Touring Essentials blog: Winter Becomes Spring

Touring Essentials blog: Winter Becomes Spring Featured

Written by  R. Bruce Thomas on Friday, 11 March 2016 12:28

I started butchering some Sinatra the other day.

If you've ever heard me sing you'll know it was a good thing I was outside in the driveway, alone.

"And now, the end of winter is near,

And so I face the final snow shoveling


Regrets, I've had a few.

But then again, too many times to mention..."

I think this could be my spring theme song.

It seems that every winter I start with the best of intentions. I'm going to keep the driveway clear all winter so life will be easier in the spring. But at some point, I fall off the shovel wagon and I end up with four glacier-thick tire tracks on the driveway when I want to get out and ride.

This year was no different.

It's just that, with the mild winter we've had (people were out on bikes in December, January, and February here in Edmonton) and the fact we just got back from a riding vacation, I'm really anxious to get the bike out. The main roads are bare and mostly dry. The piles of sand and gravel still seem to be everywhere, but that is the same every year. If I waited for the sand and gravel to disappear I wouldn't be riding until June!

My biggest problem is that my driveway is on the north side of my garage. It's the last place to get any sun. And then, my neighbor's garage runs parallel to the back lane and creates another sun-free zone that I need to navigate or clear a path through in order to get to the main roads. So I'm chipping away ice with an iron bar and burrowing with a shovel to scoop it all away. It's ultimately more work than I have the energy for right now.

Anyhow, it's still early in March. The long-range weather seems to indicate I'll have the bike out very soon. As for my shoveling, like the Edmonton Oilers hoping for a playoff berth, I'm in next year country.

Next year, I promise, I'll keep the driveway clear all winter.

Shovel responsibly and enjoy your first ride of the year.

(Update: I did get out for my first ride of the year on Thursday, March 10!)

- R. Bruce Thomas

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Last modified on Friday, 11 March 2016 15:40
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