Half The Hills All the Skills, Toronto Scene Part 4
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SNOWBANKS, SALT AND MINUS 30°
Winters can get mighty cold here in Toronto. But that doesn’t deter the hardy souls of the Great White North, who’ve been known to go out riding even in the middle of January. “It was minus 30°, but it was dry on the roads,” Winston says. “I was wearing my leathers and two down jackets.” Smooth Chicken explains you’d best be wearing your leathers or multiple layers, unless you want hypothermia.
“When you the roads get dry — sometime in January — you throw on some ski goggles and five or six hoodies and you’re good.” Oddly enough, there are roads that some longboarders will ride only in the winter because the snowbanks actually offer some protection: “We’d hit that instead of a guardrail,” Winston says. Besides the cold, though, winter brings two other challenges: road salt and black ice. Salt is tricky and unpredictable to ride through. If you’re lucky, the worst it will do is bounce around in front of your wheel as you’re moving forward. If you’re not so lucky, it will form a perfect wedge in front of a wheel and toss you off your board. As for black ice, that thin coating of glazed ice on the asphalt that is practically impossible to see — well, you just pray for the best. You definitely don’t want to hit black ice.
Written By Michael Brooke