One of the aspects of commuting by bike in Vancouver in the winter where insult is added to injury is the fact that grit, wetness, leaves, etc. all seem to accumulate in the bike lanes on big streets.
Take 16th, for example, as I’m heading to UBC. Last week we had some days that were somewhat dry, but followed on wetter days. The road was either dry or just wet as passing cars were drying it off.
Trees are obviously dropping lots of leaves onto roads (though less so on the stretch through Pacific Spirit Park) and the amount of rain seems to wash a fair bit of gravel and grit onto the road.
All this grit seems to accumulate in the bike lane. My shoe covers and the bottom of the forward-diagonal tube on the bike look like they’ve been gently sandblasted by the time I arrive on campus.
The fix for all of this? Obvious! More people riding => more grit gets thrown up and out of the cycle lane.
It is toward the middle of October and the rain has arrived in Vancouver. Of course, a blog must also talk about the weather as blogging mimicks the conversations we might have in our community (otherwise).
So far, it is a mere drizzle. Not really anything to deter anyone seriously from riding. But it portends what is to come in the coming months, namely the nearly incessant rain from November through March. And we’re not talking about drizzle for most of the time here. Not like the UK, for example, where (at least in my experience limited to 1 1/2 years of living and happily cycling in Cambridge) the air is generally moist, but hard rainfall seems fairly rare.
Rain is one of the reasons I have bought glasses for riding my bike (the other reasons are allergies and leaf blowers). On some days in the winter, riding downhill in Vancouver means that your face is blasted with rain drops. If the downhill is steep enough it actually fells like you’re being blasted.
But, as we all know and remind ourselves at this early point in the rainy season, there’s no bad weather, just bad gear.