Saturday, July 12, 2008

A New Obsession

I have a new bike obsession. Finally, after about 15 years, I bought a new set of wheels. When people ask what kind of bike it is, I have to snicker a little when I reply that it's a Giant mountain bike. And I love it. I brought it home 2 weeks ago and have ridden it every day since (every day that I've been home that is). As par for the course I've taken up reading magazines with titles like Adventure Cyclist and Bicycling magazine. (I just read an article in the latter that gave tips on what kind of bike one might consider for their fifth bike, as apparently their average reader has 4 bikes. Four. I've never considered the possibility of more than one bike.)
Anyway, my new wheels reside in my kitchen next to the patio doors when not in use, which may help explain the setting of the pic above.
I've ridden downtown several times (to work once) and will ride with the smallest excuse. ("Hey Nicole, I'm just going to return this movie...time me, ok?" - incidentally I can now return a movie in 3 minutes flat).
Today was a great day of exploring on wheels. I rode downtown, returned a pair of shoes to the Bay, stopped at the bank, rode through the 2nd Ave sidewalk sale, then took off to the Farmer's Market. (I tried to return something to Oceanquin Athletics only to discover that they've gone out of business in the few days since I bought my item!)
Today I noticed that my "indignant cyclist" attitude is developing quite well. Downtown there are spray-painted reminders on almost every sidewalk corner that you have to walk your bike on the sidewalk. That's fine. I imagine that law is in place for the safety of pedestrians, which is fair enough. However, have you ever tried to ride your bike downtown? It's not easy. Some streets are just not wide enough to permit both vehicle and cyclists to co-exist peacefully, and there are more than a few inattentive drivers to ratchet up the tension. But I don't know of anyone who would be willing to walk their bike block after block just to get through downtown. So today I employed a varied approach, staying on the streets when possible and taking to the sidewalks when it felt like the only safe course. It worked ok, but I think I'll prefer to stay out of the downtown whenever possible.
At the end of almost every ride, I take a detour and make one lap around the little lake by my house because, inside, I'm still an 8 year old kid who doesn't want to come inside yet...just 5 more minutes on my bike...please?


Sherri said...

That's awesome! I'm sure you're a much more hardcore rider than I am, but I *love* riding. I go out whenever I can, but I don't venture toward downtown because the people pleaser in me really can't take the tension of traffic and pedestrians - there's no way to keep everyone happy and me safe, you know!

Lately I've been listening to a lot of Brian Doerksen while I've been riding - there's something about worshiping while riding under God's big sky, you know?! Hope to see you soon!

the Fehrs said...

Oohhh...nice new Giant bike Carm.