Monthly Archives: October 2011

Winter cycling, part one: The setup

I love using a bicycle to get around Inuvik. It’s cheap and easy since everything is at most ten minutes away.

The question of course, is what happens in winter?

This winter — meaning, from now until May —-  I have a challenge to keep using my bicycle. I picked this “cruiser” style bike at a garage sale earlier this year. It’s very heavy but it seems sturdy.

I think having only one gear will be helpful since it won’t jam with ice.  No pad brakes to jam up either….just pedal backwards to stop.

I store the bicycle indoors at work and at home, so it’s never locked outside for more an an hour maximum. (Let’s say if I am shopping at North Mart.)

So far, the results have been great! Inuvik has a very dry cold and I am very impressed by the grip of my winter tires.

Here is the setup I’ll be using this winter:

1. Big luggage rack in the front (for carrying briefcase, bags, boxes, etc.)
2. Basket in the back with blue, waterproof bag (contains: chain for locking, pump, spare tubes, wrenches, etc. All the tools to fix a flat.)
3. Winter tires! Got two “ice spikers” from Mountain Equipment Co-Op which have metal cleats. They’re expensive but work better than I imagined.

I’ll be posting updates and photos now and then.

…and of course, I am proud to wear a helmet!


Views from the morning commute: Getting dark!

Getting dark out here in the mornings….

Edit: These photos taken around 8:45am

Behold! The mystery is revealed: What’s inside a utilidor

It turns out, utilidors are filled with blue insulation, so that water can flow without freezing up.

October in Inuvik: Settling into a nice winter

The first snow of the year always arrives in early October.

This time, we had a good blanket of a few inches. It’s going to stay until at least May.

Lookin’ good!

Weather monitors at Aurora College

Aurora College has an Environment and NAtural Resources Technology Program.

Here, students learn how to check data on weather-monitoring stations. These can be scattered around the arctic, to get information about rainfall, temperature, wind speed, etc. Information is obtained through a USB slot.

The data helps climatologists and other sicentists learn about the north.

Funky box building in Inuvik

I like the blocky architecture of this new government building.

It’s interesting because it’s not symmetrical. Also, corrugated metal siding seems to be the new standard for buildings in the arctic.

From Ottawa to Inuvik in a canoe: It is possible!

Seven thousand kilometres, five-and-a-half months of paddling and they arrived!