Today something miraculous happened. I had a choice of heading out of the house in our car, or I could take my quite neglected bike. Normally, I would rationalize my choice of the 1.5 ton dinosaur-juice fueled as time savings. Truth is, I’ve grown scared of my super light two wheeler.
I’ve gotten tangled up in having to have my cycling computer, shoes, and all the accompanying gadgets so much that I’ve forgotten the basics of it all. Any shoe, helmet and some will to push on the cranks. As soon as I set off I felt a bit naked – my Garmin Edge wasn’t on the handlebars and I didn’t get the instant satisfaction of knowing that I was going northeast at 18.3km/h. At the same time it was somewhat liberating. No more chasing the numbers. No more worrying how many (or few) kilometers I’ve ridden. No more trying to log every inch I’ve travelled. Just the rush of air to slice through.
Permanently attached to my bike are couple of essentials for city riding. Small bell, sturdy rear rack and an Air Zound horn. The horn is the safety factor for driving in traffic. I’ve ridden my bike in Toronto and Mississauga around the airport area, where the cabbies believe no other should tread – four wheels or two. The land where yellow lights are suggestions to step on the accelerator pedal and the horn is a warning device that the brain and brakes are malfunctioning. However, this little gem stops them (and by extension should everyone else) dead in their tracks. The looks of horror and confusion of bike being able to heard over top of both the bluetooth handset in their ear and the radio that is cranked to the ethnic station.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to use it today. On the trails I usually use my tiny bell, but sometimes there is that stray jogger that has his iPod blasting and the only way to get their attention is the horn.
I have to admit, it’s kind of fun to see them get startled.
Laptop got stowed in the pannier, along with a whole mess of accompanying wires, pump, glue-less tube patches and a lock. I used to ride with a lot less, but once you get yourself a flat 10km from home, you rethink your options.
Being back in the saddle was nice. Dealing with the traffic was a bit unsettling, but the awareness quickly came back.
Will I ride again? Definitely. St. Albert is quite a bit smaller than Edmonton and everything seems to be closer together. And to be honest, I’m looking forward to trying to go faster than the speed limit on couple of the hills. But for that, I will want to have my Garmin charged and ready 🙂 Does anyone know if you’d get a photo radar ticket? What would they do if you blew by at 5-10 over the seed limit?
I guess those answers will need to be investigated.