Posts Tagged ‘winter cycling’

Shed, Port Bickerton

I have not had the best of luck with weather during the last, almost year, since beginning this blog. A very wet spring eventually lead into some (too few) decent days through the summer then as fall colors began their annual display a wind storm decimated the canopy. Winter has been mild without much snow. Without snow or ice winter photography is limited and because photography is limited I’m not motivated to explore or go very far from home. Without photos I find myself reluctant to post but because I don’t want too much time to go by without registering some life here I thought I would re-iterate a point I’ve made a few times before: short repetitive outings are essential to remaining active.

The idea of practice applies to nearly everything. When it comes to an active lifestyle it means doing activities that don’t require too much time so they can be easily incorporated into each day. If you want to be good at something then you practice the necessary skills. If you want to truly excel then you practice more and more, each individual will determine their own goals. Sometimes practice will build strength and stamina as well as skills. It seems, however, the concept of practice often has a pejorative connotation. For many practice equates with boredom and repetition. Procrastination or other excuses largely boil down to the same thing which is to consider practice as a separate aspect of an activity or sport. (more…)

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Every now and again things come together very nicely without anything to detract from the experience. So it was last night. I had to do a little eenie meenie minee mo to chose between skiing and cycling but ultimately decided on cycling because snow conditions weren’t quite as good as road conditions.

A light flurry of snow crisscrossed my headlight beam. I began the ride feeling a little apprehensive about the pavement. The temperature showed minus one which meant there could be ice. After a few kilometers without encountering any sinister glimmer on the road I relaxed and increased my pace. I ended up with some tire spray soaking through on my shins but I only noticed it when I undressed after the ride. (more…)

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One evening last week I was eager to go cycling. The temperature hovered around zero and I assumed the roads would remain wet until the temperature dropped a few more degrees. I changed into my cycling stuff and attached the light to the bike then walked out to the pavement, the shiny, ice-encrusted pavement. Hmmm, that looks slippery, I thought to myself, and when I walked on it my boots slid all over the place. A sensible person would go back to the house, change their clothes, and do something sensible. I, on the other hand, decided to go against every grain of common sense and launched off on the bike.

I fully expected to go SPLAT!!! within a very short distance. You would think skinny tires with no tread would have no traction on an icy surface but it turns out they work pretty well. At first I was totally unsure. The entire surface of the road glistened with ice. I pedaled gingerly at a very slow pace but gradually sped up as my confidence grew. I actually covered fifteen kilometers before wiping out.  (more…)

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Winter cycling is, for me, still very much an experimental and completely optional pursuit. I am not required to travel from point A to point B out of necessity five days a week. I don’t have to train regularly or grit my way through miserable weather due to some unavoidable obligation. Basically I can do it when and if I chose. The problem is if I only chose the finest and fairest days I could end up going weeks without riding. Part of experimenting is going out in less than ideal conditions. Doing so allows me to learn, first hand, what is and is not a limitation for me. I draw the line at ice. Unless I purchase studded tires there is no sense messing about with poor traction. I also avoid heavy rain though it is possible to remain dry for modest distances with modest energy output. I also avoid strong wind. In winter wind not only makes it hard to hear approaching cars, the chill factor can be very difficult to dress for and/or tolerate. (more…)

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Cook's Cove

January is, statistically, the most depressing month. A lot of people struggle to get through this time of the year. I’m not immune to this phenomenon but generally I get through the winter without need of medication, alcohol or therapy. My coping strategy is based on remaining active. I think it makes a difference. I think exercise and fresh air and daylight help physically as well as emotionally. I don’t think I would cycle in winter if this wasn’t the case. (more…)

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Old house, Drumhead

There is no snow. I doubt many people are complaining. For once I am not going to adopt a dissident view. I’m sure lots of people want to get their snowmobiles fired up but I’m equally sure the majority of people would be happy with a continuation of the mild winter we’ve experienced so far. Lower heating bills make people happy. Less shoveling and plowing means less aggravation and less expense. Safer driving conditions are always welcome.

I had hoped, however, that by this time of year it would be possible to begin skiing and snowshoeing. These activities will permit me to write on new topics as well as access places not easily reached in any other season. Snow will permit me to photograph familiar places that have been transformed with a completely different look. (more…)

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Wind Chill

The wind, as we all know, makes cold temperatures seem colder. I love being out on clear cold WINDLESS nights because the crisp air and silence make a wonderful combination. Wind just seems to spoil this. Wind is noisy, and wind can quickly suck the heat out of the most fully prepared person. When dressing you cannot ignore the presence or potential of wind to make you feel cold. The following links will help understand the relationship of wind strength to perceived cold. (more…)

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