Sunday, 10 November 2013

Warm country envy

I rode my scooter yesterday, perhaps for the last time this year. The forecast indicates the temperature in Toronto won't get much above the freezing point from here into December. It was maybe eight degrees Celsius yesterday at the "warmest" part of the day on the last "warm day" for a while, okay weather for walking and working outside but cold enough to chill me after an hour of riding with the westerly winds.

When I see riders in countries who can use their scooters all or most of the year, I envy them. It's so much more economical, not to mention joyous, to be able to throw on a jacket and ride through even the coolest times of year. Perhaps if the season was longer here, municipal politicians would be forced to take scooters and motorcycles more seriously and come up with real solutions to their presence on city streets.

Oh, there will be the occasional hardy rider here, the one who'll wear leg warmers and layers of jackets and gloves and keep on riding until the snow turns the streets impassable. But the rest of us will soon be charging our batteries outside of our scooters, filling our tanks with gasoline stabilizer and greasing the bolts. I will reluctantly join that group this week. But I have made myself a promise: if there is a sudden spell of any weather that stretches a few degrees above zero and some bright winter sunlight, I will pop my battery back into the scooter and grab a bit of a ride, reveling in that rare moment. And if I can get somewhere warm during the worst of our winter I will seek out a place to rent a scooter. My Canadian-bred soul will feel I've cheated nature.

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