Canada: Extreme Cold Alert (on a yellow background)
These last days there was this 'Extreme Cold Alert' on CP24, a TV channel in the Tornoto area that shows constant temperatures, along with news, traffic cameras and such. They print that out on a yellow background so I guess they have room to modulate a bit. 'Extreme Cold Alaert' on an orange background. 'Extreme Cold Alert' on an red background. 'Extreme Cold Alaert' on an purple background.
Well, since it was cold (with windchill about -27 C on some mornings) but nothing exceptional, I decided to verify and watched a good 20 minutes of the official Weather Channel. Guess what, no alert from Environment Canada for Toronto. And C24 was still showing their 'Extreme Cold Alert'. Environment Canada had an alert for norther Manitoba (-40 C), northern Quebec/Chicoutimi and one for somewhere in the maritimes, but none for Toronto.
Makes me wonder from where does CP24 picks up their weather alerts.
Nevertheless, as a cyclist in winter, I can brag about it. I can tell the Russians guys at work: 'Yeah, it's extreme, but it's OK'. And really, it was a bit cold, but nothing extreme. I did switch from the raincoat to a winter jacket, but I kept my baseball cap.
I don't think it's fair to 'alert' people like that when there's clearly no case for an alert.
Moving on to things bicycle, I really appreciate a solid frame. I started out this winter on a fully-suspended inexpensive MTB with winter studded tires but quickly went back to the Cannondale BB with those Jones anti-snakebit (whatever...) 26" large and rather mean tires. I guess it can scare snakes. Problem is, there are no snakes around.
Nothing beats, IMHO, a solid frame for swinging a way through snow. There's so much more control. When the motto is 'going in the general direction of...' it's a pleasure to be able to control skids and eventually get there. On a fully-suspended frame there's a distance from the ground, so to speak. The suspension dictates to some extent its own behaviour. But then, maybe with a high-quality MTB it's not the same.