Your coldest ride. Tell us about it. - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-14-2007, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Your coldest ride. Tell us about it.

OK, I live in Florida now, but I have memories of Ontario's winters, and those memories endure. Here is one of them.

January 4 1964 was a cold day. The high temperature in Toronto was forecast to be 4 Fahrenheit. I wanted to visit a lady in St. Catharines, some 88 miles around the lake. I donned my unsuitable winter garb, mounted my trusty 1963 Honda C77 Dream with its 305 cc engine, and set out for the Garden City.

Highway 401, the two-lanes-each-way superhighway across the north edge of Toronto, was "centre-bare", meaning that drivers had reduced the extent of the snow covering such that two tire-tracks of pavement showed between the snow that covered the rest of the tarmac.

I hunched down to reduce the damage the wind was doing, leaned to the right to counter the effect of the north wind, and made my way to Highway 27, then followed that four-lane freeway to the 24-year-old Queen Elizabeth Highway, the mighty turnpike that circled the west end of Lake Ontario, linking Fort Erie and Toronto.

The cold was almost unbearable, but visions of blonde curls and crimson lips lent a tinge of warmth and enabled me to endure the combination of crosswinds and the wind of my speedy passage as I passed the small towns Mississauga, Oakville, and Appleby, and approached the smoky metropolis Hamilton, ironmonger to the nation, harbinger of pollution and harbour of unions ... sorry, Carl Sandburg.

The temperature fell even lower, perhaps to zero Fahrenheit, as I rode up the slope of the new Burlington Skyway. Then, descending the other side, I sped up and felt increased chill from the blast of the 80-MPH gale in my face. Going due south, I was momentarily freed from the sidethrust of the freezing north wind, but beyond the first traffic circle I headed east toward my goal, and felt the north wind blowing me to the right. As I leaned more and more to the left to counter the wind, I saw that the bare areas of pavement were narrowing. When finally they ended, I was riding on snow that would not support the angle I had to maintain against the wind from my left.

Having no choice now, I eased off the south side of the highway and paused on the shoulder. An Ontario Provincial Police officer graciously stopped when he saw me there, and offered to let me warm up in his cruiser. I was tempted, but I knew how hard it would be to exit the car, so I declined his offer, and slowly rode along the snowy shoulder of the highway to a place where I could turn around and head back to Toronto, my quest never fulfilled.

My crawl along the shoulder was a bit of relief, because the wind of my passage was diminished. The winter gale remained though, and when I headed west toward the skyway its intensity was horrible. But worse was to come: the northward trip over the Skyway, into the teeth of that storm, was an unending shower of sleet, at a closing speed exceeding 100 MPH. It was like shaving with a Skilsaw.

Somehow I endured the crossing, after which the shearing crosswind was comparatively mild, as I headed east to Toronto.

An uncompleted quest, to the object of one's affection, is a chilly voyage at the best of times. Tired, beaten by winds and horrible cold, I struggled on, and eventually reached home about four hours after leaving. The bike was equipped with a sidestand, but I was determined to put it on the centerstand to prevent the wind from blowing it over. It took about ten minutes, but I finally left the bike safe on the centerstand.

My thoughtful parent had built a fire in the fireplace, so warmth was quickly restored, and my shakes and shivers subsided in a few minutes.

And how much did the trip matter to anyone? As it turned out, I never saw the lady again.

What remains is a profound respect for the ferocity of winter in Canada, and humble admiration for the man who conquered winter by riding from Vancouver British Columbia to St. John's Newfoundland in January 2007.

Well done, Paul Mondor. I hope you have the company you want on all your rides. Look it up, folks, because he did it.

Keith
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-14-2007, 10:12 AM
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Late Fall of 05. Departed Calgary, enroute to Jasper/Edmonton. When we left cowtown it was a balmy +24. By the time we were half way to Jasper, the weather closed in and the temp started to drop dramatically. When we hit Jasper, there were light snowflakes in the air and the temp was around +3 if I recall.
Pressing on, by the time we hit Hinton, AB it was -4, add the windchill into that and it was dang cooooold.
We did hit Edmonton that night, and the next night was even colder. Heading to Saskatoon, we registered -10 whilst standing still, cruising at 110kph added to our discomfort!
Thank heavens for heated vests, heated grips and those lil hand/foot warmer packets.
I have often ridden in temps as cold before and since, but never for such an extended period.
Good riding gear makes all the diff. I will be adding heated gloves to my arsenal this year, the grips are fine for "cooler" temps, but dont really cut it when its downright frosty.

Cheers!

K5Wee in Kanada (285,500 KM and still going strong)
IF YOU WON'T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS.....FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-19-2007, 12:00 AM
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Still Shakin after all these years!

The 3rd week of Sept is always the Kootenay's getaway. Trouble was back a fews when it snowed in the 2nd week. Couldn't rearrange the time off and so off we went. Left Edmonton for Radium Hot Springs BC (750km) at 0700hrs...-8 degrees celsius (about 20 F). Roads were clear and dry but snow all over the land. We calculate wind-chill (factors of speed/wind/temp) to have been about -20 C!! Hot springs at day's end never felt better. PTL for top quality textile apparel. Nice to know one's limits...and that was it!
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-19-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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cold ride but a free room

In 1981 friends drove me to Calgary from Elkford BC in the early spring to pick up my brand new Yamaha RD350LC from Walt Healey. Young and no experience but keen as hell with my biggest parka put on backwards so the wind wouldn't blow through the zipper I was determined to ride it all the way home through blowing snow on the basically bare road. As we got closer to the mountains the pavement gave way to just snow and I surrenderd the bike to a friendly pickup truck going my way. It was when I got home I realized I had left my brand new Bell full face in the small town gas station where we had loaded the bike. So I drove my car back out but the station was closed so I opted to sleep in the car till morning. Around 1or 2 in the morning the RCMP knocked on my windows and informed me they had a bench warrant for me because I had ignored an out of province speeding ticket a year or so ago. So I got a car ride and to spend the night at thier place. The very next morning I was in the dock with half the local Indian Reserve and had to sign a promise to pay and was released to hitchhike back to the gas station and my old 65 Buick.Sigh.Next Story RZ500 over the Salmo-Creston summit, ice in the gauges, snow in the wheels three get offs going up and one going down.
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