Thursday, November 24, 2016

Life after snow?

Winter is here.

I was rummaging in the storage locker today. For a brief moment I considered the Vespa's winter storage cover. Then I tossed it back on the shelf.

Snow, shmow. I'm in no mood to close the book on riding for 2016. It might happen, it might not.

The truth is that Toronto is new to me. I'm pinning my hopes on the lake effect.

Buffalo New York is far enough due south on the far shore of Lake Ontario that its climate differs substantially from ours. More clement, right? Wrong!! They get hammered by 'ole man winter. Yikes! Snow to the rafters!! It's the lake effect.

We live on the north shore of that massive inland sea. Our lake effect, like their's, comes from the huge basin of water that doesn't freeze over in the winter. That has a moderating effect on the winter climate here. Go figure! Not that Toronto hasn't suffered the occasional snowpocalypse or snowmageddon. I remember one storm when Toronto declared a state of emergency and called in the armed forces to rescue the city. We Montrealers laughed, and laughed. Hell, we only called in the army for the '98 ice storm when people were burning old furniture in their fireplaces to keep warm.

It might be snowing ten kilometers north of Lake Ontario and raining on the shore in Oakville. I've seen that. Many years back we were driving in from Montreal to celebrate Christmas with my parents in Oakville. It was snowing in earnest on the highway.  Our kids' hopes of building a snow fort on my parents' lawn evaporated like a gentle rain in Death Valley. The lawn was green and soaking up that gentle rain.

So who knows?

The cover stays in the storage locker.

18 comments:

  1. We do not even have a German word for the Lake Effect... You will now get a close first hand experience from your new vantage point, and I am curious also, as to how you will handle it, given that you are a winter-proof Montréalais.

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    1. Sonja you'd have to go north in mid-winter to the Baltic coast to witness the German see-effekt.

      I fear that we will lose our peau montréalaise épaisse Soon enough. Then, like some Torontonians do, we'll be wearing Canada Goose parkas at 3C :(

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    2. Thanks, David. Alas, the link seems broken, leading to a wine guide website...

      I remember the weakening effect when moving from Calgary to BC: 3C in Calgary: break out shorts and sandals; 3C in Port Moody: Parkas in the rain it was...

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    3. That's odd, I get a German dictionary entry.

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  2. Lake effect snow. Looking forward to the pictures…

    Isn't it nice to not HAVE to be at the office by a certain time? I think that it makes riding a lot more relaxing.

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    1. Richard, time is the rarest and most precious commodity we have. Couldn't agree more.

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  3. Hmmm wonder how much snow you'll receive.

    Snow is starting to sound pretty good about now. We've had 6 inches of rain since Wednesday and now things are flooding in outlying areas. sigh. But on a good note, everything is pretty and green and the lawn needs to be mowed again. :-)

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    1. Brandy we will get snow, but I think it will pale in comparison to what we were used to.

      A white Christmas would be nice though.

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  4. Worst comes to worst you can't ride any of Jan & Feb ...

    Last year was exceptional for winter riding. Didn't put the brick away. Most of the time the main streets are dry enough to ride a day or 2 after a snowfall. Normally there's only a few days I can't ride to the shop.

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    1. I'm looking forward to our winter here. Spent the day shopping in the Distillery Christmas market, and at the St-Lawrence market.

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    2. Ahh, yes. Snow time is show time. We do the yearly load-in, shop partner & his potter wife, next Sunday morning http://renatapodlogpottery.com/annual.jpg Yearly "please-no-snow" prayers are said. Ice & snow storms are real sales killers.

      (hope you don't mind me posting this)

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    3. Ed your link is welcome here.

      Here's hoping the Christmas shoppers flock to snap up the pottery.

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  5. Way to look on the bright side of things....we on the other hand haven't had a decent snowfall here on the Front Range.

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    1. Judging from your past winters, Colorado will be beautiful in white, as usual.

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  6. Living in the city I can't help but think a day or two after every snowfall the streets will be bare and rideable. Not like here where we have packed it in for the season with about 15cm on the ground to date.

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    1. David I think that there is hope to squeeze more riding in with Toronto's climate versus Montreal's. The risk of ice buildup that persists in shady spots, or less well traveled places is what makes winter riding in Montreal fairly unthinkable once the snow comes.

      I think that Toronto doesn't experience that to the same degree.

      The other issue is simply how cold it gets. I can't really justify the expense of installing winter tires. Steve Williams switches to Heidenau cold weather tires for his winter riding.

      All that said it will be interesting seeing how the winter goes.

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  7. David, good luck with that! Yesterday could have been a riding day for me, instead it was a "pack 'em in close" day. So they rolled, I swung a leg and sat on, but they did not GO.

    Watch the slippery when you GO!

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    1. Doug I've only two in the stable, not a herd. There aren't any power outlets in the underground garage. I am going to have to extract the batteries to put them on life support. Once I do that there's definitely no riding till the spring, so I'm resisting.

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