A wheely good time

To everyone who said I’d love having a bike, fine. You were right.

It’s not like I didn’t know I’d get into it, but it took some time to get there. Thing is, getting a bike is a process. It sounds simple on the surface: Give money to a retailer, receive bicycle. In reality, there are far more steps. What kind of bike do you want? Something racey and road-ish? A hybrid? A commuter cycle? What size are you? What frame fits your body? Do you need gears? If so, how many? How heavy do you want your bike to be? Something that’s easy to lift? Or one that sits more firmly on the road? These are all questions to think of before you even get the bike. Oh, and a helmet is super important too. Gotta protect your bike purchasing brain, otherwise how will you decide what you need?

Once you have one, there’s nigh endless customisation to think of. What extra gear will help you? What kind of handlebars are comfortable? Do you need some form of basket to ferry stuff around? Keep in mind that everything you get adds to your weight. Are you ever planning to cycle at night? Because that’s something to consider. Better get a headlight and rear light. Maybe some reflective gear so you don’t get sideswiped out of nowhere. You don’t want to be another statistic, right?

Are you looking to take your bike out in public? Because theft is sadly a thing. You need a lock. What kind of lock? There are U locks and chain locks and cable locks and Irish lochs. Teensy joke. But a lock is no joke, seriously. People will steal anything that’s not fixed, apparently. Friends have told me to remove anything that could be stolen, even my lights. Theft is supposedly rife in Toronto, so I was advised to get a U lock and loop it through both my frame and back wheel simultaneously. Also to get a cable lock for the front wheel. I finally ordered a substantial, fuck-off-sized New York Kryptonite lock, which has enabled me to actually take my bike out with me. Before that, I was hesitant to ride it anywhere I couldn’t safely store it. I spent $500+ on this bike. It would’ve broken my heart to lose it so quickly.

With that out of the way, I love it. I’m biking to and from work when weather permits. We have bike storage in our work basement, so it’s safe there. It’s wild doing an uphill ride home after midnight, but it’s kind of exhilarating. I may need new quad-forward jeans soon. Zipping around is making me feel like a kid again. I’m doing dumb little jumps over curbs, weaving between tight turns, speeding to make lights. I even do that silly low centre of gravity speedy bike squat thing when I’m going downhill. I’m really into gaining momentum, then letting my weight carry me. I get to choose my path through the city, doing creative problem solving on the fly to arrive at my destination faster. It’s neat.

Of course, it turns out drivers are a big obstacle. I’ve been fine so far, but there’s something about zooming past parked cars that makes me anxious. It’s only a matter of time until I get doored hard. I’ve been fully utilising my bell to keep cars abreast of my location. It’s a hella cute way to be passive aggressive. It’s kinda funny that, getting my bike so late in the season, I only have a few months before it’s over and I’m back to public transit.

Until then though, I’m gonna have my fun.

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