Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Geared Up For Winter

I love puns. :)

Since I moved to PEI I've turned into one of those nutters who bikes all year round. It's certainly not the most enjoyable thing to do for the 5 or so months that the weather could be considered 'winter' here. However the benefits outweigh the really bad days I think.

Last year I put about 1500km on my car, and that includes a trip to Fredericton. I think my total number of tanks of gas I bought was around 6. I don't have to buy a parking pass at the university where I work. I save on vehicular wear and tear. I save on insurance. I get an extra bit of exercise per day that I wouldn't normally get. I get to be outdoors, see some wildlife (including a nice grey fox bounding across the Confederation Trail in front of me yesterday), and take some pictures.

Downsides include wear on the bikes (last year I spent $700 in repairs on my good mountain bike), having to bike in some pretty abysmal weather, and the danger of getting hit by the terrible Charlottetown drivers (which I've managed to avoid thus far). This year I'm going to try to ride all winter on my much cheaper hybrid, so even if it is a write off in the spring, it'll be cheaper to replace. The problem of course is all the salt that gets laid down, much of it unnecessary in my opinion (especially on the Confederation Trail)

So far January has been quite warm, only the last couple days dipping below -10 C, and there hasn't been a major snow (since I got back from my big trip anyway). I'm sure that will be coming soon enough.

Only a three or four more months until it's somewhat spring like!

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Anonymous moe said...

since i can not drive, i really should bike more often.
which means i need to get a better bike! my current one is far too heavy for me & seems to be built to be ridden while in a standing position instead of sitting.
something with gears would probably be useful, as well...

January 12, 2010 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Linnea said...

how do you gear-up your bike for winter? It is advisable to have winter tires?

I would bike to school but it would take me 1 hour or so, and I can't do that in the winter. I haven't biked since the beginning of December and it makes me sad.

- Linnea (Moe's friend!)

January 12, 2010 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Martin Cathrae said...

Linnea, really the only thing I did was put fenders on. I'm hoping I can get by without winter tires, as they cost just about as much as the whole bike! The fenders are really helping keep the slush and salty guck out of the gears. Though as you can see in the picture, there's still a lot of grime. I'm told that washing the bike often in the winter helps a lot. I will try to do that soon!

An hour is definitely too long to be thinking about biking in these cold temperatures, I don't blame you!

January 12, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

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