11 March 2016

Next Winter, Perhaps: A Sneeuwketting

It's hard to believe that a month and a half ago, we had one of the biggest snowstorms in the history of this city.  It's also difficult to believe that less than a month ago, on Valentine's Day, we had the coldest temperature we'd experienced in more than two decades.

Why do those things seem incredible now?  Well, for the past two days, we've had afternoon high temperatures around 25C (77F), which broke old records for the past two dates by several degrees.  Today is not quite as warm, but still balmy for this time of year with a daytime high of 20C (68F).  And, aside from the blizzard and the cold snap around Valentine's Day, we've had a very mild (if wet) winter.  I've actually managed to do some riding that doesn't have to do with commuting, and I haven't used my winter gear nearly as much as I normally do.

So, my latest discovery could hardly have come at a less opportune time, though we don't know what next winter will be like.  Perhaps this one will come in handy next winter:

Like so many practical bike-related innovations, this one was created by a Dutch cyclist.  Cesar von Rongen's "Sneeuwketting", or snow chain, is a simple rubber casing with spikes on it.  According to its webpage, it's simple to install over existing tires and its "pop of colour to make your dreary winter day a little brighter". 

It's sunny here.  And I'm about to leave work.  I'm going for a ride--without a snow chain.  Maybe next winter I can use it!

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