, so I had traction, but any deeper and I could have been sliding. And I definitely concentrated more as it was.

I had a momentary fantasy on the way of inventing some kind of trailer I could pull behind me that would spread road salt as I biked, like a sort of vigilante path groomer. Of recruiting the mothers with strollers and the photographers that hang out by the river into a small private army of pathkeepers. I wonder if that's even legal. Are there laws against spreading salt on paths in public parks? Who put the salt down between the Queensway and River Road anyway?

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