I’m really happy to see Cee’s challenges back. (Hope you had a great vacation!). This week’s was based on a photo with a number of potential options, but “White” is what jumped out at me.
Today it’s 31 degrees out and feels like 34 (that’s 93F for the Americans reading) so it’s pretty warm. Maybe it’s a desire to cool off or maybe just my always wanting to experience change, but I remembered a particular snowy bike ride.
You might think that riding your bike in the winter is not possible. It’s actually quite nice. Riding in snow is not too bad though you have to go slower and be more careful just as you do with a car. Ice is a bigger problem but they make studded snow tires for that. The cold is the least of the problems as layering solves that issue. I’ve been overheated more often than I’ve been cold when cycling in the winter. In the picture below, I’m on my way to the grocery store a few kilometres from home. Though it is close to -15 outside and the wind is strong (we lived near the lake at the time), I arrive at the store relatively sweaty. You generate a lot of heat when you cycle and if you put clothes on that conserve your heat you’ll be warm in many conditions.
One day ,January 1, 2008, after a snowstorm I decided I was going to take my bike in to the park. The snow was relatively deep so it was harder pedalling than I’d have liked, but the views were beautiful.
This is the entrance to the park. Normally it’s a hill you can ride pretty quickly down – so quickly they installed speed bumps to keep us safe. The road is closed in the winter and I’m the only one riding on it at the moment. You can see a few tracks from others but I never saw anyone on my ride. Of course it was New Year’s Day. Probably many people were still sleeping off the previous night’s party.
You can see our building from the park. This is from before we left the neighbourhood (and then came back in 2017).
I head down the path. It’s not slippery in the sense that I’m worried I’ll fall. However, it’s tough going as the snow provides a lot more resistance than I’m used to and the pedalling is very difficult.
The ride takes me along the Don River. The city is so silent in the snow that the water sounds ridiculously loud.
After only a few kilometres, instead of riding down to the lake as I intended, I get tired and head out of the park and back on to the road. They’re mostly clear with only a little slush and I ride back home.
A few other photos came to mind. This one was taken not long after this ride after I was assigned to a project in Quebec City. Toronto gets a little snow in the winter. Quebec City gets lots. That winter in Quebec City we had a total of 550 cm fall (18 feet) over the course of the winter. 30 centimetres (a foot) seemed to fall every few days. It got to the point that bus shelters were completely encased in snow with just an entrance in the front. Houses had snow piled so high you could crawl out your second floor window onto the snow. And even in the city where they had snow removal, you often ended up with scenes like this.
And in a totally different interpretation of the word, my suspicions of why many restaurants in our city give me barely spicy food even when I ask for it “Very spicy” were hilariously confirmed when Sage and I went out for spicy soft tofu soup. Perhaps there’s a bit of a stereotype when it comes to spice tolerance. (This is from a local Korean restaurant. I think they’ve since changed the menu after someone posted it to a fairly popular local website.)