imagesPG and I traded cars one day last week so he could take my car in to get winter tires installed. I’ve never bought winter tires in my entire driving career – this is Vancouver, after all, and it mostly rains here in the winter and doesn’t get super-cold.

Except last year. We had enough snow last year to cover our quota for about fifty years, and it lasted longer than our snow here has ever lasted. And there I was, in my brand new car with my all-season tires, stranded at home because I couldn’t get out of my driveway. And if I could have gotten out, I couldn’t have driven too far because we have no idea how to clear roads here. Oh, the excuse was that it was snowing so much that they just couldn’t keep up, but I’m not sure I believe that. Cities like Toronto or Montréal, which regularly have copious amounts of snow, seem to keep up fairly well. Those cities don’t shut down in the snow. But Vancouver? Wah, there’s snow, let’s all go hide under the covers!

But anyway, I don’t ever want to go through another winter like that – me and the other million people who live here. We’re all frantically buying and installing winter tires this year. It can be hard to get the tires you want, so many people are purchasing them. The first set of tires that PG ordered for me were sold to somebody else before they even were delivered to the shop, so he had to go on to Plan B. Fortunately, he is quite knowledgeable about tires, and loves doing the research and phonecalls to track down the best deal, so at least I had somebody with the time and expertise to do that for me.

The big issue, apparently, was that the all-season tires that came with the car are run-flats and the winter tires I ended up buying are not. When one of them is punctured or flat, run-flats can be driven for about another 100 km, at a reduced speed (whatever THAT means – is it 50 km/h? Reports I’ve read vary.) to safely get somewhere to get the tire replaced (most likely) or repaired (occasionally). This means that my car did not come with a spare tire or a jack. This means that now that I’m running regular tires, I still have no spare or jack.

The tire dealer was quite worried about this. PG reassured the poor man that I have both BMW Assist and BCAA, both of which can come to my rescue if ever I have a flat tire. And really, I’ve only ever had a flat tire twice in my whole life: once was from hitting a pothole in the dark in a construction zone and the other was when I was forced into the curb by the car beside me deciding to change lanes without checking to see if another car was already there. So I think the odds are pretty good that I’ll be just fine for the five or so months that I’ll be driving on my new winter tires.

It better snow like crazy this winter. I didn’t spend all that money for nothing, ya know!

7 responses to “Tired

  1. If you don’t get enough snow to actually need your tires, you can come visit Montreal for a few weeks.

    • Jazz – If I have to be in snow, yes, Montréal or anywhere in la belle province is where I’d want to be. Your snow is drier and fluffier and just better than our wet stuff. I don’t get nearly as cold in the snow there as I do here. So I’m quite sure that driving in your snow would be easier than in our snow.

  2. Justme – Do you think that I’m overdue to get another flat tire then??? Is the law of averages about to get me? I hope not! And thanks for your new URL – I’ve missed you!

    Irene – Our climates are very similar, I think – at least in July, which is the only time I’ve been to Maastricht. No snow then (though the St Pietersberg caves were very chilly and damp).

  3. Well, I can commiserate about the weather, which sounds similar to ours, but I can’t commiserate about the car, because I don’t own one. I’ve yet to have a flat on my bike, knock on wood, and I call my ex to fix those. We had snow last winter too and the whole town was laid lame. It was as if something like that never happened before. It doesn’t happen very often and I hope it doesn’t happen this year. I can do quite well without it and so can my bike, which has all season tires.

  4. I managed to have TWO flat tires last year! Both times I got the AA out to fix them. Really….I am NOT going to attempt that kind of thing myself, whether I have a jack or not.
    This is where my new blog is, by the way!

  5. I know that feeling. I have my snow tires on and am ready for anything!

    (and we won’t mention that little incident with the mayor of Toronto calling in the army to clear the snow back in 2000, I think it was)

    • VioletSky – Even if there’s no snow here this year, I won’t really be too upset, because I have also learned that all-season tires don’t work well at all below +7C. Well, Vancouver temperatures are normally below that in the winter, snow or no snow, so I suppose I can say that I finally have proper tires for conditions.