I was as happy as a kid when I awoke to see this season’s first serious layer of freshly fallen snow. It meant I could officially launch my recently acquired winter bike – this handsome red model purchased from Re-Cycles on Bronson. For the last couple of weeks it’s been prepped and all set to go.
I was not disappointed – I love it. It’s a slower-as-she-goes ride (heavier bike, wider tires with studs on the front, snow & ice, etc) than on my summer bike, but great for getting around in our wintry climes.
Here’s a short route to get things going which I followed after walking my son to school. Somerset between Bronson and Preston is pretty tight even on a snowless day. This is my favourite way of getting around it.
at the eastern end of the Somerset O-train bridge there’s a little road that curls under and pops out near the old commercial area called City Centre. UPDATE – Dec 2014 : The O-train bike path has since opened and this season it’s being cleared of snow, offering an alternative to having to using the mini-underpass with trucks and cars. The orange line on the above map is the suggested O-train path detour.
Elm Street a couple of blocks down is a quiet street. That’s because it’s blocked off to cars half way to Preston. But not to bikes.
Preston has a cross walk signal, as does Booth when you get to it. Very nice.
A bit up Primrose you come face to face with Nanny Goat Hill (or cliff). The flight of stairs is very manageable if you don’t mind carrying your bike a bit.
At the top of the stairs there is a cleared path that goes the rest of the way up to where Primrose continues on.
Going this way allows for a good close look at Dominican University College, which was built in 1899 as a Dominican convent, and continues to function as a Monastery as well as a college. This is where the guys in brown robes walking along Somerset hang out.
UPDATE – January 2015: I am now riding a single speed bike with narrower tires on a 20+ year old steel frame. Changed bikes because in cold weather the pawls on the rear hub (little ratchets that allow you to freely pedal backwards) on my previous multi-speed bike would occasionally freeze and not allow me to pedal forward. Bought the wheel at MEC, the single speed sprocket and studded front tire at Tall Trees, and assembled the whole bike at Re-Cycles.