So, I rode my new bike on Friday, May 29 for National Bike to Work Week. No problems. I didn’t die, and no one honked at me. One guy might have yelled at me from his truck window, but he also might have been on the phone or shouting at the radio – I am not entirely certain. I was also riding past him, so I didn’t really care!
But, as we all know, the real test of any such new endeavour is in its repeat-ability. Sure I rode my shiny new bike to work on the one day I was supposed to, when I was allowed to wear a free t-shirt to work, and it was a Friday, so it didn’t matter too much how sweaty I was… But what about the next week?
I am pleased to say that I was able to work in two days of commuting by bike last week – Tuesday and Thursday. Mondays and Wednesdays are going to be out until the end of the school year – my son has Irish dance class in Newmarket too soon after the end of work to make riding a bike home, making him a picnic supper, picking him up at his Taekwondo after-school program, and driving to Newmarket at all feasible.
But Tuesdays? Tuesdays are good. Tuesdays are the days when we generally don’t have anything in the evenings, unless it happens to be the one time each month our co-op has their board meeting (I am the vice president!). And even then, I still have time to get home before the meeting starts, even on the bike. And Thursdays are good, as long as I am not working the night shift. But then again, it’s summer, and perhaps I can still ride home at 9:00pm without too much concern. Anyway, last week, I had switched to the day shift for Thursday, so it didn’t matter.
So I rode again, on Tuesday and on Thursday.
Tuesday, I rode from my home in Richmond Hill to City Hall, for Jostle article training (thanks, Susan!). Then I rode down to the Bathurst Clark Resource Library. It didn’t take me that much longer than it would have in the car (either to get to the city, or to get to the library afterward). And that evening, I just rode on home up Bathurst.
Thursday, I rode from my home in Richmond Hill to the Pierre Berton Resource Library. This was a more ambitious commute – 18km instead of 11km. And are you familiar with that hill down to the Humber River on Rutherford? The one that you have to go back UP to get to the library? I was worried about that hill!
Turns out, I didn’t have TOO much to worry about. I did manage to ride the hill the whole way, both on the way to work and on the way home. There was a lot of downshifting and a lot of counting pedal-strokes (when one is going that slowly up a big hill, you have to do something to distract yourself from the sheer and utter mundanity of the whole procedure!), and a whole lot of relief at the top on both sides. What I didn’t think about, though, was that the entire trip to work was basically downhill, which means that the entire trip home was basically uphill. So it took me a lot longer to go back east than it had taken to me go west! But, again, I survived, and mostly even enjoyed myself.
I wonder if I will manage eventually to ride my bike to all the library locations in Vaughan? Now that I have been to Pierre Berton Resource Library, I think I can probably do anything… But then again, if you think the hill on Rutherford is intimidating, you haven’t seen the hills on Major Mackenzie between Pine Valley and Islington. I might have to figure out some other way to get to Kleinburg…