Thursday, July 8, 2010


We Montrealers spend the winter months bundled up against the cold. Add a stiff wind and a drop in winter temperatures, and many of us have experienced minus 40 Celsius. The only thing that's convenient about minus 40 Celsius, is that you don't have to convert it to explain to people who only understand Fahrenheit how cold it might be, because it also happens to be minus 40 Fahrenheit.

We are now gripped in the third day of the reverse: a record-snapping heat wave: For Montreal that means well above 30 Celsius (40+ when you factor in the Humidex, 86 degrees for you Fahrenheit folks). Everyone is now moaning about the heat.

Not me. And I'm riding my Vespa morning and night to commute downtown. Morning is cool(er). Late afternoon is another story. And I'm wearing a black full face Nolan helmet, a Corazzo 5.0 armoured jacket, gloves, heavy Levis, and stout Tyrol hiking boots. That gear will keep you warm on a crisp fall day at 60 km/h.

So why am I not complaining? It's a really good question for all you folks on the air-conditioned commuter train chatting about how unbearably hot it is, while I glide along the lakeshore in my portable human oven get-up.

That's another measure of just how much I enjoy my scoot commute, and how committed I am to the (relative) safety of the experience.Last night on the commute back home at about 6:40 p.m., I stopped to take the photos you see here. You can see the heat shimmering in the photos if you look closely enough.

The guy on the kite-board and I, we have the right recipe. Follow your passion. It means you're cool, even when the weather isn't.

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The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.