It’s Bike to Work Week across most of British Columbia this week, and this year, for the first time, I’ve gotten on the bandwagon and signed up.
Of course I work from home, which should make the commute easy. But don’t think I’ve been lax about my resolution.
I used to be an avid cyclist. Not Lance Armstrong avid. I’m more of a cruiser than a racer. But as forms of transportations go, it’s one of my faves.
I haven’t taken my bike out of the garage since my son was a year old. And that summer it only saw the light of day two – maybe three, times. It’s been closer to five years since I’ve ridden with any regularity.
Back in the day, my bicycle was my main source of transportation. Yes, I had a car, and I used it when the weather was increment, I had lots of stuff to carry (like groceries) or when I wanted to get somewhere fast. But, being a writer and therefore somewhat sedentary, using it as a form of transportation was actually multitasking with a workout.
But that’s not the only reason I like bike riding. I like the simplicity and inventiveness of bicycles. I am fascinated by their history, and their mechanics. I appreciate the freedom of the bicycle – did you know that it contributed to the emancipation of women in the 19th Century and was dubbed the “freedom machine” by suffragettes? And I just love the wind in my hair and the power going through my legs and into the pedals.
I learned to ride a bike when I was four. I couldn’t wait to go for long bike rides, touring the neighbourhood.
My favourite bike was an old gents bike I bought in England for £10. It was black and had pedal brakes that only just worked, and was a awful lot of work to get anywhere on, but I was so sorry to part with it when I left.
My bike now is a silver Kuwahara mountain bike. It’s much easier to ride, and does as well on dirt roads as pavement. But it doesn’t have the same appeal, style-wise, as that old black contraption in England. Someday I’d like to trade this one in for one of those sweet little retro numbers.
In the meantime, though, I’ve been hooking up the bicycle trailer every day this week and loading the kidlets up for a ride. Monday and Tuesday we went down the Mission Creek Greenway and back. Today it was the farmer’s market.
I will begrudgingly admit that I may have overdone it. The trips out have been much more enjoyable than the trips home again, where I’ve had to gear down so low I might as well as remove the chain altogether. But Bike to Work Week has given me the incentive I needed to, as the band Queen so eloquently put it, “get on your bikes and ride!”
I hope to get the old two-wheeler out more regularly for the rest of the summer.
P.S. Linking up with BC Good Life Wednesdays!
– Words and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier