Most years, the first snowfall has signaled it’s time to put my bicycle away for the winter.
But last summer I bought my first electric bike, and I was having too much fun to put it away when we got an early snowfall on October 23. Besides, my sister in Halifax, who commutes by bicycle through the winter, encouraged me to keep going. Just watch for ice, she warned.
So although I’m an experienced cyclist, I’m a newbie when it comes to winter cycling. I hope that you can learn from my mistakes and falls.
Watch video on YouTube:
My e-bike is a Rad Power RadMini with four-inch-wide fat tires. The fat tires are good on snow, but their 20-inch diameter limits their ability to ride in snow deeper than a few inches.
I’ve been a cyclist since I was five years old, but four years ago the osteoarthritis in my knees made cycling much more challenging – especially dealing with the many hills in the South Okanagan.
But cycling – like swimming – is excellent exercise for those with osteoarthritis in the knees. You’re not carrying your full weight on your knees and it’s low impact. Cycling strengthens leg muscles which – in combination with other exercises and medication – makes the arthritis more manageable.
When I rented an ebike in Vancouver in October 2019, I was hooked. Nine months later, after doing research and waiting six weeks because they were back ordered, my Rad Power Bicycles RadMini arrived. It’s a foldable (but heavy) ebike that I can load into the back of my car and take to interesting places.
With a traditional bike, I was no longer able to get up steep hills, and I had to walk my bike up, which defeated the purpose. Now, I’m able to increase the electric pedal assist and pedal up steep hills, still getting a good workout.
On flat ground, I can use minimal pedal assist, getting more or less the same exercise I would get on a traditional bike.
Ebikes allow seniors to continue cycling later in life and they’re a great way to get out and see the beautiful South Okanagan.
An Osoyoos woman, Bonnie Dust, has released a book telling of her lifetime struggle to cope with the impact of childhood trauma.
“It’s a Long and Winding Road: Finding Peace After My Struggle with Childhood Trauma” is a personal account of her mental health problems and a psychiatric system too eager to prescribe high doses of stupefying medications.
On the surface, Dust, now 71, appeared to have a normal childhood. She grew up on a farm near Osoyoos, British Columbia in the 1950s and 1960s. She rode horses and excelled in school and Girl Guides.
In the past, this website has simply redirected to my Richard McGuire Photo website (richardmcguire.ca). Today I’m relaunching richardmcguire.com as a separate website, Richard McGuire Publishing, focusing more on the written word.
Watch this space for articles and commentary on subjects of interest, both to the South Okanagan of British Columbia and in the wider world.