I* have now removed the winter tires from my bike. This means that I have officially survived a winter of cycling to work. Bow down before me.
In Trondheim I have always lived along the bus route which takes you to the university and to town. I have both walked and cycled to work, but on the whole the bus was my friend all through the Dark period.
This past year, that changed. And while I was happy cycling to work in the summer (a little less happy whenever the rain started), I was a bit apprehensive about how I would get to work in the winter. Tor suggested winter tires; I laughed. And then I bought winter tires. And I was fairly sure I would not make it to spring. Until I tried it.
As an aside, it should be noted that the municipality does not believe in pedestrians. And I suspeect that has somewhat the same effect as not believing in fairies. A few times this past winter I decided to walk to work; I have never been quite so close to death, I think.
But back to my main point: Winter tires are magical things. On the hardest, most slippery ice, they happily roll along in the right direction.
Granted, there are drawbacks. Salted snow is hellish, refusing to be packed and ending up giving the effect of cycling through flour. But you quickly learn to avoid those patches. And if push comes to shove you can always get off the bike and, well ... push and shove.
It also offers a little more resistance than summer tires. At first I had unpleasant flashbacks to trying to cycle with a dynamo to power my bike light. Then I got so caught up in the whole magical cycling on ice thing I forgot all about what it had been like to cycle on normal tires.
And now: Today: On normal tires: It is doubly magical: It is as if the bike cycles itself! The lack of resistance, coupled with sun and blue skies, makes me want to cycle everywhere.
My point, though, is the following. If I can do it, anyone can. Nobody in their right mind has ever accused me of being particularly outdoorsy or prone to enduring cold weather and rain for the sake of ... well, anything, really; but I was going to say "for the sake of exercise". On the whole, as my brand new bicycle bell says, I'd rather be knitting. But I hereby declare "winter" no longer a reason to drive a car.
*Well, "I" as in Tor did it and I watched and cheered him on. But the cycling was all me (except Tor has been doing it for years).