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.

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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:

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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:

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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!

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3 thoughts on “Biking Montreal: The Line in the Snow

  1. Your kids are so adorable, all bundled up and ready to go! I bike all winter, a pair of aggressive studded tires gives me a lot of confidence of ice. I use the Hakkapeliitta W240 tires from Nokian. I don’t have any children though, so I can’t help you out on that end!

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