Biking Montreal: The Line in the Snow
We had a light snowfall the other day and we still biked to school in the morning just to see what it felt like.
At first it was exhilarating, just the mere doing of it. Biking in snow! But after we got moving it felt reckless, foolish even. While we didn’t slip or slide I felt like we were going to with every turn of the wheel. In fact, I don’t know why I’m smiling in that picture. Endorphins? By the afternoon everything the sun didn’t hit turned to ice. This is one of our bike paths:
I think I have reached my limit on how long I will bike with the kids in Montreal and that limit is when I can no longer see asphalt. That’s reasonable, right? It’s not the colder temperatures I mind, not even for the kids, it is the slippery surface and I simply do not feel safe biking on ice, no matter what tires I buy or what physics tells me (I CAN’T HEAR YOU SCIENCE AND LOGIC LA LA LA).
Speaking of safety, I had my first near-accident this afternoon, one that made me pull over to tremble and cry afterwards. With the green light, I rode straight through the intersection and as I did, a truck turned left, into me. Not only was he going against his light, he didn’t yield to oncoming traffic (me). It was exactly noon on a clear day. I am a large adult on a huge bike – you can’t miss me unless you’re not looking. He kept turning, slowly even, so slow that it seemed deliberate. He was going to run me over. All I could do was yell “HEY HEY HEY!” and brace for impact. Luckily he snapped out of it (looked up from his phone?) and swerved at the last-minute or maybe it was the bike behind me that finally got his attention (she would have been run over too). He drove off and I walked my bike to the side and cried a little. A couple of bikers on the scene offered comfort in a mini-collective outrage. It was nice.
I ride my bike a minimum of 14 times a week and only two of those rides are without kids. This was one of them.
I am not a glass half-full kind of person (Go with it. It’s part of my charm.), but even I have to acknowledge how lucky I was to be alone today. I also fully acknowledge and appreciate how gentle Mother Nature has been this autumn which has kept us all outside and energized far longer than last year. It feels good and I am grateful. Thank you, Universe! Here’s a little sugar in return:
If you’re out there biking in winter I would love to hear from you, especially if you do it with your kids. Do you have a line in the snow or have you managed it all winter long? Please share in the Comments!