Last year’s Valley Granfondo, held on a distinctly non-freezing July day. (Langley Advance files)

Painful Truth: Season of ice, season of puddles

Waiting for good cycling weather is a long process in a cold winter.

I’ve been getting back on the bike lately.

Which, given the time of year, means that I’m climbing aboard an exercise bike in my condo complex’s gym.

Every weekend starting around the end of January, I start glancing longingly outside and hoping that it will be an unseasonably early spring.

This past Sunday, I was awakened by the sound of ice crunching under car tires outside my windows.

So I spend my time “cycling” indoors. It has its advantages. I can listen to music or podcasts. I don’t have to oil my bike’s chain or adjust the tire pressure.

But after an autumn in which I did not ride nearly enough, and a winter in which I did not get out on my bike at all, I’m eager for the seasons to change.

For a cyclist on the Coast, there are probably four seasons, though not the ones everyone else is used to.

First comes the Season of Ice and Salt. Roads are coated with grit and brine where they aren’t slick with black ice. This will play merry hell with your bike’s delicate bits, if you are brave enough to head out. (I am generally not.)

Next we get the Season of Puddles. It’s going to rain. If it isn’t raining, it will rain soon, or it has just finished. You will either fit fenders to your bike, or you will spray water everywhere – including onto your own back as far up as the nape of your neck.

Finally, there’s the Golden Season, the time when the days grow longer and longer, and rainshowers become rarer. Rides after work can stretch out, instead of turning into panicked sprints to get back home before dark. Weekend rides can start early amid warm winds. This season is all too brief.

Then there’s the Season of Retreat, in which the sun slowly vanishes, the temperatures drop off, and we get our second round of rain.

Each ride in this season is snatched from approaching winter.

Maybe I’ll manage to get out of the house for my first “real” ride of the year this month, or maybe it’ll be another couple weeks of staring at the wall and pedalling to nowhere, before the Season of Puddles begins.

Just Posted

Small trailer clips cop while he’s watching for distracted drivers

A member of the Integrated Road Safety Unit was slightly injured Monday afternoon in Langley City.

Terri Clark in Langley to celebrate upcoming duet with Dallas Smith

These two country music celebrities were sharing a drink at Cactus Club today.

Pro Langley boxers heads to Poland for world championships

Langley Boxing Club’s own Sarah Pucek, now in the professional ring, prepares to dethrone champ.

Langley arena invites people in for a little jab

Stop by the Langley Events Centre Thursday to donate blood.

Last skate at Aldergrove Arena

Aldergrove residents get their final skate around the 45 year old rink

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

Body of missing Australian woman found in Whistler lake

RCMP say they do not suspect foul play in Allison Raspa’s death

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Speculation tax causing concern at Cultus Lake, Harrison Hot Springs

Recreational property owners face hefty bill for 2019 for what some call a ‘wealth’ tax

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Wasn’t that a St. Patrick’s party in Aldergrove!

A full house enjoyed the Irish Ceilidh style St. Patrick’s Day party at the historic Coghlan Hall

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Most Read