Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Of Snow & Men

Photo: Susheela Nirmalan-Nathan.

I stole this off the Spacing photoblog for your viewing pleasure so click on it to enjoy fully. It's the opposite of today in Toronto (where this was taken) where it's about -10C and snowing heavily. Actually it is really quite lovely; this winter is looking and feeling the way winter is supposed to feel in these parts. Back in the Fall, the long-range forecast was for the coldest winter in fifteen years and so it is.
Went skate-skiing up in the country on Sunday and the whole drive had huge gusts of blowing snow to the point where the road disappeared. And the skiing was good too, tho' damned difficult for a rusty X-country man like my rickety old self. I ended up on the long loop and got progressively slower as the silent km's went by. A fine thing, a groomed trail of hard snow through a quiet wood is, skating along unbothered by skiers' tracks nor traffic. What isn't fine is getting so slow that you come to a stop, exhausted. Skate skiing is a technique-heavy business.

The morning commute of 12.5 km was just a tad icy in the curb lane; that's what you get in multiple days of -10C and lower. Of course the other lanes were perfectly dry and clean on Bloor Street. Somehow, the Plow Boys couldn't quite scrape up the lane a cyclist/madman has to use around here and I don't mind telling you, even for a veteran of the snow, ice and slush, my 23 mm tires were slipping and sliding in the rushour traffic more than once. It was enough to make me keep my 30 mm arse seat-bound.
Moreover, it made me think of the Icycle Race to be held at Dufferin Grove park's ice rink this Saturday. I'm supposed to head up to my country hideaway for a few days of deep snow, hard liquor, and Ipod-speaker-driven dance parties by candlelight, but I've really been feeling the pull of the ice every day for the past week. I've never raced any ice race, and I so want to do it. My blood tickles and burps at the thought of tight turns on studded tires. !Que adventura!

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