By Pico Triano
Photos: Pico Triano
When I was eleven years old, I got a newspaper route and started making a little bit of money. I did it for two years and my route was not for the faint of heart. Part of the route was in the village I grew up in but extended out into the outlying area. I went on Google maps and calculated my route out at approximately seven kilometres.
During the spring, summer and fall I rode my bicycle every single day except for a few really bad weather days where my dad gave me a lift. That was a very rare occurrence. Those were the easy days. The biggest challenge was out running some of the local dogs. There was this old recluse living along my route who had three dogs (at least) that he controlled with a club. I wish that was an exaggeration.
Winter is when things got difficult. I rode my bike whenever physically possible. It took forever on foot and I dreaded the days that I had to do that because I'd get home late and fending off those mutts was a bigger challenge. I started carrying a big thick stick when I had to walk through there.
I remember poking snow and ice clogging between my wheel and the fenders with another stick. One cool thing was being able to use snow drifts as bicycle stands. Often didn't have to lean my bike up against anything. I also remember getting cold and tired.
That being said it wasn't all that bad. I built stamina that allowed me to play competitive sports after that. Something I don't think I would have enjoyed as much. I still ride in the winter to save money on gas when I can and to get exercise. Winter riding is tough but it isn't the impossible feat of masochism most non-winter cyclists think it is.