Friday, February 22, 2008

Ride to work

Spring is definitely in the air. After acclimatizing ourselves to accepting the cold grip of winter during the past few months there is a sign of better things to come when that bright orb high in the sky decides to make an appearance. Today I rode my scoot to work. The light was blinding. I was heading eastbound on Kingsway into Burnaby when the low angle of the rising sun made it extremely difficult to see. The sun was right on the horizon. I had to squint and be very cautious of my placement between all the vehicles around me. I was mere inches (or is that centimeters) from the opposing traffic, as there is abundantly more traffic rolling into town, than in my direction which is against the flow of traffic. Also you have to be more aware of the cars around you, and lane placement. I wanted to move over to the outside lane to increase the safety margin from the westbound flow but it was impossible as I was coming up to my left turn at Edmunds. I just slowed it down a bit and hoped for the best.

When I left home the temp was about 2-3 c and the roads were dry and frost-free. By the time I got to Burnaby / New Westminster border all the parked cars had ice packed windshields. I knew to be more careful, take the corners at a lesser angle and accelerate more evenly and slowly. By the time I arrived at work it was showing 6c, but it felt colder than that, probably the wind chill factor, even though I had layers of fleece, riding jacket and riding pants. So much preparation goes into riding, sometimes it just feels easier to hop into a car for the commute, but then you would miss the joys of riding.

Well, I made it to work:

Reflection from my office window:

One thing about riding a scooter, you have to take into consideration many factors on your trip into work. Construction zones, road repairs, snow, sleet, ice rain . . . many factors have to be analyzed before you can make your decision to ride or not and also which route to take under a multitude of conditions. Ice, is a no brainer. You don’t ride while there is a chance that ice (black ice they call it) is on the road which means basically, you don’t ride until the temps are at least 3c (preferable higher) . Road repairs influence the route you take. Sometimes they sneak in a road repair without you knowing and you come upon it by chance. Then you have to make a mental note to take a different direction next time. For others there may only be one route; they may not be able to take an alternate. So I am lucky.

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