December 29, 2008
I hate to harp on it, but it's cold here. Very cold.
For the last several weeks it has been rare for the temperature to creep above -15/14 and usually it's hovering more realistically around -25/-13.
I haven't been wearing my ridiculously vast collection of coats. Instead I have been relishing my puffy down parka!
Here we are (parka and I) on the bus, on the way to downtown for a tour of 6 local art galleries.
The sunglasses are Dior, so there IS a little bit of designer amidst the public transit.
December 12, 2008
Went to the library today on bike. Snow was profound. Temperature was okay, however, so I went for it.
The thing that was most surprising was all the variation one has to keep in mind. I rode down the back lane first and that was the worst part. Super snow everywhere! And ice. Oh, so much ice. Then getting onto the road was fine, I just had to ride right in between cars (with them front and back) as opposed to riding beside them. I also found myself on the sidewalk much of the time, but the transition from road to walk was a bit of a multi-terrain experience I don't usually have the pleasure of participating in.
Wiping out wasn't a big deal. I found that by the time the snow gets so thick and I'm not pedaling through, it's more that the bike slides out from you sideways. There wasn't a lot of momentum because I wasn't moving all that fast, and I'd just stick a leg out and steady myself. No harm done. I think I will be lowering my saddle for these winter months.
I also rode the Pashley and had a lot of chain hitting chain guard rattling. Am thinking about switching bikes... but I really like the brakes on the Pashley. Sidewalks in Edmonton are stupid. They sometimes just end so you're off roading all of a sudden! When the ice settles into what used to be grass it turns into this incredibly bumpy terrain. I'm glad I have a heavy steel bike.
Upon arriving at the library I ran into a friend who informed me that breaking with only the rear wheel means better steering and maneuvering! Will have to try that:)
I thought I got a lot of "you are crazy" looks before while riding. I got a whole lot more today.
Wore my trusty olive parka (filled with goose down) with fur hood and super ear flap toque. To bad my self portrait cuts off the pom pom on top. No helmet. Underneath was boot cut jeans and nautical striped long sleeved t-shirt. Mittens are taupe/brown herringbone.
December 10, 2008
This was a cute little illustration from an article I recently read in Avenue magazine about winter biking. It had all sorts of tips on how to stay safe and warm. But, it doesn't change the fact that the roads are absolutely treacherous right now! They haven't put any sand down yet so it's just nice, thick ice underneath a thick layer of powder.
There is also no more shoulder on the side of the road. You either ride in 1 of the 2 tire treads that are packed down by cars... or on the sidewalk. The side of the row is piled high (at least here) with huge mounds of snow.
I saw these two guys biking the other night, however, and was so jealous. They looked so pro! Not stylish, but definitely pro. Most of the cute winter biking I've seen online is where it snows... but it pretty much melts when it hits the ground or else it's just a yucky slush that a bike can plow through. I dunno... in Edmonton the roads are thickly coated. And I see people riding about, but it's with huge heavy mountain bikes and tons of fleece layers.
Nobody is riding an adorable tandem with a mini top hat on top of a balaclava like the illustration:) Love the concept, though!
December 8, 2008
This is what a residential street looks like after snow in Edmonton. I'll take more pictures later of how the streets turn all disgusting, sludgy, and brown after cars have been all over it.
Even the dog park is covered in white veil. Sigh, opportunities to be chic are become sparse.
It's very slippery. The previous snowfall has melted and become thin ice, and new snow sits on top. A very cumbersome combination. Even when I'm just walking it's hard to get any traction unless I'm actually wearing 'winter' boots. Like, the kind I wear while tobogganing!
My heeled boots are still fine, I just don't move nearly as fast.
One last gripe is sunlight. The sun sets very early now and even during the day it is often overcast. So gloomy. During Christmas holidays this isn't a big deal because of all the festivities, but come January/Feb we all tire of it and start to really feel restless.
This blog will likely morph into a blog about ecomobility in general and less exclusively about cycling while looking cute. At least in the sketchy winter months where every day is unpredictable. In a city like Edmonton there comes a time when biking and public transit make a beautiful union. I'll be taking the 7 today. My favourite bus that picks me up right outside my house and plops me down smack dab in the middle of downtown. The weather is -10 for the daily high. -17 low.
Bus chic is something that is often overlooked. Many people only take the bus here in Edmonton if they have no other choice, as a last resort. As a result you get a lot of sketchy and sad looking people on the bus, which doesn't encourage fashionable people to take it in the first place. Moving around the city in an environmentally responsible way doesn't have to look sad. It can looks smart and fabulous. Bus or bike.