Let's be very clear. I am not a bicycle girl.
I fell off my first bike when I was seven, split my lip open, had stitches and was completely traumatised by the experience (obviously still am, it's one of my first memories). I hardly ever got back onto my little green bike (in fact, we gave it to the neighbours) and the past 30 years haven't seen any change on that front.
Husband has been using bikes as his main mode of transport forever and has tried to get me excited about bikes over the years but to no avail. It's only since our kid has been learning to ride that I've realised two things. One, I'm not a very good role model if I'm too scared to get on a bike. And two, it's lots of fun!
Add that to that the fact that Toronto is full to the brim with cyclists and the cutest darn girly bikes abound, coupled with some beautiful spots to cycle with your family. That is probably the thing which put the final chink in my "I'm not really into biking" armour.
For now, we have a borrowed boy's bike for Husband's use. There was a little window of opportunity to hit the park after school yesterday and we grabbed it. It's been a wet week so we have to make the most of the sunshine. Poppet is looking forward to us buying her first Canadian bike this weekend (we've been too busy so far and the weather hasn't helped) so she took her scooter instead. And boy, does she love to scoot!
We hit the park and went to see the animals at the zoo. Yes, the free local zoo which the government has stopped funding after over a hundred years. Nice. But that's the type of government which is in power at the moment in Ontario. Is it free, is it working well, is it part of the community, do you enjoy it???
Well, we're gonna cut it's funding. So there.
The reindeer are growing new antlers, the lama's baby is growing fast and the wallabies are frisky. It's always a great outing and only a couple of blocks away. Don't worry, we're pretty sure the local community has figured out how to save it with lots of donations coming in and possibly some sponsorship ahead. Phew, the alternative seemed to be to offer a home for the bison and peacocks and goats in neighbourhood yards instead. I would definitely have dibs on the emus!
But hang on, what's that I see?
Yes, it's me. On an honest to goodness bike! With Poppet giving me words of encouragement along the way. It was so much fun, though still feels very weird and clunky. And for sure, a girly bike will be the way to go. After a hip replacement, it was comical watching my attempts at climbing onto the bike. Getting off was ridiculous! A ladylike bike (hopefully with a cute little basket on the front) will be something to get our hands on before the holidays. For now, I'll practise on the other one and see if I can force myself out onto the road eventually. But I've got my eyes on this one...
|image via here|
Scared much? Absofrickinlutely. Riding a bike in public is probably one of the scariest things I will ever force myself to do. I'd rather try expatting in another foreign country first, maybe somewhere really foreign where the don't speak English. Even somewhere incredibly hot and humid. Oh wait, I've already done that, we lived in Brazil!
Hell, if I can speak Portuguese and deal with humidity for 90% of the year then I can get on a damn bike.
I shall just feel the fear and do it anyway. I say that to my kid all the time but it doesn't mean a thing if I'm not willing to show her how that's done. And now I've said it in a very public forum. You'll hold me to it.Won't you.