Friday, March 7, 2014

Springy (and therefore splashy)

It's coming, it really is. Spring, I mean. Today I biked to the office and came back sometime around 7:00 pm, after dark. And the air didn't hurt my face!

Not that I've been desperately longing for spring. Really, I have been kind of annoyingly (I'm sure) chipper about the temperatures and the unrelenting snow this winter. I actually like winter, yo. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I like snowshoeing, skiing and skating, and to do all of those things, you need it to be cold and snowy. I wasn't always like this, and I'll admit the darkness gets to me at times, but this is Ontario and it's winter for like five or six months, which is way too much time to spend being miserable because the air hurts your face. 

And for most of this winter, I've actually been happier about biking when it's really cold out, because that means the puddles are slush, and slush doesn't splosh as much. But that has all changed, meaning I can now also enjoy the warming temperatures that are creating puddles on the canal ice and in the potholes and all over the gutters.

See, my long-suffering waterproof pants gave up the ghost a while back. But I wore them anyway, even though they had holes in the butt and had actually gotten too small. It got so I didn't want to have to wrestle them on and then ride in them, with them making it hard to actually lift my legs. I was actually reluctant to bike if I had to wear them, and I realized that was A Bad Thing. So, a little while ago I went out to MEC and got a fairly inexpensive pair of MEC-brand waterproof pants to replace them that were nice and big. 

Freedom! The new pants mean I get where I'm going without jeans soaked to the knee, and since they're really big, I have the same kind of freedom of movement I have when I'm not wearing an extra pair of pants. Joy! 

I mention this because today, coming home from the office, I zipped. I zoomed. I splashed through puddles and I cut through slush and I took up my lane and I dodged potholes and I had that springtime feeling of my shoulders being free, being able to turn my head, without scarves and hats and hoods and mittens locking me into one single position on the bike. It was somewhere around 0. Usually, what I like about riding in the winter is the cold on my face and in my throat, and the moment when the blood gets going enough to flood through my fingers and replace the ache with a burn, and the challenge of controlling the bike through ice and snow. But tonight I got the springtime fun of being able to zip through the dark without worrying too much about sliding or the cold.

We've got four seasons - unless we've actually got six, or seven: who knows? I had someone tell me it wasn't spring yet today and I responded by saying that when I can feel the sun through a window, and have to wear rain pants to ride, and can see the hollows in the snow around trees and rocks, then I start thinking about spring. However many seasons we actually get in this northern country, we might as well enjoy them all for their various pleasures.

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