Can't Cycle in the Great White North - Grampies Yucatan Return: Winter 2023 - CycleBlaze

December 25, 2022

Can't Cycle in the Great White North

I was watching a Youtube video the other day that was trying to make the case that there really aren't that many snow days in Canada, and that therefore there is no excuse for not building cycling infrastructure reflecting year round use. Even as a cycling fanatic I must say, this is nonsense. Sure, there are videos of cyclists out in the Winter, but that sure is not most people, and it is not us!

So here is our driveway right now. Any ideas what we should do about it?

Not gonna cycle this!
Heart 1 Comment 2
Bob KoreisAre you saying no tire manufacturer makes a cyclocross tire in your size?
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1 month ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesNo doubt there is gear that can make snow cycling more feasible. For example, I have the book "Cycling Home From Siberia" by Rob Lilwall, and he seemed to do it. And then Peyman and Matilda of Nomad's Trails on Youtube cycled to the Arctic Circle in Finland
These people seemed to use more guts than special tires, though.
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1 month ago

Here is somebody with one approach, reported on our news this week:

The story says Mr. Marciniak was out trying to get some Vietnamese food. That part, anyway, sounds like a good idea!
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One the other hand, we went out in our snow tire equipped van yesterday, making a run to the Food Bank with a pile of our farm's frozen strawberries, raspberries, and apples - all great for Christmas pies and crisps, and were crawling through the streets of Duncan. Up ahead was a lone cyclist. I slowed to his speed, because there was no way I would risk passing. Sure enough within seconds his bike went flying out from under him and he landed in the middle of the roadway. He was uninjured, and we helpfully advised him to try the equally icy sidewalk, but really!

In the 1980's the comedy duo of Bob and Doug McKenzie (Rick Moranis - later of Ghostbusters and other films and  Dave Thomas) made a big contribution to Canadian culture by correctly dubbing the place "The Great White North", and by introducing their signature meme "Take Off!", eh?

Looking back at the Great White North, for which I will spare you the link!, I found it disappointingly adolescent. I think I liked it more then because I was more of a  kid then too. But the basic geography lesson they presented remains starkly true. There is the Great White North here, there is the U.S., and then there is Mexico. What you do when the snows come is either to grab a case of Molson Canadian and watch hockey, or (horrors) go out and play hockey in a beer league (I did that!), or preferably Take Off!

Bob McKenzie points the way.
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So there it is - we're taking off, heading for the Yucatan. Read on as pages are posted to the blog, to learn why we chose this, and to follow along as we go!

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Comment on this entry Comment 3
Bill ShaneyfeltChuckle! Yup biking in the snow is not for everyone. Commuted 12 miles each way most days for years, but if snow got over 3-4 inches deep, or if it was icy, I drove. Deeper and the snow impedes so much the rear tire spins and very little progress is made. Ice is treacherous. Probably went down about every alternate day under those conditions. Now, I stick to the bike path after the mile of residential streets to the path. Given a choice, I would not cycle in anything below 60 degrees, but I gotta get in the cardiac rehab aerobic exercise a minimum of 30 minutes 3 x per week but preferably 60 x 6.
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1 month ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Bill ShaneyfeltYes, we also find 60 degrees (16 to us) to be the comfort threshold. But we do say we can operate at 10 if necessary, or even 6. I have poor circulation, and a 10 or below I end up with my hands in my armpits. It's hard to cycle like that, of course.
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1 month ago
Bill ShaneyfeltMy record cold is -21 for just under 2 miles... Not going to do that again! Since retiring, my limit is -5 using hand warmer packets under 4 layers of gloves/mittens. My terrifying face mask goes on below 35 degrees.

Link to a photo of the mask on fb:
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1 month ago