My father had bought me the bike a few years earlier. It was one of those perfunctory, parental purchases when, as an adolescent, I lived in The Kingsway. Lord, I hated that neighbourhood. It was so isolated, to my teenaged-perspective. I went to school at the other end of the city. The bicycle (which I barely remember the look of, in truth) was my ticket to freedom. I remember riding it everywhere, for hours at a time. I'd zoom along while singing along loudly to my Walkman. I knew every cadence, every syncopated beat of every song on Zenyatta Mondatta. (On a side note: I remember begging my parents to be able to go to the Police Picnic, but I was too young. My husband, 6 years older than me, felt the same way in 1983. Alas, he couldn't score a ticket; it's a sad, near-miss we share.)
By the time my bike was stolen, I didn't have the appetite - or the funds - to replace it. I suppose I could have asked my father for a new one, but I felt violated by the theft. I fumed internally; it was beyond my comprehension (having grown up in affluent areas with absolutely no crime) that someone might steal something I owned (not that I'd worked to pay for it, mind you). So I started to walk - an activity that has served me well, nay saved my anxiety-prone ass with its meditative quality, for many years.
Fast-forward numerous flats and houses and decades and circumstance. When M went to visit my parents for the summer, I started to use her bicycle to get to work. It was expedient. (I can be from point A to point B in 10 minutes, give or take. My workplace is very cycle-friendly and there's a sheltered lock-up area. My route has bike paths, to increase safety and ease-of-travel.) Scott, who cycles everywhere, has been bitching at me for years to give it another go. Having never known me as an avid cyclist, he can barely believe how easily I've adapted.
Y'all know me by now. When I decide to do something, I do it.
M came home 2 days ago, and 3 hours later I bought a bike. (Scott said, as he very generously paid for it, I'm surprised it took you so long.) He'd found it for me 6 weeks ago, just after M left for North Carolina. It happens it was still at the store when I was finally ready to commit:
|Fuji Crosstown 4.0. It's cream and green ombre with painted flowers!|
This baby is SO DISCO. Oh, the mega-low standover makes it unbelievably comfortable for urban transport. The seat is fluffy soft. There are 7 gears (perfect for city riding). Mine has an awesome kick-stand, fenders (to keep crap off my clothes), a solar/crank front light, a tail-light - both removable. I got a great front basket, a cool (long and flexible) lock and a terrific helmet. Note: The helmet is ugly but it fits really well and it protects my brain, which I care about.
Don't misunderstand: I'm a fair-weather rider, to be sure. But I am psyched to have the opportunity to travel the city with Scott and M, to get myself hither and yon, to be just about everywhere in 10 minutes, should I so choose.
Everything old is new again, I guess. (Specifically my porch railing - metal rather than wood.)
So, what do you think? Cool ride? Do you cycle on a regular basis? If so, do share your experience...