By Pico Triano
Photos: Pico Triano
For some of our readers that moment has already arrived. Since we are read internationally, some of our readers never experience this moment. What I'm talking about is the moment that the weather has finally cleared enough to pull out your bike and put your feet to pedals for the first time in many months. That moment hasn't yet arrived as I write this. Our road is still under more than a metre of snow and ice. The temperature rose above freezing yesterday and will again today. I know it's coming and will it ever be welcome.
In New Brunswick where I live, it has been a record breaking winter. We didn't just beat the old record for accumulation on the ground. We destroyed it. The old record was 109 cm and at one point this winter we had 147 cm on the ground. It got cold and stayed cold and let's not even talk about the wind. Even with a fat bike there are places where I could have sunk all the way to my saddle in the snow. Part of me is glad there wasn't the option to ride through this winter.
As a Canadian cyclist, spring is always special for me. That first day I grab my bike and ride any direction. I hop my bike over potholes, curbs and sometimes just for the feeling of it. Bursts of speed mixed with lazy weaving are also things I like to do on that first ride. Might even pop wheelies. The bike and my old bones feel frisky. Even when I rode through the winter there is always that day when it really feels like spring. I don't feel the struggle with the elements. I'm just riding free and having fun.
Here's a few quick tips to make sure your ride is ready for that moment.
- Service your brakes. It's great to be able to go but you have to be able to stop.
- Make sure your drive train is properly adjusted and lubricated. If, heaven forbid, your ride is stored where the elements can get at it, nothing strips off oil and grease like snow, unless of course it's snow mixed with salt.
- Make sure everything else on your bike is tight and properly adjusted.
- Check your tires and tubes. Don't just make sure there is enough air in them. Rubber can deteriorate. I've had an old weathered tire split along the bead. Not a lot of fun. A patch kit and basic tools won't save you from walking with that type of tire failure.