Archive for November, 2010

Winter Commute November 30th 2010

Tonight was a truly awesome ride. We are in the middle of what seems to be a week long winter storm. What is reported to be at least 20 inches of the fluffy white powder has blanketed the city. Transportation has ground to a halt. But for some some of us, little has changed. It only takes me an extra 10 minutes to get to work compared to my summer bike commute. I passed rows of cars idling cars this morning, all going nowhere, fast. Total productivity bomb.

Going to work was tougher than usual with all of the mashed potato like snow on the main roads. I’m riding the Raleigh Sprite 27″ touring bike to work right now and have retired the Simpson’s Sears road bike.  Despite the headwind, there were some nice points to the ride, such as riding the Norwood bridge over the Red River. I could feel the sun’s rays still warm despite the frigid temperatures.

The ride home was another story however. After midnight, the streets were clear of cars. Only a few cautious or daring individuals and of course the hand full of jacked up 4×4’s tooling about.

3 foot drifts were plowed through with ease as the snow had only barely settled into white dunes. My bike literally exploding through the alien yet all to familiar landscape. Only days ago the brown barren surroundings were poised, frozen, just waiting for winter to happen. Over night it’s like all of the bike routes and paths have been made over for my enjoyment or suffering…?

50km per hour  tail winds rocketed me through the back roads. Well what you could see of them anyway. Just two narrow black strips on either side of the street. The black patch was the route to stick to. Like a piece of single track written in black and white. One wrong move and you would bail into the unknown white drifts or ditches.

Riding at this speed, at night, through the white landscape is truly a unique experience.  Truly not the safest activity mind you, not unlike like downhill skiing,  as you dress similarly, however not like snowmobiling where you here nothing but the engine. Winter bike riding or commuting is nearly silent except for the wind and the bite of your tires in the snow and ice.

If you can do it during the winter, disbelievers will have no excuse for not getting on a bike this coming summer. I didn’t spot any other cyclist today, but lately there have been quite a few Winnipeger’s taking to this two wheeled winter entertainment.  There isn’t a mountain around for 1000 km, what else are you gonna do?

Halos

Fenders to save Wheel Suckers?

I found this clip YouTubing and had to share it!  Too funny, enjoy.