Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cold weather is here

When the cold sets in, I need to have all my cold weather riding strategies in play.

I found and installed the liner for my riding pants, my Icon winter gauntlets are standard fare, the grip heaters are set to medium low at the start, but quickly make their way to the maximum setting.  A windbreaker sits between my Corrazo underhoody and Corazzo 5.0 jacket.

With all that gear on you begin to feel like an astronaut... until you get underway.  Until then, hyperthermia is more a risk than hypothermia.

The gear that's way too much indoors, is perfect during the commute.  Even at expressway speeds there is no chill, no pain, only the joy of riding.

So what dictates the end of the season?  Icy roads; full stop.

Commuting is very different from casual riding.  You could take a ride on any winter day when the roads are dry and clear.  The gear I wear will keep you warm.  And if it wasn't quite up to the task, without spending a fortune, I could buy heated motorcycle clothing like a vest, for instance.

But commuting reliably and safely means that conditions have to be good for the hour spent on the road in the morning, and the hour spent on the road in the evening.  If a storm blows in during the day, the bike could be stuck downtown for days, weeks, or possibly a month, while I wait for roads to become safe.  That's not a good situation.

The scooter commuter therefore has to call it a day once the temperature drops to where snow is a real possibility.  And that day has come.  Snow flakes have been drifting down in the last few days and there are reports of significant snowfall outside the city.

Now that the 15,000 mile mark has rolled over on the odometer, I'm content to plug the scooter in, throw the cover on, and start looking for a winter project.


SonjaM said...

I agree with the astronaut feeling, but this would not stop me. But I have to agree that once roads get slippery, the riding is done for me as well.
I have neither the skills nor the desire to negotiate ice and slush.
But as long as roads were dry back when I lived in Alberta, the bike came out (with -5C being my personal record).

Unknown said...


I am so sorry for your snow (hee hee, no I'm not really). I can understand your reluctance when it may snow during the day and leave you stranded at work. No problem for you as you have lots of work to do anyway. You would just be first at work and no one will know you were sleeping in the stationery room. Just bring a change of clothes to the office.

My problem is not so much the snow, as we seldom get any . . . perhaps a couple of weeks a year, BUT it's the frost in the mornings which prevent commuting, unless you can start work later when the frost/ice burns off, usually by 10am. this means often, we are able to ride on the weekends

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Keith - Circle Blue said...

I will ride in some snow, but ice is a killer to be avoided. Here we can go days with cold weather and no snow on the horizon. We can have the frost bob speaks of and it is tough riding. For me it is the sleet that is most dangerous and the condition that can catch me unawares. I am quite blessed here. I am able to ride safely most days of the year.

And, I too, have felt like an astronaut. Actually, there are two little girls who come into the cafe I frequent in the mornings before work. They call me "Spaceman".

Trobairitz said...

Not snow........

It is getting chilly here too, down to almost freezing forecasted the next few nights.

when we rode to coffee Saturday I was feeling a little like the Michelin Man with all the layers, but at least I was warm.

It is a bummer you have to park the scooter for the winter, but best to be safe. Small price to pay for living in Montreal - such a gorgeous city.

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