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Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan

The Most Unlikely Cyclist… Breaks Her Bike on the First Day of Autumn!

A beautiful morning for the first day of fall!  A touch of cool, a bit of fog, but the promise of sun.  I was all ready to close out summer and usher in autumn with my regular Wednesday bike commute to work.  All was well for the first 300m or so, but when I tried to apply my brakes to make a turn, I noticed that the front brake (the one in my left hand) was stuck – the brake handle wouldn’t move.  I thought that was a little weird.  So I applied a little more pressure – there it went!  Brake applied!  But when I let up on the brake handle, the brake didn’t disengage.

Now, for commuting purposes, the only thing worse than having one brake that won’t engage (while the other one does) is having one brake that won’t disengage!  It tends to slow one down quite a bit!  And it makes a lot of squeaking.  So after a somewhat cursory attempt to loosen it up again (no such luck), I turned around and walked my bike home.  (Thank goodness I hadn’t gotten any further into my commute – it was only about 5 minutes back home.)  I cleaned up my tires, put the bike inside, washed my hands, changed my clothes, got in my car, and drove to work.

On the drive, I noticed that the fog got a lot thicker the closer I got to Bathurst Clark Resource Library.  So, part of me is kind of glad I didn’t end up biking in the fog, because I think that would have been a bit nerve-wracking!  But most of me is really sad that I missed out on my regular Wednesday bike to work. And when I wasn’t noticing the fog, I spent the rest of my commute trying to figure out when I was going to shoe-horn in a visit to Bike Depot to get the brake looked at.

And there you have it. The past four months have turned me from an unlikely cyclist to a likely cyclist. From a (slow) runner to a (slow) triathlete. From someone who is kind of scared about commuting on a bike in traffic to someone who does it anyway, and is all the better for it.

I will get her tuned up, and I will get her brake fixed, and I will ride her at least every Wednesday, and more often as much as I can until winter arrives.  And then?  Well, who knows.  Can you get snow tires for a bicycle?

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