This post coincides with the beginning of Bike Month (May 25th) in Toronto! Bike month is celebrated across the GTA and promotes cycling at hundreds of events all month long. Check out their website here to learn more about it!
Last week I bought my first ever bike! I kid you not. I have never owned a car (does driving your mothers car everyday count as owning?), all i’ve owned is a bus pass. And now I have a new mode of transportation and I LOVE IT. I’ll be honest – I haven’t sat on a bike in probably 8 years. The first few moments were pretty rusty, but I am quickly getting the hang of it.
I have been riding my bike downtown to work, but if you know anything about Toronto life and traffic, you’ll know that both the drivers and the roads are not very biker friendly. Lucky for me the city is working on this awesome new bike path right by my condo which takes me close enough to my office. From there I only have to bike a few blocks along the terribly traffic jammed streets of type A personality drivers. Until the bike path is completed I have to stick to a couple roads which have a few bike lanes in them. They’re pretty good, but seriously – it’s scary business. For example, last week Thursday I was riding my bike up a bike lane beside a bunch of cars. All of a sudden, this one car starts cutting me off in the bike lane!! It’s one thing to do that on a regular road, but another that has a designated lane -that’s just BAD DRIVING. I had to stumble off my bike and when I reached the car I rapped on her window and yelled “YOU HAVE TO WATCH!!”
I don’t really know why those were my words, but I was flustered as all hell and there were a million people standing around watching this happen. Anyway, I was a bit angry for an hour after that but realize it is a consequence of biking and that these things do happen. More often than I would like (I mean it has literally been 7 days of riding my bike).
Aside from that – I am not deterred. Biking everywhere is so time efficient, fun (when you’re not getting cut off), cost effective (after paying off the $650 it cost), AND great exercise. I don’t feel like i’m selling this very well so here it is: If you have the opportunity to buy a bike, and ride it in your city – DO IT. Also, I wasn’t kidding about great exercise. In the mornings my legs still feel pretty heavy and I can feel them getting stronger each day I hop on and bike to work. It’s a fairly easy route with a couple hills, and I love knowing that i’m getting a mini workout before the day.
I purchased my bike from Giant on Queen Street. I walked in there and told the sales guy I wanted one of the less expensive commuter bikes (which is still pretty damn expensive I must say. But so are bus passes these days). He showed me the Alight 2 bike and I took it for a test ride. It was probably the easiest sale this guy has ever made in his life. I brought it back and told him “I would like to purchase this bike,” and then looked around, grabbed the closest helmet to me and told him to add that to it too. His response was “I think that’s a kids helmet…” but it fit me, and was $50 cheaper than the others, so I didn’t care. I rode that bike down a massive hill that day for the first time in probably a decade, and felt exhilarated, like I was a kid again.
I don’t know much about bikes, but I do know that mine has gears, its light, its white, and its super cute. Adam and I took them for a ride to High Park on the weekend, and did a mini photo shoot. It was an insanely hot day and the cherry blossoms were blooming, so the park was packed to the brim with people. Instead we found a cute little deserted area with an old building and some cool looking steps. Check it out!