Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The non-winter

As I type this, it is snowing outside. Normally, I would be pleased about this but not this time. The snow we've been getting all this week has quickly deteriorated into a dreary, wet cold slush and that on top of the hard and unyielding ice we've already got makes for the very worst kind of winter...the non-winter - and, of all places, here in Ottawa. I am actually one of those few Canadians that really enjoys winter. I like it when it snows because that means I can get out and do some cross country skiing. The past two winters were great for x-c skiing. This winter I have only managed to get out twice and both times before Christmas. Since that time, the conditions just haven't been all that great but I had always held out hope things would improve and we could finally get to enjoy our God-given rights to strap two sticks onto our feet and slide along trails - willingly too, I might add.


This winter has been more of a mockery of our very Canadian institution. I have only been out x-c skiing a whole two times this so-called non-winter while my husband, Adam, has only been out a few more times than I have so it hasn't been much better for him. Now, late February and with rain in the forecast, I doubt either of us will get to hit the trails this season.


So now and in the interests of facilitating my distraction from thinking about this season, my thoughts turn to the upcoming cycling season. I was just poring through our trike diaries from our website and reliving those wonderful weeks late last summer and well into autumn when I started thinking more and more about our triking plans for this year. There aren't many big trips in the offing but that doesn't mean there aren't any.One of the trips Adam and I did last year was a really great 56 kilometre run from our house, to a friend's place and out to Rockcliffe airport just east of the city itself. I recall with great fondness how gloriously sunny and comfortably warm the day had been; nothing like the weeks and weeks of unrelenting rain we had had the whole summer. I had only had my trike for a short while and really REALLY wanted to take advantage of the nice weather Ottawa was finally getting. That was then.This is now and with the (very) late winter snow falling outside coupled with my doubts that any of the x-c ski season can be salvaged, is it any wonder I'm thinking about catriking?I am optimistic that this year will be a good one for a few reasons. Firstly, I am sufficiently familiar with my catrike that I know what it can and cannot do. Secondly, I am sufficiently familiar with what I, myself, can do though I recognize that my own health issues will change over time (I have MS). Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we have had a rather dry and sunny mid-late winter that I'm hoping this will continue into this spring and summer (hey, I can dream too, ya know).The spring and summer of both 2008 and 2009 were characterized by cool, wet months where even trying to go out for a stroll or quick zip around the neighbourhood was fraught with the risk of coming home sopping wet. That actually happened to Adam last year when he went out under sunny skies for a quick 12 kilometre bike trip only to have to rush home a few minutes into it because of a sudden rain/hailstorm that popped up out of nowhere. Hopefully, we won't face anything like that this year.So, my hopes for this blog is to record some of the great trips we will be taking this year. I realize this is neither new nor likely to be all that exciting for many people (shrug) but if you don't find it interesting, you don't have to read it.

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