The great snow-tire conspiracy

We had a huge, nasty, disgusting, and unrepentant inundation of snow on Thursday. It was a detestable turn-of-events. I wrote last week of the severe cold that had been visited upon us in unwarranted fashion, and with the chill I knew that it would only end with a snowfall as temperatures climbed. And that is exactly what happened.

Snow, if you didn’t know, is God’s way of saying: “You’re all hopeless and vile and I’m going to screw you up so you can’t do anything other than risk a coronary by trying to get rid of what I threw at you. And, when you do get that driveway cleared I am going to see that two things happen: One, the triple-overtime earning snowplow drivers are going to fill up the entrance to your drive and walkway with dirty, nasty ‘street’ snow that is all hard and icy and filled with pebbles and possibly used condoms and hypodermic syringes. Secondly, once that’s done, I’m going to make it snow again.”

“Oh, and don’t trust those bonehead forecasters,” God adds. “They all work for me and that is why they are 100% wrong all the time, yet never get fired. So, I had to laugh when you actually bit on that few flurries bit; you know, the crap the forecasters handed you that led you to believe that maybe you’d get out the next day and do some Christmas shopping (as if. This is me, Mr. Dec. 23rd you’re talking about); maybe look for a tree, and get all Christmas spirity. Well, screw you. You’ve messed with me too much lately, and you don’t deserve any breaks.”

At least, that’s how I see the origins of the end of week ghastliness. 

We got, I think I heard, about 10 centimetres. That translates to, in ‘real’ measurements, like the kind I grew up with, hence understand, about 17-feet – or so it seems.

The good thing for me is that I didn’t need to go anywhere. The bad thing for me was that Wendy did – like to work. Fortunately she drives a 4WD so it wasn’t a mammoth source of concern. But, that left me with the doubly bad thing, and that was shovelling out the driveway prior to her return. I mean, I could have left it and struggled with the guilt of looking like a slug and wastrel, or I could have turned myself to the task. I chose the latter, with visions of the number of dutiful morons like myself who succumb to coronaries while being obliging husbands. Being attuned to possible telltale chest pains I turned myself to the task. And I succeeded and didn’t die – yet.

I was happy I didn’t have to go out because my car isn’t entirely equipped for snow. In the first place it’s a low-to-the-road sport car that is just perfect for summer streets, and not so much for slush and snow. It’s not terrible, but if I can avoid taking to the streets, I do. Otherwise, I might end up like my blogger friend Pinklea, who recently told of her woes with the snows. Check out her posting ‘Stuck’ rather than having me elaborate on the situation.

You see, my car is equipped with all-seasons and I refuse to do the winter tires thing. Much of the world that gets snow has never heard of snow-tires and that suits me. Despite protestations from our dictatorial provincial vehicle insurer (the only game in town) that we all must have snow tires, I don’t buy their argument. If you are sliding towards rear-ending the vehicle in front, snow tires won’t make an iota of difference. All that slide means is that you were driving badly.

And that’s the big issue around here when it snows. Nobody is very used to it, and many, many people drive badly, which means too fast for conditions. 

For years and years all-seasons were just dandy, and I’ve always found them good, and haven’t been stuck in ages. Suddenly the cry has gone up that everyone must get snow tires. Hmm, I see tire company collusion in this.

In the meantime, I’ll just bide my time and wait for spring. It will come again, won’t it?

8 responses to “The great snow-tire conspiracy

  1. Ian, Nokian All-Season tires (or tyres if you prefer) are a great (albeit expensive) solution to some of your concerns . We have them and they perform admirably. Sorry but I have no control over the weather but today is lovely and mild and very pleasant! Perhaps the severe weather is a way of appreciating the decent days just that much more! Glass half full my friend!

  2. Here in snowy, cold Québec we are obliged legally to have snow tires by the 15th of December. I’ve had snow tires for years and when the weather turned really cold and snowy you could always tell the people with 4 season tires because they would be sliding all over the road. The thing is that snow tires are made of softer rubber (use them in the summer and they’ll be worn out by September) which gives them more adhesion at temperatures of −10 to −40 degrees, which is pretty much the temperatures we get there in the winter. There is also the fact that many people kept their 4 season tires until the were worn down to the point where they were essentially summer tires. But as you say tires will not save you from an accident if you drive like a maniac in snowy and icy conditions.

  3. You do your Christmas shopping on the 23rd? You’ve beat me by one day. Bah, humbug.

  4. Brr. I think your cold snap is hitting us right now. It’s COLD!

    I’ve always been skeptical of snow tires too. Instead of snow tires, in the mountains outside LA, you have to have chains on your tires when it snows. So you can have your regular tires and then you just slip the chains over them. It’s a little weird but they do give lots of grip on the icy roads.

  5. As I sit here comfortably at the computer, sipping my second cup of tea, PG is readying himself to put my snow tires on. He has already given me several lectures about how snow tires do not give one license to drive stupidly, that I will still need to slow down and allow lots of distance between me and the next car, bla bla bla. Just get the suckers on already, I’m thinking! It may snow again before April!

  6. It is beautiful and bright here, no hint of the cold yet to come, and I can say I’ve never had to drive in snowy conditions…
    I hope your situation improves, Ian.

  7. Having used both snow tires and all seasons, I must say I feel much more in control with the snow tires. As BB says, they are designed specifically for the cold. That said, our cold weather does last longer than yours making it a better investment.

  8. What BB and VioletSky said.

    I have nothing to add. Besides, it’s too early for my poor brain to function.

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