Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Coldest Week of the Year (So Far.)

The Coldest Week of the Year (So Far.)
The week started off really cold. As far as records go this week of January is always the coldest week of the year on average. This is how my morning ride started. I dressed for it and used goggles instead of my glasses and I was warm. Half way to work I switched from summer gloves to mitts. The return trip was a "warm" -24 when I rode home. I got a call from a friend who told me my picture of my Quest was used on the national Weather Network that afternoon. That was the picture I used in last weeks blog. So I sat down and watched weather for an hour because they always repeat for a couple of hours and got to see my Quest on TV. The weather reporter thought it was a good picture to show the cold weather we have been having, It shows a snow drift in the background, and the blowing snow. My caption used was "Lots of room at the bike rack." She thought that was funny.
Tuesday's Temperature was better :)
  The rest of the week stayed cold until Thursday when it started to warm up and snow. The forecast was for 5 to 10 cm. of snow so I took the truck Thursday. Even if had not snowed I would not have rode as the icy roads were getting very rough. The best way to describe the roads would be to compare it to cobblestones on a road that had every 5th one missing. I hope with the warmer weather they will get the roads cleaner so I can ride again next week.
Our bad roads just before the snow came again.

Leaving for work in the Morning

The picture on the left shows how traffic has worn the ice down to the pavement except in the curb lane where I have to ride. Very rough!!!The ice berms that are left are very hard and make for a difficult ride when you have three wheels. I took the picture from inside my work van.


As seen on the Weather Network

 I got an email from Sinner Bikes that my Tour Cap has been shipped. With this cold weather I could really use it.This winter will be a good test for it. I can't hardly wait until it gets here.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

For My Readers in the Netherlands

For my readers in the Netherlands:
      It seems like most of the blogs I read are written in the Netherlands. Very good blogs. This week most of them wrote about their winter. Here in my part of Canada it seems that is all I can write about. Because our winter lasts longer and gets colder we have learned to adapt. As Matthijs Leegwater wrote in one of his blogs as far as I could translate, the cold could freeze pipes and make much work. In our part of Canada our pipes are well protected from freezing. Of course we spend more money on heating our homes and buildings. So this week I want to talk about how we prepare for winter driving. When it starts to freeze in early October we prepare the wife's car for winter. The tires get changed to winter tires. These tires are a special rubber and tread that grip the ice and snow better. They stop the car in a much shorter distance.

Winter tire for wife.
Snow Brush
Battery jumper cables
We also put a shovel and a snow brush in her car. Now please comment if I'm wrong but I don't think snow brushes are that common in the Netherlands. Here every car has at least one in the winter. One end is used to brush the snow off the car and the other end has a plastic scraper on it. On most mornings you would use the scraper to scrape the frost or ice off your glass. Very important if the car is not in a garage. We also carry a set of battery jumper cables in case of a dead battery in the cold winter weather. Batteries loose much of their strength in the cold so sometimes they can be good to have. 
Lots of room at the bike rack today.
Of course I have all this in my old truck. Now that I have the Quest, my old truck does not get used very often. My old truck gets parked outside all the time. If I need to use it I plug it in. All our cars and trucks have an electric heater to heat the motor's coolant up. It makes for better starting when it's cold out. The Quest and the wife's car stay warm in the garage.  And the Quest needs no snow brush or battery jumper cables.  The only problem I have so far with winter riding is the high snow banks. The snow banks are so high, cars have a hard time to see the Quest. I have to be very careful entering a street. I am having fun riding the Quest, but Monday's forecast is for -35C low temperatures so that might be a test for me as well as the Quest.  Maybe I need a Tour Cap...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blizzard = Bad Weather for Riding My Quest Velomobiel!

Snowed in Bike path.
The week started out good and went down hill from there. I had got a new video camera for a Christmas gift and had planned to shoot some video this week on the way home from work.
          Monday was busy at work and I had to work late. It was too dark to shoot video.
         Tuesday morning brought fresh snow and lots of wind. The weather forecast was 2 to 4 cm. more snow and a strong wind. I took my old truck instead of the Quest.
          Wednesday was clear skies and windy. I didn't get far though the snow drifts and had to turn back.
           Thursday was really mild and windy, but no snow clearing yet! I stopped on the way home with my truck and took a picture of the bike path.
There was only one bike track and he was pushing it.
Friday's forcast.
       And Friday's commute I canceled as the forecast  was for our first Blizzard of the year. In the city the conditions were still passable and it wasn't until the evening that the wind really picked up and the roads started to drift over. Friday was a good night to stay in and catch up on my blog reading.
This Saturday morning the wind calmed down and we woke up to 20 cm of fresh snow that was drifted all over my driveway and street. As far as Blizzards go this one was short and not that much snow. Out came my snow blower and snow shovels. One drift was too high for my big snow blower so I had brake it down with a shovel first. After a bit of work I could get my truck out if I had to. (no work, it's Saturday)  But if the roads ever get snowed over I have alternate transportation. There will be some cold clear weather after this blizzard next week. By Tuesday they should have the bike paths cleared I hope and I can get out with the Quest. I did take the Quest out of the shop just to take a picture or two in the driveway.

My alternate transportation.
Picture of drift in driveway after Blizzard.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This week has gone to the dogs!

The Groomer I built hooked up and ready to test.
This week has gone to the dogs! Yes I was still on holidays this week but it seemed it was a holiday for the dogs not me. Not much time riding this week. More time on the dog sled. I took the dogs out on Monday to make them tired so they would not bother me on New Years eve for a walk. We ran them up the La Salle river and back on a -25C temperature and it worked. They were tired and left me alone News Years Eve. The downside to this was I had a hard time to stay up late and celebrate the New Year!
The groomer in action.
           I got to test out the groomer I built for the dog club. We hooked it up to an old snowmobile and away it went. It cuts the high spots on the trail, fills in the low spots and packs it down flat. Perfect! I built it out of scrap metal and some  recycled wood. I based the design off of a picture of one we found on the internet. I already have some ideals on how to improve it but those modifications will take place next summer. The wood snow stop works great but if I replace it with metal it will last longer. After the snow sets up overnight it is harder enough to ride my Quest!
        I also got out one day on the river trail in downtown Winnipeg with a couple of our dog club members. We shot some video and the other Kevin edited his and my video into one. We are team Husky in the video titles. It was interesting to see how my dog sled mount shakes a lot on the bumpy ice and the helmet mount on the other Kevin was very  smooth  over the same ice. 
I also shot some video on the velomobile that I will edit for next weeks Blog. Until then... Happy New Year.