Tuesday, 2 February 2010

On being a devout, but not fanatical, cyclist

Winter reminded Montreal what it can do last week. Not only was there a substantial (c. 20 cm) snowfall, but the temperature dropped below -20 C on the weekend. This is what I think of as "proper" winter weather.

Curiously enough, two different people asked me if I was still biking yesterday. They have been inspired by the sight of truly fanatical cyclists riding in the extreme conditions on the weekend and on Monday. My response amounted to that I was a devout but not fanatical cyclist.

I don't ride in the winter which I define as when there is snow on the ground. Back in my younger years, I dabbled in winter cycling but very quickly gave it up as it was both miserable and caused corrosion on the bike. During the years I was living in Guelph, Ontario, I sometimes rode during the winter, but only if there was no snow on the ground, which was surprisingly often. This culminated in a ride to the liquor store to get some Scotch ale on Robert Burns' day when the weather was -25 outside! But there was nae snow.

Living in Montreal, I have the BMW (Bus-Metro-Walk) option open to me year round, but usually only exercise it in winter. Unfortunately, exercising that option means I get less exercise.

Getting back to the winter cyclists that my colleagues found amazing/daft, I respect their devotion to cycling. However, I think they exceed mere devotion and are well into serious fanaticism. ;-) Each to his own, I guess.

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