As all things go when you find your self in an over committed and unfocused world, things slip through the cracks. What slipped through the cracks for me this time was my two week block with the blog. Don’t worry I will be back in due time to share my thoughts with you. For now you can enjoy my perspective on bicycles.
Growing up in Edmonton, in a family without a car was maybe one of the most unique experiences of my childhood. From naps in the back of the bike trailer, to heckling my mother from the tag-along bike, to then graduating to my own two wheeler, it was a thrilling progression. With the independence to be able to get myself to a far away destination by the age of 7 or 8 without the help of my parents filled me with confidence. With my two miniature panniers I would ride 6 or 7km to the grocery store for my family, while it was an insignificant amount of food I picked up, it still left me with a sense that I could contribute to my family. The rides that left me the most giddy were mountain biking in the middle of winter with ice hanging off my eye lashes and a helmet traded for an oversized wool toque. When you can go for a rip in minus 30 at the age of 10 for a few hours there doesn’t seem to be anything that you can’t do in life. Really in life there isn’t very much that you aren’t able to do, to realize this at such a young age is something that I feel very grateful for. Also a lightened environmental impact in comparison to other conventional methods of transportation; public transit, and driving. Don't forget to ride your bike.
My love of bike riding took a sharp turn in 2012 when I started to race competitively. Wether it was a mix of competition, adrenaline, or just feeling the air rushing over you I quickly fell in love with it as a sport. Now fast forwarding 5 years I have ridden for the Canadian National team, and racing for a Semi-professional team in Vancouver I am still just as in love with the sport as when I started. Riding 15h+ a week for training and then commuting for work, and daily life I spend a fair amount of time in traffic. While my purpose of this article is not to bring shame to those who use a car but more to increase your use of a bicycling and also be aware of your impact. In November Brad Dean, a cyclist out for a training ride was killed in a car/bike collision. Later on in December a competitor of mine, Ellen Watters was also killed in a car/bike collision. These people are just seeking the same enjoyment that you or I strive for in life, except it cost them their lives. Be aware of the actions you are making while in a car or on a bike. It is a two way street, share the road.
To live a life on a bicycle brings you freedom. If you don’t have a bike, a fantastic place to start out to find a bike is the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters, where they can also get you sorted with basic mechanical knowledge; change a flat, adjusting saddle height. Make use of bike lanes and coming Downtown Bike Grid. Keep up with Paths for People for other resources of cycling in the city. The resources are available, reach out with questions on this blog if you don’t know where to start. Shopping at Costco is manageable on two wheels, my only advice here is bring a 45L+ duffel bag.