Thursday, January 1, 2015

I could not ride. . . naaaaaahh.

I just got back in from the first bike ride of the new year, to CKCU and back. It was -5 or so, with a heck of a headwind heading out, and it was a bit of a slog because the air pressure in my back tire is really low (oops: been out of town for a week and a half or so, bike maintenance has slipped). But I got back home and I was all hyper, bouncing around my apartment, with my cheeks still feeling tingly and my lungs still feeling a little burny. I may also have been singing to myself. A bit.

Cold wind, draggy back tire, potholes and all, the ride made me sing out loud. And I remember thinking, about three minutes out from home this afternoon, how much more fun it is to ride than any other mode of transportation I could pick.

Back when I started riding, I didn't have a car. So I didn't really have a choice. It was bike or bus - and then there was the notorious midwinter bus strike that taught me I could ride in the winter (and made me angry enough with the transit company that I swore never again to give them money for a pass). So I rode everywhere: miles and miles per day. When I got a car, I admit I worried a bit that I might get lazy. Opt for the car more and more, until my bike was growing rust in the hallway.

I guess I didn't need to worry. Sure, one of my current gigs takes me 40 km out of town and I have to drive to it, about three days a week. That cuts into my commuting time. And sure, sometimes I take the car so I can fit a lot of tight scheduling together (like on the nights when my radio show ends at 7:00 and I have to be at a meeting downtown for 7:15). But if I can, I still choose to take the bike most times.

And I never regret choosing the bike (and I do regret choosing the car sometimes. Frequently). Even in the winter. Even if it's windy. Even if it's dark. Even if there's a howling snowstorm that blew up while I was out and now I'm going to have to bike home along the rut on unplowed streets into the teeth of the gale.

I have the option of not riding my bike now, and I choose not to use it. Which is how I know I love riding my bike.


  1. It's true- I'm embarking on my first winter biking experience - been biking from around April to November for years but this is my first foray into the real thing. So far - yeah- love it regardless of the weather or maybe because of it.

  2. I really think it kinda is "because of." Because it wakes up your skin, because it makes you go out in the cold air and move your body and discover that moving your body make you immune to the cold, because recovering your balance in mid-skid makes you feel like an action hero, and because - holy crap - it's actually *not that hard.*

    Also, I love the light, at night, in the winter, when it's cold.