Saturday, 21 January 2017
Winter is done.... or is it?
To start things off, understand that I insure my scooter year round. On the west coast, we pride ourselves in our year round mild weather and I do ride my scooter locally a couple of days each week, regardless of the rain or fog. We don't let mere rain stop us from going outside and doing stuff!
Then, about six weeks ago, the temperatures dropped and the snow came. And stayed. And my scooter has been parked. And parked.
It has been an icy, snow covered walk to school in the morning, especially since Christmas Break ended. Although I haven't had a big spill walking this year, I have had some exciting moments as I trudged though the snow and then navigated the thick ice on the sidewalk where homeowners had neglected to shovel.
Then, wonder of wonders, the rains came! Hallelujah!
That was a couple of days ago.
Thursday, after school, I hurried home after reffing a volleyball game and suited up, hoping that the BMW scooter would start after six weeks of inactivity. I was not to be disappointed - it started with ease. I probably should get some sort of battery trickle charger but, damn, it started nicely!
I went for a 30 minute ride, taking the back roads to Pitt Meadows and then turning around and riding in the stop and go traffic of rush hour. The scooter performed very well and it was an exhilarating feeling to be on it after such a long absence. Yes, I know it was only six weeks, but it seemed like an awfully long six weeks!
Friday morning, I thought it would be great to ride to school on my scooter - I often ride on Friday because it is my 'lazy day' of the work week. I made sure I had my high visibility jacket on and, after warming up the engine, headed out of the underground.
Luckily, I had lots of time so I proceeded rather slowly across the parking lot in front of the condo building. When I stopped at the end of the parking lot to turn onto the street, my feet had a difficult time finding the road. I suddenly realized that the parking lot was a giant sheet of black ice! Maybe the frosty roofs of nearby buildings should have clued me in?
I continued on, figuring that the ice sheet was constrained to the parking lot. However, once I got to the stop sign at the intersection of two main roads, I realized that the main roads were icy too!
I was now half way to school - the point of no return - so I pressed on. The main road was mostly good but I was slow and cautious. The tension of riding slow but safe was giving my abs quite the workout.
When I turned into the subdivision where my school is, I again could see the sparkle and shine of black ice. I slowly made my way until I turned into my school parking lot, another giant sheet of black ice. I carefully parked, legs hanging off of either side in case I slipped, got of the bike, and headed inside.
After a full day at school, after the sun had warmed the roads, and it was time to leave, I got on my scooter and headed home.
Next time, I think I'll check the temperature (like I usually do - not sure what came over me in the morning) instead of riding out into the ice.