Saturday, December 11, 2010

warm me up

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
through temperatures 60c colder.

thanks body.


  1. You're a trooper Steve and I respect you for it. Andrea and I were discussing routes for you the other day and settled on the bypass on the south of town being a healthy alternative to Lansdowne. Imagine a cop pulling you over on the 115 while you cycle to or from work. It would be like a rite of passage and well worth the story for the ticket.

  2. ha!!! michael you know what - i did the bypass once when i rode with the pedal for hope tour on one of their shifts and because they were all cops, they got to shut down a lane of the bypass!! it's very sweet riding and even thought it's gently uphill i managed to haul them along at the front - 40 km/h - best part of that ride was that i pulled in with the team at my school and the kids were cheering and high-fiving as we rode in and i forgot to unclip and kerbam! dropped right in front of them. never forget where you are or what your doin'!!! in terms of doing it "illegally". i'm totally in. ideally as a critical mass piece but what they heck. i have heard that the new strecth of four-laned lansdowne and brealey are getting either bike lanes or the joke of the century - a sidewalk that bikes can use. i really really hope that clifford is somehow involved in sorting out that craziness and brings about more good for the two-wheeled dependant. my dream ticket - for speeding!!! steven