Monday, May 23, 2011

Gotta get a bike

Starting this Sunday and going until Labour Day, Ottawa will be closing roads around the city each week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Many of the designated bike roads border the canal or the Ottawa river – ideal locations for a Sunday morning ride.

Sounds lovely. I should really get a bike. For Mother’s Day V even offered to buy me one, but I still haven’t actually gone and picked one out. Wondering, if I don’t have time to shop for a bike, will I really have time ride it?

Cycling has always been for me one of those things I heartily support and believe in, but don’t actually enjoy doing. It’s almost embarrassing to admit, especially since my circle of friends includes many who are carless bike advocates and I admire them greatly.

Yes, I am concerned about pollution and carbon emissions – not to mention rising gas prices. I often think about getting rid of our car all together – but then I need to do a bunch of errands, or make it to a meeting on time, or take M across town and I am sheepishly grateful as I get into my car and drive off.

I do attempt to be conscientious about how much we use the car. One of the reasons we chose our house and neighbourhood is that shopping and activities are all within easy walking distance. We dropped from two cars to one and often keep ours parked. V is admirably diligent about biking to work and I usually walk to my local café office.

See that’s the other thing – I love walking. Between cycling and walking, walking wins for me every time. I like walking so much that I have walked across countries and intend to walk across some more. I love walking through my world, observing it, being grounded in it. When I’m on a bike I feel like things are going by just a little too fast for me – it’s not as easy to stop and smell the flowers – as I literally often do.

But I am going to take V up on his offer and get a bike. And I will learn to enjoy riding it.

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