This past week we finally saw (or, rather, FELT) something approaching genuine winter weather - at least the cold part of it. While it seems like everywhere else in Canada got snow, we only got the cold part as it dipped below -20°C (and with the wind felt like -30°C!)
There is a bit of a disconnect - especially with the kids - when it is bright and sunny out with no snow on the ground... but it's feeling like -30°C. Indeed as we were getting ready to go out to their violin lesson yesterday (when these pictures were taken) one was putting on running shoes and the other light hikers. I guaranteed them they'd probably rather have their winter boots on!
Riding in full winter kit... on summer bikes... with just the barest dusting of snow!? I'm not complaining, mind you. I could do with this all winter. Or at least until the end of next week - when all the kids activities wrap up and we don't have to go anywhere for two or three weeks!
It's been good to let The Girl ride in this weather. She's been wanting to ride through the winter for the last couple of years - since I let The Boy start riding his own bike in the snow - Anything he does she thinks she should do (even though he's two and a half years older...). It doesn't help that last year our neighbors across the alley (also a car free family) started letting THEIR daughter ride through the winter (and she's two years YOUNGER than The Girl!?).
I try to point out that I'm pretty sure she only rides to school, which is almost entirely along a multi-use trail that is always cleared of snow within 24 hours of snow falling. The Girl has greater sistances to go on less cleared streets.
This week has allowed The Girl to ride in the cold and understand that it's just HARDER to ride in this kind of cold - with all the extra clothes and grease in hub and bottom bracket turning into a thick sticky paste... it's just more work - let alone trying to ride through the snow (if/when it does start snowing). I did make her a deal though: She can keep riding until it snows, and once it does I'll put the studded tires on her townie (the ones we put on there the first year The Boy rode through the winter) and let her have a go at it... but if she feels it's too much work, I'm still willing to haul her on the back of the Yuba.
Speaking of winter bikes and hauling stuff...
image from Surly Bicycles
I saw that Surly has finally announced a Big Fat Dummy. I've been waiting for them to do that for FOUR YEARS - of course it won't be available until the spring... and so if I did actually get one, I wouldn't be able to use it until next winter (not going to ride that beast around in the city all summer!?) when both kids will probably be on their own fat tire bikes and I won't actually have to be hauling them... makes me wonder if I really even NEED one now... I guess I do still need to haul stuff in the winter (groceries, etc) - though I've made due just fine on the Yuba so far... If they'd made it anytime withing the last four years, I probably would have bought one without as second thought, but now it seems like getting a Big Fat Dummy would be a bit of an extravagant expense...