I think our regular readers have a pretty good idea right now about how mild it is in Montreal, especially considering the time of year. I would say that we are many degrees above average on the temperature scale, and when it comes to snow and ice, well, the fact that the roads are all completely clear is highly unusual for mid-February. I’m not complaining mind you! Last February I did not ride outside once due to the extreme conditions, (yeah I know Sluggo and Andy were out there!), but this year it is like late March already.
So out I went, following on the heels of my intrepid and braver Charlie Bucket Cycles teammates, and due to the lack of metal carbide studs on my tyres I remained firmly glued to the road. This was actually my first outdoor foray since that infamous ride with Andy where I went tits over arse and mangled my wrist on the ice, and boy were the conditions different today. For a start, that ride in late December was on the coldest day of the year (thus far) at -15 ˚c with the windchill taking it down to around -25˚c. I remember losing all feeling in the tips of my fingers on that excursion and wondering whether I would actually remove my gloves to find that the tips had all turned black from frostbite. Dramatic I know, but sometimes my mind goes there.
Today’s ride was so very different. Yes, there was some winter wind that caused a little additional stress on the legs riding homeward, but it was warm (relatively speaking) and as I mentioned already, the roads were as clean and dry as they are in the middle of summer.
As Andy said in his post earlier, we live in a great country. In how many places can you go from ice-riding to sweating it out in +40˚c in one year? Not that many, I’ll wager, and I would not change the extremes of our four seasons for anything. Each of them brings a unique set of challenges and pleasures, and right now we are on the cusp of the awesome Spring riding season that’ll see us test our winter legs. Did we do enough over the cold, dark months to keep our fitness up? We’ll find out soon enough.