The weather forecasters finally got it right, much to my dismay, when we awoke to a blanket of snow this morning. Not much, only about a half inch, but enough to provide icy lubrication on the streets and trails. My 700×35 bike tires are not suited to winter, having almost no tread, which makes them great for pavement but not so much for traction in mud or snow. I went out for a 3-mile walk first, to check the trails, and found that the city was in the process of sweeping them clean. It was still cool, at -6C, but the sun was shining and it was just too nice a day to pass up a ride. So trepidation and care was the order of the day when I set out. I often push the season when I head out in spring as soon as I see a bit of pavement showing through the ice and snow, so I figured that this wasn’t much different. And I was pleasantly surprised! I had no problems with traction, even on the areas that the sweeper hadn’t got to yet. By noon, the sun had melted some of the open stretches and, with the swept areas, about 60% of my route was snow free.
And I was able to get in my coffeeneuring requirement too. After my usual ride out to Big Lake, I headed over to the Glasshouse Bistro and Cafe. It is located in The Enjoy Centre, which is the new home for Hole’s greenhouse – one of the largest greenhouses in western Canada. I enjoyed a very nice vanilla bean latte and warmed up for my trip home. On the way out, I passed a guy dressed as a marshmallow who was just entering. The cashier looked over at me and said “And so it begins…”. Ah Halloween. And here I thought I would stand out dressed in my biking duds!
Date: Friday, Oct. 26
Place: Glasshouse Bistro and Cafe, St. Albert
What: Vanilla bean latte
Distance: 18 km
Details: 1st ride in the snow. Probably not the last.