Honestly, I’ll take -3C and snowing to +3C and raining any day (well, any day that I have access to a bike with a studded tire). Snow doesn’t soak in and chill you to the bone, you can just brush it off you, and as long as you’re dry, staying warm is a cinch.
As the snow started to accumulate last night, I put my new studded tire (Schwalbe Marathon Winter, supposed to be the champagne of studded tires) on the Globe (which I’ve started calling the Glow-Bee, for lack of a more creative name). The tires need to be run out on hard pavement (good, good, goooood, good vibrations) for the first 40km or so, to make sure the studs are permanently affixed, and, as expected, most of the snow that fell on the roads and paths melted away quickly, but I sure was happy to have the studs for the half mile journey across the High Level’s cold bridge deck.
There’s something about how the snowy crosswind bit at my cheeks, the familiar tingling made strange by it’s absence since spring, that was just so pleasant and refreshing. I always compare the sensation of winter cycling to downhill skiing. You’re going fast, snow’s flying in your face, there’s a cold wind but you’re warm cause you’re exercising, the snow’s creaking, and there’s an underlying feeling of being almost out of control. And it’s a total blast.
Interested in learning more about winter cycling? There are some classes coming up: ECOS is presenting an introduction to winter cycling seminar Nov 5th at noon at the U of A, and EBC is holding a winter cycling discussion on November 12th at 7pm, or you can just walk into either of those two places during drop-in hours and start up a conversation with the mechanics about winter cycling; they have lots of first hand experience to share.