Posted by: Silver | February 22, 2011

The Advantages of Winter Cycling

1) When your trike falls apart, you have a nice soft snow bank to crash into…

Ranger may be a folding trike, but trust me: his front wheel should NOT be pointing that way...

Of course, for the sake of my Mum, if no-one else, I have to start the rest of this entry with the obligatory “I’m fine”. And I am. Given that – to put it bluntly – my wheel fell off, while I happened to be doing over 30 km/h down a narrow and twisty section of the main highway used by the west coast’s logging trucks, I am quite miraculously fine. Not even a bruise. Whether this says more about my luck or my improving trike-handling skills I’m not sure, but it’s certainly not like I’ve had lots of practice keeping control of Ranger when I’ve just lost half his steering and braking capacity…

To refer you back to my previous observation: everything on the trike wants to be free. In this case, however, I firmly believe the main culprit was the also-previously-mentioned rumble strips. You see, one of the disadvantages of winter cycling is that the snow tends to get cleared onto the shoulders of the roads, so, whereas during the summer, there is just enough room for me next to the rumble strips, in winter, there just isn’t. So my choice was either juddering along on top of the rumble strips, or joining the aforementioned narrow and twisty carriageway with the aforementioned logging trucks. The outcome of my choice was the aforementioned broken steering joint.

Fortunately, the only problem was that the screw had shaken itself out, so once I’d taken a little stroll back up the highway to find it, and screwed it back in again, I was good to go. I’ve decided I don’t much like Highway 4 though…

Anyway, the purpose of my journey today was to visit Macmillan Provincial Park, better known as Cathedral Grove: ‘one of the most accessible stands of old growth forest on Vancouver Island’. So the rest of the photos are hopefully a little more pleasing to the eye…

Ranger, reassembled, feeling slightly dwarfed by the conifers

A snowy path through the trees

The obligatory picture of 'The Big Tree': the 800-year-old grande dame of the forest. If you look closely, you can see my backpack at the bottom to give you some idea of the scale

Fortunately, during the time I was in the park, the promised sunshine performed as hoped. (And yes, you may indeed infer from this comment that, as soon as I started cycling home again, it started to snow...)



  1. Thanks for putting the ‘I’m fine’ bit early on – phew!
    Anyway, it didn’t stop you taking pics of the usual brilliance.
    The most miraculous bit is actually finding the screw back in the highway – usually if I drop a vital screw in the kitchen or somewhere it seems to vanish for ever.
    Not joking – would it be worthwhile having a little bag of such screws in your pocket somewhere, just in case you’re not so lucky another time (which we hope doesn’t occur of course)? As always, take care!
    Love, John.

  2. Yes, I was pretty amazed when I managed to find the screw too! And yes, the phrase ‘must investigate getting some spare screws’ was going through my mind as I was looking…
    Glad you enjoyed the photos: it was just as well my destination was so beautiful after the trouble the journey caused me! (The ride back wasn’t much more pleasant either!)

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