I’m a relative newcomer to the world of cycling, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it. I ride almost every day now and can’t get enough of it. So what took me so long to find this joyous activity and why do I love it so much now?
As a kid, I had a sick tricycle. It was pink with flowing ribbons dangling from both handlebars. There’s a home video of me riding my tricycle around our living room with a comically giant pair of sunglasses on while watching Barney. Yup, I was a baller.
Enter: big kid’s bike. That’s where little me’s troubles began. Two wheels were a whole other ball game compared to three wheels. I tried to ride the two wheels, but just couldn’t do it (didn’t help that whenever my dad tried to teach me, my older brother would swoop directly in front of me on his bike, scaring me so much I didn’t dare move). So, I just never ended up properly learning how to ride a bike.
Fast-forward to the summer of 2019. I get it in my head that I finally — FINALLY — want to learn how to ride a bike properly (no doubt partially influenced by our trip to Copenhagen where everyone rode bikes). I buy a bike and my boyfriend teaches me in the back alley of the apartment building where I was living at the time. When I feel confident enough that I can pedal onwards without falling over, we transition to a calm cycling path. And I’ve never looked back since.
I bike nearly every day now. I’m lucky to live in an area where there’s a long cycling route nearby — no cars, just riders to one side and pedestrians to the other. It’s oftentimes my favourite part of my day — riding the Greenway, rushing along with the wind and the sun and the birds. It’s perfect. I feel powerful, relaxed, and most importantly, free.
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help feeling extra appreciative of my freedom when I’m out there on my bike. I’m extremely grateful that I live in a part of the world and a time in history where, as a woman, I’m allowed to do things like ride a bike, and do it alone at that. For whatever reason, when I’m riding, I think about how amazing it must have felt for women way back when to do something like ride a bike for the first time when nothing like that had ever been available to them before (there were horses, I suppose, but it still seems different somehow). How liberating that must have been!
I’m really happy I decided to learn how to ride a bike. I certainly didn’t think it would turn into what it did, but I’m so glad it did. I love my bike; she’s so boo-ti-ful. I currently have an Electra Loft bicycle in mint green, with a detachable basket on the front. It’s just a casual cruiser, but it’s perfect for what I need right now and exactly the adorable aesthetic I was going for.
Now I’ll just be off, riding into the sunset!