for the past few days the temperatures have been floating between minus ten celsius and minus twenty celsius depending on the wind. on the way into school i travel down some long hills and the windchill on those downhill stretches digs deep behind my balaclava and grabs with little icy metallic fingers
at the tender parts of my ears.
when the snow falls i take the lane. brave words when you have cars who already own the lane. but i'm warm in my layered garb - four layers top and bottom - warm but not fearless.
front and back i have flashing lights, on my arm and leg really good reflective bands earned from riding in cliff mccarten's former project getting workers out of their cars!! worked for me - i don't even have a car!
otherwise the only deep cold i'm feeling is on my right thumb and both big toes. i'll take that in exchange for riding this deep into the year!!! people are generally supportive although i get the sense that after the initial shock and awe, they are definitely thinking "this guy's either nuts or a glutton for punishment".
a fave moment. the other day riding home through the dark, a gusty wind blowing from the west into my face - windchill minus nineteen - i finish the climb to the top of a hill and a guy is standing at a bus stop. my lights are flashing all over the bike and he yells out "no f---ing way!!!" i yell back, "way man!!!" and he yells "go f---ing go!!!" i laughed so hard i had to pull the balaclava away from my mouth so i could breathe.
but nothing says goodness like home - even from a couple of kilometres away - because there's my family and warmth and nice beer and good food and nobody to have to protect my body from. some nights that's what pushes me on regardless of the snow, the cold, the really close cars and even closer trucks.
speaking of my body, i've got to be thankful for the simple fact that in the last six months it has propelled me around lake ontario through a humidex of 45 c and is now pushing me
former neighbour, one half of the infamous "racing for booze" championship duathlon team, primary salesperson and chief wrench for all my wheels and parts in-between, wild boy matt has a sweet article in this month's issue of canadian cycling that you can read right here or better yet
sink some money into at your local magazine shop.
hey, while you're here.
here's a shot of matt and i after another podium finish in the peterborough dirty duathlon.
the following year - after we ascended to the top - a team of such raw talent and unbridled competitive ferocity was assembled (we believe expressly to address our ambitious assertion that we could set a new track record), that we were bumped one notch down the podium.
we still received our boozy rewards but the view from the second place podium spot was not quite as exceptional........
needless to say, matt and i bailed after that and matt has focussed on many things - domestic and recreational.
i've focussed on using the bike for good and not evil!
looks like matt's adding sportswriter to his long list of creds.
a gorgeous photo of the thursday night fight night ride appears in the same issue
the rides are suddenly sketchier courtesy of the snow and then too the evening temperatures that drop below the freezing mark rendering any free-flowing liquids into thin films of barely visibly ice.
to put it simply: in the murk of an early-morning ride, clarity (especially in terms of the road surface and conditions) is a critical and essential quality i look for in the information entering my eyes!
by the end of today the roads had dried somewhat due to the one degree above zero temperature we hit
as well as some well-placed sunshine.
so i got to ride home.
i was so truly and deeply happy!
at the end of my ride are the fields.
i leaned my bike against a pile of yesterday's snow.
this is what i call my commuter bike.
this bike has seen me through four years - over twelve thousand kilometres of riding - so many beautiful rides, so many rides through the most torrential rain, thick fogs, roaring winds, snow squalls,