Winter Biking

D & J Snowy PathThe snow has finally arrived in Ontario, and not before time. 3000 people had to be laid off in the major ski resorts in the Blue Mountains because of the unseasonably warm weather in early January.

The snow is here now though, and it looks like it is here to stay. In the interests of not messing up our ‘good’ mountain bikes, Rob and I bought a pair of ‘beater’ bikes to ride in the snow and slush (the salt from the roads plays havoc with the parts on mountain bikes). So Saturday morning was their inaugural ride and the weather obliged with a big dump of snow the night before.

We went out with Debs and Carl, and cycled up to and across the trails on the escarpment at Waterdown. If you had told me three years ago I would be mountain biking in the snow in mid-winter, I would have laughed in your face, but I am rapidly becoming a fan.

As I was huffing and puffing up the first hill and wondering whether, if I could see through the condensation on my cycling glasses, it would make any difference to my performance, I made a mental list of all the reasons why mountain biking in the snow is better than doing it in the summer:

  • The trails seems less scary because you can’t see all the rocks underneath, so you just ride over them
  • When you fall, you just go ‘plouff!’ into the fluffy snow instead of whacking yourself against the hard dirt.
  • You don’t get overheated because, well, it’s minus ten
  • It’s a less serious ride all round because no-one has started their racing season yet and we’re all just out having fun
  • There are no bugs, so you’re not wiping deet from your eyes as you sweat up each climb
  • At the end you get to drink hot chocolate and eat big bowls of warm stodgy food and not feel remotely guilty about it

Can’t wait for next Saturday.

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